January 2, 2009

Why aren't we talking about how Caroline Kennedy looks?

Noticing the absence of the usual catty talk.
What with all the time spent this year by women and journalists and everyone else obsessing over Sarah Palin's looks and lipsticks and wardrobe, it's hard to believe the absolute dearth of women journalists obsessing over Caroline Kennedy's physical appearance, makeup choices, and hairstyles. Why are her highlights not front-page news?...

.... Caroline was routinely compared to her famously svelte mother, and as a result her self-esteem plummeted. In a fit of pique that bordered on the bizarre, she shaved off one eyebrow. "My face," she offered by way of explanation, "is too symmetrical."
Bordered?

UPDATE: I have 6 answers to the question why we aren't talking about how Caroline Kennedy looks.

60 comments:

Synova said...

This is really a mystery?

When there's little else to legitimately criticize, go for something superficial.

MayBee said...

Surely the eyebrow shaving was drug-induced. We women know what changes an eyebrow tweak can make, and a single eyebrow shave is always going to be catastrophic.

Watching Mad Men on DVD last night, I saw a replay of Jacqueline giving a White House Tour when she was first lady. Talk about affectations! She had that upper class accent and spoke so slowly and so flatly that she sounded drugged.
We would never accept a first lady that acted like that (spoke like that!) today.
So Caroline really grew up in a completely different time, and her life is a time capsule. We think we adore her and her family, but we wouldn't adore them now as they were then.
How does she recover from that upbringing? How does she know who to be?

Seven Machos said...

I was wondering this exact same thing. I had never seen this woman before, until this brouhaha erupted, and I saw a picture on a respectable website.

My reactions were: (1) How is this ugly person the spawn of John Kennedy and his wife? (2) How is this person the sister of John Kennedy, Jr.?

We do not need John Kerry's female doppleganger in the Senate. One horsefaced and apparently not very bright elitist is enough.

reader_iam said...

totally OT:

Your hours have changed again, Althouse, at least so far as the blog goes--at least so far as it appears. Up later? Insomnia? A harkening (hearkening) back to that early 2006 first-sleep/second-sleep/the-space-between-the-two musing?

/totally OT

blake said...

It's kind of cool for us left-coast late-nighters.

When I used to chat back in the '90s, my hours were such that all my chat buddies were east coasters who got up early...

reader_iam said...

That wasn't a criticism, Blake. Not to say that you were saying you thought it was, but rather to--

clarify.

; )

reader_iam said...

Observation is not judgment.

reader_iam said...

Much less conclusion.

Jason said...

There's nothing to be catty about. She has a "salt of the earth" look about her. Reminds me of that Migrant Mother picture by Dorothea Lange.

T J Sawyer said...

Let's face it, the majority of people in the country outside of New York probably have no idea who Caroline Kennedy is - it has been 45 years for god's sake!!!!!

The only connection that they might make is that she is probably related to that Massachusetts guy, Ted Kennedy - and frankly, she looks pretty good in comparison.

chickenlittle said...

She has a "salt of the earth" look about her.

What in crenation are you talking about Jason?

Seven Machos said...

Caroline Kennedy: salt of the earth
Sarah Palin: white trash slut

blake said...

And judgment is not observation, reader!

reader_iam said...

Let's face it, the majority of people in the country outside of New York probably have no idea who Caroline Kennedy is -

Maybe so, but that statement's pretty hard to imagine as true among the actual consistently voting cohorts (that'd be older--not old: older--voting cohorts) and most particularly those who are true political activists and/or junkies (of any age).

I mean, really: Who would want to argue otherwise, and why? Unless they really DON'T have any idea, in which case ... hate to break it to you, but ... you're likely not all that plugged in, and certainly not as savvy as they think they are. (As for people who don't care enough to know or aren't even informed enough to know who such relatively recent historical [derivatively or not] figures as Caroline Kennedy are ... do we really think they're that influential? Do we want them to be?)

I am assuming the "45 years ago" refers to JFK's assassination. That rather ignores anything and everything that came after, up to and including even all those articles, documentaries, films, books & etc. following the progeny for decades after--including even the more, relatively speaking, "private" branch headed by Jackie.

Hell, even certain teen-agers I know remember coverage of John (-john's) death in '99, and watching/reading/whatever all the background stuff that came out of that.

reader_iam said...

Blake: Of course it isn't!!!.

Chip Ahoy said...

it's hard to believe the absolute dearth of women journalists obsessing over Caroline Kennedy's physical appearance, makeup choices, and hairstyles.

