February 26, 2016

"What does this headline mean?"


Without reading the article, I'm going to assume it means conservative women are not really women. They should be counted as men.

Okay, here's the article. Let's see. The author, Julie Baird, is an Australian journalist who worked at Newsweek during the 2008 presidential campaign. At one point they were doing a cover, using a photo of Sarah Palin and the close-up crop revealed "some untended lip and eyebrow hair." They ran it because they don't do retouching, and because they'd certainly show a male candidate's closeup facial flaws. Newsweek was accused of bias. It was “mortifying,” “a clear slap in the face.”

The NYT doesn't show the cover, annoyingly enough. Here it is:



I don't think Newsweek covers normally crop in that close, but Baird insists: "The truth was, we’d portrayed Ms. Palin just the way we did male candidates." But aside from the cropping, the lighting was harsh, and that was precisely because the photoshoot was set up by technicians who did not know who McCain's running mate was going to be, so they had "man lighting," which is harsher than the "female lighting" they would have used if they'd known they'd be photographing a woman. And we're told that the close-up crop is something that's normally done to men and not women:
“Close-up photos of men are used all the time without being touched up — men, particularly our political leaders, are expected to have lines and wrinkles. In fact, the cragginess of a man’s face is thought to express character.”
Baird prods us to like comparable photographs of women: "Why are male blemishes signs of authority while women’s are signs of shame?" And, beyond that, why do we even regard female facial hair as a bad thing? Baird presents three examples, all from Victorian literature, portraying a women's mustache in a not completely negative light, e.g.:
In Victoria Cross’s 1903 novel “Six Chapters of a Man’s Life,” the heroine has a mustache “so perceptible that you can see it all across the room.” The male narrator is charmed: “It would spoil most women I know, but it doesn’t seem to spoil her.”
Baird asks:
Why do we consider a mere hint of the hirsute such a disgrace for women when men can mooch about our cities with goatees, mutton-chop whiskers, navel-skimming beards and even “man buns” with little comment? We think of ourselves as liberated, yet it is still considered embarrassing and shameful for a woman’s upper lip to be imperfectly depilated.
So my guess was wrong. Baird didn't say conservative women aren't real women. She said liberate yourself, ladies. Be out and proud with that hair.

Flow it, show it, long as God can grow it....

70 comments:

David Begley said...

The media can only kill Palin once. Lay off. And she's not relevant any more.

Hagar said...

Madam, you need to stop reading The NYT.

Limited blogger said...

Flogging the Donald not working, haul out the old war horse.

Curious George said...

They would never do that to Hillary.

Thankfully.

Hagar said...

It is not good for you.

tim in vermont said...

They didn't attack Palin because they are doing a left handed defense of Hillary.

SGT Ted said...

"Why are male blemishes signs of authority while women’s are signs of shame?"

Why does Baird project that onto others?

Quite frankly, facial hair on women is generally not attractive. Smooth legs are more attractive for most as well. It is what it is and Baird ought not to be trying to shame others into complying with her ideals of beauty.

There's a reason the Bearded Lady is in the circus and not on the cover of Vogue. Why does she pretend to be ignorant of this? It has nothing to do with "shame".


Because that's all this shit really is: an attempt to SHAME others that don't find hirsute women attractive. Shut up, lady, you aren't in charge of other peoples sexuality.

Ann Althouse said...

"Madam, you need to stop reading The NYT."

1. The post clearly shows that what I was reading was Sam Stein's Twitter feed, but...

2. The NYT is the #1 source of raw material for this blog. Haven't you noticed by now that much if not most of my blogging riffs on things I DISAGREE with. I'm looking for stimulating material and I am stimulated by things that are wrong or missing something or unfairly stated. I can't imagine what your argument is other than that you like to read things you agree with. But that is so not this blog. You're a longtime commenter, so do you like this blog? Or do you read what you don't like... for stimulation. In which case, why would you tell me not to read the NYT.

Michael K said...

I don't see the "mustache."

Sarah Palin is a good looking woman even at 50. Hillary was not too bad when she was younger and had all the aid of the cosmetic industry. Now she is a fat old hag.

Palin was always the threat of an attractive conservative woman. Now she has gone and endorsed Trump so the cannons must be rolled out again. This is the first shot of the general election.

Bob said...

Sarah Palin is a beautiful woman.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm just now reading "It is not good for you."

I think it is, so you will have to explain.

DrMaturin said...

For some reason the first thing I thought of when seeing the headline was Frida Kahlo.

David said...

"She's one of the folks (and that's the problem.)"

The "folks" are getting their revenge this year.

EDH said...

Isn't that NYT image intended to invoke Frida Kahlo's "side" mustache?

robinintn said...

