Hillary Clinton has been out and about of late, enjoying her time in retirement.
— Pete Caren (@pedro_americana) November 28, 2016
The Twitter hashtag #HRCInTheWild is tracking the former Presidential candidate and Secretary of State as she hikes in the woods, picks up groceries, and happens to meet friendly Democratic voters across upstate New York.
But there’s one thing that stands out in most of the photographs (and it isn’t Hillary’s outerwear). Hillary isn’t wearing makeup — and feminists aren’t sure how they feel about it.
According to New York Magazine, no-makeup HRC has become a “Rorschach test” of sorts, that each feminist sees differently and interprets her own way. And how you feel about Hillary’s barefaced look is a window into your dark and bottomless soul.
For some feminists, Hillary going au natural is a stand against the heteronormative and hegemonic demands of the white Patriarchy — a stand she’s taking to show America just how deep the roots of its sexism go.
Sure, she may look a bit weary, a bit like she hasn’t slept, even a bit “unkempt” to steal a word from the dastardly article that had the nerve to point out she was sporting a few more wrinkles than usual. But your problem with it stems from your inability to process a woman who isn’t beautified according to the standards of the male gaze. She’s focused on public service, dammit, and not her hairdo.
Though it’s not clear that there’s ever been a rule that you can’t both brush your hair and be an asset to your community.
For other feminists, the no-makeup look was a “staged” ploy that was designed to force Americans to acknowledge Clinton’s terrible suffering, a “physical manifestation” of her concession speech: her mourning clothes and a mark of her fragility that is at odds with her message of female empowerment.
NYMag “likes HRC’s choice,” though, because it’s an “authentic version of her” in keeping with the celebrity trend of going without makeup. It’s a way of tapping into the “everywoman” (though it’s unlikely Alicia Keys gets her glowing bare skin from a drugstore moisturizer). She’s got “real stamina” and “power and freedom” from rejecting vanity.
Ultimately, though, the question is probably only important to the feminists.