Simple. Because they've all been taught, and taken to heart, that if you can't say something nice about a person then one should not say anything at all.

* looks to the left *
* looks to the right *

Wut?

reader_iam said...

Blake would prefer that I shut up generally. (Maybe I will. Maybe I won't.) Or clarify to death.

Blake, you're more of a nag and schoolmarm than ever I have been. You just don't know it. Or are less honest about it.

Jason said...

chickenlittle,

I know she probably got her skin from lying around on the beach too much, not working outside. But if you saw her and didn't know her, might you not mistake her for a farmer's wife?

You know, she also kind of looks like Ann Coulter. Has anyone ever seen the two of them together at the same time?

reader_iam said...

At least Trooper used multiple languages (and still does, in a different sense).

chickenlittle said...

In a fit of pique that bordered on the bizarre, she shaved off one eyebrow. 'My face," she offered by way of explanation, 'is too symmetrical.'

Wait a minute...click...
so Caroline defaces her classical beauty to make a point...and faces critique? Sarah Palin runs as VP and is reviled as a beauty queen? Then, Caroline's looks are neglected on the front page? What kind of people are running show business for the ugly?

blake said...

Blake would prefer that I shut up generally. (Maybe I will. Maybe I won't.) Or clarify to death.

Honestly, reader, I have no idea what you're talking about.

But if I were to make an observation (without judgment) it would be that periodically, after hours, you start picking fights like someone who's had too much to drink.

Craig Landon said...

"(As for people who don't care enough to know or aren't even informed enough to know who such relatively recent historical [derivatively or not] figures as Caroline Kennedy are ... do we really think they're that influential? Do we want them to be?)"

"Informed" of who she is?, maybe you have a point.
"Care"? Not so much.

It might be declasse, but I moved in many circles of folk who were in high school in '63 who didn't obsess on the Kennedys. Have we missed something important?

Luckily for the nation, I'm not influential.

reader_iam said...

I'm already on record here at Althouse as opposing Caroline Kennedy's appointment as senator. I believe I even indicated that I found the notion offensive.

My comment was directly, precisely and only in response to this:

Let's face it, the majority of people in the country outside of New York probably have no idea who Caroline Kennedy is

I find dynastic privilege repugnant. On THAT point--my issue with dynasties--I've commented on more than a few occasions, in more than a couple of places.

This is not to say I would expect you, Craig, to know any of that. I don't. That's why I'm clarifying it. And my claims to having expressed objections to Caroline Kennedy's appointment, and to the concept of dynasties in American politics generally, are verifiable, not just smoke.

chickenlittle said...

You know, she also kind of looks like Ann Coulter. Has anyone ever seen the two of them together at the same time?

truther :)

Craig Landon said...

My comment was directly, precisely and only in response to this:

Let's face it, the majority of people in the country outside of New York probably have no idea who Caroline Kennedy is


I get that. But your parenthetical struck me as condescending to we who think we follow the important stuff adequately (and vote consistently).

Jamie said...

It is very simple. Kennedy supports abortion rights and Palin does not. Therefore, lennedy passes the litmus test for being an intellectual far beyond petty concerns about good looks, clothes, and lipstick. Palin is, of course, dumb as a plank for not wanting to kill children and is therefore obsessed only with Barbie doll concerns.

If Palin had been pro-choice, you would have heard some journalist cooing over her butt like Michelle obama's has been, but therewould not have been anywhere near the cruel dismissal of her like there actually was.

sg said...

The liberal media is much more subtle when they want to knife one of their own.

Check out the quite unflattering photo of Caroline in Karen Tumulty's "Caroline is clueless and unqualified but will probably get picked" article in TIME magazine:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1869208-1,00.html

Caroline looks MUCH older--and not in a good way.

Ralph said...

That's actually a pretty good photo of Caroline--less teeth. I wonder if Rosemary had the horsey look the Kennedy women get in middle age.

rightwingprof said...

"Why aren't we talking about how Caroline Kennedy looks?"

Because the Winter Classic is on. Hockey. Bimbo. The choice is clear.

bearbee said...

"Why aren't we talking about how Caroline Kennedy looks?"

Why are you provoking?

Boredom?

..(1) How is this ugly person the spawn of John Kennedy and his wife?..

Why so harsh?

What ever happened to "Beauty is only skin deep"?

Michael_H said...

Good morning everyone.

Oh my, don't we we all need a big bowl of Cheerios this morning?

John Stodder said...