There's no mustache or extra eyebrow hair in that photo, but the purpose of the article is for people to read the headline and smirk to themselves about how superior they are to that trashy Sarah Palin.

BDNYC said...

Where's Hillary's closeup? Or would that be sexist?

sydney said...

I am not seeing the facial hair in that Newsweek photo. She looks like her beautiful self.

Curious George said...

"BDNYC said...
Where's Hillary's closeup? Or would that be sexist?"

A close up of Medusa would do less harm.

mccullough said...

Why did Hillary get so fat? Is she taking a lot of medications?

Her outfits look like the world's most elaborate pairs of pajamas.

khesanh0802 said...

A Hillary close-up would frighten the children!

Tank said...

There are 3 billion women in the world. How did Sarah Palin get into this? And is she receiving a fee for bringing in most of the traffic?

Palin has some good genes. Attractive. Athletic. Carved out a great life for herself in politics, business and family, including five kids (who seem to be regressing toward the mean). Attractive hunky husband. Oh, conservative; thus the apparently never ending hatred toward her.

dbp said...

Baird is being disingenuous in two ways:

First, the criticism of the Newsweek cover was not about facial hair--it was because Palin was quite literally presented in the worst possible light.

Second, she segues into the horrible unfairness of women being judged differently than men. How can the magazine be blamed for the unfairness of life?

Added: The cover Althouse dug-up was taken two months after the identity of the VP was known, so at that point the harsh lighting can only be considered intentional.

Mac McConnell said...

"A Hillary close-up would frighten the children!"

And grown-ups, but human Shar-Peis do that.

Will said...

So as recently as 2008 a major USA newsmagazine was just assuming the VP would be a man and planned their photo shoot and "harsh lighting" accordingly…

Looks like Newsweek had the soft bigotry of low expectations and I am glad to see them joining the modern age.

You've come a long way, baby.

Mac McConnell said...

Date an Australian woman, they're furry.

Fen said...

Baird insists: "The truth was, we’d portrayed Ms. Palin just the way we did male candidates."

Bullshit. You use pics of Hillary that are 10 years out of date. If someone did this to Hillary, you would present your alternative view about how its sexism.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Why do we consider a mere hint of the hirsute such a disgrace for women when men can mooch about our cities with goatees, mutton-chop whiskers, navel-skimming beards and even “man buns” with little comment?

When was the last time that a serious male presidential candidate had even a nice, neat, well-groomed beard or mustache, let alone a goatee, a navel-skimming beard or “man buns”?

And men with mutton=chop whiskers are unworthy of comment.

William said...

Sarah Palin is good looking. When you see an unflattering or harsh photo of her, it's because the editors want you to see such a photo. The picture is more revelatory of the editor's biases than of Palin's imperfections and so is the writer's explanation of the photo........It's very rare that you don't see a picture of Donald Trump without a snarl on his face.

ironrailsironweights said...

She's completely hairless somewhere else. God damn it.

Peter

Sebastian said...

Hypothesis: a comparison of a sample of candidate media pictures and their actual physical attractiveness would show that the disparity is greater for conservatives, female and male, than for progressives.

Freeman Hunt said...

Am I blind? I don't see a mustache on Palin, even upon zooming. Is it there or is it fun to pretend that she had one?

Michael K said...

"I don't see a mustache on Palin,"

Me neither. The power of suggestion.

Hagar said...

When you find yourself taking these people seriously, it is time to get up and go for a nice long walk in the fresh air.

MathMom said...

Gotta say, if Palin can look this perfect in harsh light, it just underscores how naturally beautiful she is.

I agree with Freeman Hunt. I clicked and enlarged, am at a loss to find a flaw anywhere. Lots of people would pay big bucks to be fixed to look as good as Palin looks, even in harsh light.

Chris N said...

Perhaps many people reading Newsweek are older; currently waiting to see the Opthalmologist.

Chris N said...

I'll give you a dollar for that Newsweek ya got there.

Darrell said...

Bullshit. The lighting is set up on the day of the photoshoot. And they didn't show the picture because there is no stray facial hair to be found. The words are the smear.

Darrell said...

The NYT: Cum on Face in Public

Bill Peschel said...

Can't see a moustache, either, even after clicking on the photo.

And I don't think the photo's unflattering or the lighting too harsh, either. I'm sure women have been presented more flatteringly. I remember reading Penthouse. They were heavy into smoky lenses.

If you want to look at unflattering photos, remember the O.J. photo on the cover of Time about the time of the trial? It was his mug shot. Newsweek ran it straight; Time darkened his skin. The side-by-side comparison is d**ning.

Simon said...