"Why aren't we talking about how Caroline Kennedy looks?"

If you're "intellectually curious," you get a free pass.

My contribution: She has the facial features of a chain-smoker. Perhaps this is the basis of her bond with Obama.

HelenParr said...

Why aren't we talking about Caroline's looks?

Jackie already did.

And I see a strong resemblance to another who notoriously battled her weight: Sarah Ferguson

rdkraus said...

This is so easy, I'm assuming it's a trick question.

heywoot said...

I bet she ran well as a 3 year old.

PogoПОССУМ said...

Caroline is member of nomenklatura.

Is запрещенный forbidden to criticize party officials.

hdhouse said...

Seven Machos spewed...
"My reactions were: (1) How is this ugly person the spawn of John Kennedy and his wife? (2) How is this person the sister of John Kennedy, Jr.?"

And this, my fellow Americans, on the first working day of the New Year, is exactly why this country needs change. "spawned"? Seven Nachos has been a sick puppy for years...now he takes a turn down his twisted little road and for the worse.

what is wrong with people like this? Do they get up some days and just say "Nahhh...no human suit for me today...just some reptilian garb and I'll just leave 3 toed footprints in the snow?"

And to the "how can she be JK jr.'s sister?" Hmmmm. take a guess how that works.

Honest to God, I see a thread with this title and I can read the comments from some in my mind's eye.

hdhouse said...

and synova,

Caroline lives not far from where I spend summers now. In between that vast economic and social few miles are any number of local events, causes, charities, etc., to which she lends time, money and effort. And you have never heard of them which is the point I'm making.

MadisonMan said...

I had never seen this woman before,

Wow. Where have you been living?

I think part of the reason that there's been scant commentary on her looks: she's been around for 40+ years and everyone knows what she looks like. Everything has been said. Gov. Palin was a fresh face. Nothing had been said. Journalists and commenters like to be original in their commentary -- how original can you be with Caroline Kennedy?

martha said...

The press does not comment on Caroline's appearance because Caroline is accorded unearned respect....not quite Obama level adulation but the same sort of effect on reporting.

Caroline is not glamorous or eloquent. She is not Jackie, or JFK, or even Teddy. Caroline's brother John was gorgeous and if I remember correctly the press commented about his appearance all the time.

MadisonMan said...

By the way Helen, I think Sarah is absolutely gorgeous.

(Ferguson).

Pogo said...

"any number of local events, causes, charities, etc., to which she lends time, money and effort."
Beats paid employment any day.
Hey, nice work if you can get it, but I thought the Democrats were for the demos, and wanted to do away with inherited wealth and favored all that redistribution stuff.
Except for their own royalty, it appears.

"And you have never heard of them which is the point I'm making."
Oooooooooh SNAP!
Seven is a nobody, a nothing. Hdhouse mingles with the upper crust. Read and weep, ye plebeians; your betters are back to rule. You're gonna get egalitarian crap and yer gonna like it.

And while you proles are riding state-mandated public transport and check in for your monthly health weigh-ins, Caroline and hdhouse will be off to the Hamptons, raising awareness of some cause or other that afflicts the pathetic and tiny souls they deign to socialize about. But more importantly, you aren't invited.
Hah!

hdhouse said...

oh pogo, there you go again...silly silly silly little fella.

liberals aren't for the concentration of wealth. they are against the government sponsorship of the concentration of wealth. where have you been for 8 years? head up your ass?

John said...

"What with all the time spent this year by women and journalists and everyone else obsessing over Sarah Palin's looks and lipsticks and wardrobe, it's hard to believe the absolute dearth of women journalists obsessing over Caroline Kennedy's physical appearance, makeup choices, and hairstyles. Why are her highlights not front-page news?..."

Because Caroline is a) a Kennedy and; b) a Liberal. Sarah Palin is a) not a Kennedy and; b) not a Liberal.

PJ said...

It's just an Irish look. I've googled and she looked fine when she was younger. I don't know why the Kennedy women get the skeletor look as they get older --possibly because they refuse to put on 10 lbs? It's also the reason she looks like Ann Coulter.

HelenParr: You answered my question. God, what a horrible bitch of a mother. It makes me want to leap through time and smack her affected Stepford face right off.

Now look at Caroline. She needs to gain 10 pounds badly to look human again, and she'll never be able to do it. She's probably bulimic.

Her "you knows" are clearly some kind of leftover stoner tic completely ignored by Dear Old Mom in favor of keeping her weight down, so someone would "want to marry her." Jesus. And with all her money. It's like the stone age.

Well, that article has done the impossible. I now think she deserves the Senate Seat just to make up for having that self-esteem demolishing, controlling freak as a parent.

I never thought I'd say it, but Michelle Obama kicks Jackie's ass.

Pogo said...

"liberals aren't for the concentration of wealth. they are against the government sponsorship of the concentration of wealth."

You are entirely wrong. Instapundit points out Tyler Cowen's piece this morning which argues “We’re in a race to see whether politics will become the dominant means of allocating financial wealth in this country."

A comment correctly adds that the government already allocates 35% of GDP every year. Add in national health care and it will easily top 50%.

So, you are completely in error; government sponsorship of the concentration of wealth is their reason for existence, it's their intent, to consolidate political and economic power in the hands of the elite.

Pogo said...

Congressman Charles B. Rangel is the best evidence of my point.

knox said...

Well, a few things:

1. I'm glad Caroline hasn't had surgery. Any high-profile woman who eshews it at this point: good for them.

2. The article also mentions that Jackie nagged her for being fat. That made me a little sad; I have always sort of believed that Jackie was supposed to be a pretty good, protective mom to her kids. (Despite her other faults.)

3. I've googled and she looked fine when she was younger. As someone who is approaching 40, I'm not too fond of comments like this.

4. Why aren't we talking about her looks? Because the liberal politics of women in the media is monolithic, and they find her admirable, sympathetic and capable.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why? Because she looks like shit, especially compared to her Mother and Father as we look at them through the haze of romanticized memory.

As well bred people we don't want to bring it up because it might hurt her feelings, unless of course she were to be Sarah Palin and then all the rules are suspended.

In reality she does have the trademark Kennedy horse teeth. You would think with all her money, she could afford a decent dentist. And for God's sake eat something.

Also in reality, her Mother was as wall eyed as a horse and as someone else pointed out, spoke as if she were on some sort of drugs. Probably, stole the downers and pain pills from her husband in an attempt to put up with the shame and humiliation of having her husband pork anyone available.

William said...

Caroline's star turn has had a quick arc. She owned the stage when she appeared at the Democratic Convention. It was the first time I had ever seen her in public as a speaker and not as a mourner. Her gaunt, spare looks spoke to the tragedies that she had endured. After all this time, there is still a part of me that wants to believe in the good parts of the Camelot legacy. I thought that she represented it. The Immaculate Kennedy. I wanted to believe in her in the way that I want to believe that my youth was idealistic and not a succession of self indulgent poses.....Now the fancy passes by. I saw her interview with Dominic Carter on NY1. Dominic fairly beamed to be in the company of the great lady and asked her the softest possible questions in the softest possible way. It is hard to look evasive when someone asks you about your good qualities, but she pulled it off. Her umms and you knows sucked whatever life there was in the anemic cliches she mouthed. The severity of her face looked haggard rather than tragic. There was nothing in her presence to connect with and nothing in her words indicated any conviction or vision beyond the entitlement of birth.....I am sure Caroline is a fine person, good mother, public spirited citizen, and all the other good things we will read about her. She is not, however, a politician and not a Senator.

Freeman Hunt said...

People really don't think she's good looking? I think she is. She doesn't look dolled up, but that doesn't make someone unattractive. She has good bone structure and big eyes. I think she's pretty.

Hucbald said...

More importantly, she sways when she walks. Just watch the news clips. That kind of body language is indicative of one without confidence.

Anthony said...

Because Caroline is a) a Kennedy and; b) a Liberal. Sarah Palin is a) not a Kennedy and; b) not a Liberal.

Nothing more needs to be said. Although I would change the above slightly and remove the "Kennedy" part; being liberal is all you need.

The question you should be asking is why aren't conservative columnists going after her looks the way liberal columnists went after Palin's. Therein lies the real issue.

hdhouse said...

Pogo spewed forth on my statement that "liberals aren't for the concentration of wealth. they are against the government sponsorship of the concentration of wealth."

and POGO replied: "You are entirely wrong. Instapundit points out Tyler Cowen's piece this morning which argues “We’re in a race to see whether politics will become the dominant means of allocating financial wealth in this country."

and there we have it ladies and gentlemen. Pogo quoting and citing Instapundit...rather like the shitscooper following the herd of elephants I would say.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste or loose or its a terrible thing to loose one's mind...errrr I love speakin' Latin in latin america.

Ya'betcha....no more Ms. Palin at least.

jaed said...

She seems to me to be attractive. The look some are praising as "salt of the earth" and others are deriding is simply the way a woman looks who isn't wearing makeup, or isn't wearing much. (Other than very young women.) Her eyes are not outlined in dark colors to make them look larger and deeper, her cheeks are not subtly warmed with color to liven her skin and emphasize her bone structure, her lips are their natural pale color. We're so used to seeing sometimes-subtle but extensive makeup on all images of women - and on most of the women we encounter in various contexts, such as in an office - that this look seems a little strange.

What's more interesting to me is the question of why Caroline doesn't seem to wear makeup, or very little. I just googled for pictures of her, and even when she is wearing makeup - for formal occasions or on the tube - it seems fairly minimal. A little eyeliner and lip gloss seems to be her maximum; the only picture I saw where she's wearing eyeshadow or lipstick was taken on her wedding day.

Of course, a lot of women don't wear makeup or don't wear much, so this isn't unusual. But it is not the norm for someone in the public eye the way Caroline currently is.

From Inwood said...

Anthony

You say:

The question [Prof A] should be asking is why aren't conservative columnists going after her looks the way liberal columnists went after Palin's. Therein lies the real issue.

Spot on.

I find that the Conservative/ Libertarian commentators who do this personal attack stuff, & only Conservative/Libertarian commentators who do this personal attack stuff are quickly marginalized, à la the intellectual Ann Coulter. On the other hand, the Left hand, if you will, Liberal/Far out Left commentators who engage in this personal attack stuff are quickly lionized by the MSM & the chattering class, a la MoDo, Gail Collins, Tom Friedman, & the whole bunch sniggering at Palin.

And, guess what? Conservative/Libertarian commentators who did this personal attack stuff on Palin were quickly lionized by the MSM & the chattering class.

So in any gathering, if I say that "Liberal Pol X said Y" & then I’m challenged, if I quote someone like Ann I’m told that she’s a Terrible Person, beyond the pale, because she engages in the personal & QED, I haven’t proven the correctness of my statement. Even so-called moderates tend to agree to make themselves look, well moderate. Funny, they never question the bona fides of nasty, mean Liberals, who are far less witty, intelligent, and intellectual than Ann. But I digress.

It’s the politics of personal destruction which means that a Conservative/ Libertarian commentator has to be as intellectual as Bill Buckley & as careful with his facts as Rush Limbaugh & as handsome/beautiful as Venus or Adonis.

And Liberals who do ad hominem attacks on Conservatives are considered to be Oscar Wildes. Even if they repeat their comparisons, as they do & even if their comparisons are kindergarten-ish

BTW, Pogo, in addition to his undesirable, unspeakable character defects, Charlie Rangel is an inarticulate mumbler in his public appearances, but such comments are apparently racist & off limits.

And no, I don’t know why the white (is that racist?) gloves are off for poor Caroline.

BTW II, Rumor has it that CK is so dense that she was going to change “Schlossberg” to “Mountjoy” because that sounded nice.

[No lessons on translation, please. Ich verstehe. Schloss (Shloß) = Castle; it's a joke for Irish-Americans like myself.]

hdhouse said...

and Inward burped something about "& as careful with his facts as Rush Limbaugh"


Pogo has an equal.

hdhouse said...

Jamie said..."Palin is, of course, dumb as a plank for not wanting to kill children and is therefore obsessed only with Barbie doll concerns."

Actually Jamie, Ms. Palin is dumb as a plank because she is dumb as a plank. put antlers on kids and she would fire away and as to the Barbie Doll concerns...she probably has Ken out on guard duty watching for the Siberian invasion.

Ya'Betcha!

Ralph said...

I watched the whole Jackie video on CSPAN's White House week recently. After I got used to her voice, I realized she was perfectly fluent and very knowledgeable. Didn't sound like she was reading cue cards; wonder if they took multiple takes?
You could see she was bow-legged from riding too much (daddy issues).

madman said...

I have to confess I like her looks. Obviously we won't hear much about her looks unlike Sarah Palin's. Let's face it the media in this country is just that disastrous.
I have always been attracted to long thin and as white as snow like face in a woman. I am probably the only man in the country who prefers Kennedy's look over Palin's. Kennedy just has this honest, somewhat sad and mysterious look in her face. That may be the reason I am attracted to her looks. It just tells me that there's so much I don't know about her and so much she's trying to hide. Palin not so much. She's just this cheery bubbly type. I have never been attracted to that perpetual happy types although I am much more closer to Palin politically.