I remember this cover and the flap, and I thought it was all a lot of fuss about nothing—a distraction from the hit-piece for which it was a cover. Newsweek ran a picture of her that isn't airbrushed; Time did something similar. You could see pores! And everything! My goodness, so what? Palin was a gorgeous woman in her forties, and that's what the picture showed. I thought (and still think) it's a beautiful picture.

MadisonMan said...

I don't see a mustache either.

I guess the Times couldn't call her out for a Unibrow, because that stretches even more of the imagination, so they invented a mustache.

jaydub said...

Your readers are off their game today. This is not about Palin. The old Newsweek photo is just a convenient way to segue into battle space prep for the battle ax. This is about having a vehicle to further the propostion that it is grossly unfair to look unkindly on an old, fat, wrinkled woman candidate because, supposedly, no one would ever look that way at a male candidate. What's remarkable about this current NYT article is the chutzpah of a writer dredging up an article she helped develop 8 years ago to try to sully a woman candidate's appearance, then cite it as an example of how female candidates should not be treated.

Michael said...

But Baird, of course, ignores the key question: would Newsweek have made the same choices if the woman in question had been a Democrat? Then, I think, using "man lighting" and close cropping would have been somehow viewed as discriminatory and they would have found an air brush somewhere.

Al said...

"The truth was, we’d portrayed Ms. Palin just the way we did male [Republican] candidates."

Fixed.

Darrell said...

Michelle Obama doesn't have a hair on her head longer than a quarter of an inch or so. She's worn wigs in public ever since Barack was in the Illinois House, running for the US Senate. So all the stories about how beautiful her hair is and how brave it was to go with Egyptian Bangs and all the rest was just a big sack of propaganda.

tim maguire said...

Baird misses an important point. The male equivalent of facial hair on women is not facial hair on men, it is hips and breasts on men. Try doing a close-up of a man in need of a bra and then wonder why people don't see that person as a natural leader. See how far it gets you.

Bay Area Guy said...

These Leftwing women of the NYTimes are just wacked. No wonder why they are in therapy so long. How female facial hair can possibly make a story, with a gratuitous slap at Sarah Palin is mystifying.

How about a NYTimes expose into HIllary's ugly facial hair problems? Well, that would be sexist.

Jane the Actuary said...

Moustache on Palin? No. But it's a good reminder that I'm overdue on getting out the Nair. It's especially a pain that, since I hit 40, I've got chin hairs to worry about, too.

Ambrose said...

It is cropped closer than they would do for someone they like - but it is a perfectly fine picture of an attractive woman.

ironrailsironweights said...

When was the last time that a serious male presidential candidate had even a nice, neat, well-groomed beard or mustache, let alone a goatee, a navel-skimming beard or “man buns”?

Thomas E. Dewey, who didn't defeat Truman in 1948, had a thin mustache. The last candidate with a full beard was Charles Evan Hughes, who lost to Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

Peter

ironrailsironweights said...

But it's a good reminder that I'm overdue on getting out the Nair.

Now, you're not going to use it in a ... bad place, are you?

Peter

kjbe said...

I'm no fan of Palin, but she looks great in this picture. What I find interesting is A's projection of the article before reading.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I too see no mustache or excess eyebrow hair. In fact, considering the lighting and the extreme close up, she still looks pretty good.

As for women and hair. The artist Frida Kahlo
https://lisawallerrogers.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/frida-kahlo-frida-kahlo-172270_845_1181.jpg

was portrayed in a movie by Salma Hayek in which Salma had nude scenes (URL does not lead to that)

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oHjtFh4se7s/UAW3CE29AxI/AAAAAAAAB44/L9-yudJGhbM/s1600/Frida-2002-movie-poster.jpeg

And people still stayed away in droves.

Chuck said...

I figured out your problem, Professor. It's your subscription to the New York Times. You need the Wall Street Journal.

jelink said...

Burke Breathed, of "Bloom County" fame, once prepared for battle with hirsute feminists by advising, "Set your phasers on Shave".

John Henry said...

Blogger David Begley said...

The media can only kill Palin once. Lay off. And she's not relevant any more.

No David, not even once, though not for lack of trying. I am amazed at how irrelevant she is yet folks like you complain about her on a daily basis. For a woman who is supposed to be so stupid, she occupies an awful lot of your head.

Perhaps a Trump-Palin ticket. YEAH!!!! I'd even donate money to that one.

John Henry

John Henry said...

I just barely see the mustache in that picture of Palin. If I had not been told to look for it, I never would have seen it at all.

I don't really see the cover as that horrible. They certainly could have made it a lot worse. OTOH, Sarah Palin is a very good looking woman naturally and it would be hard to make her look bad.

John Henry

John Henry said...

Blogger Jane the Actuary said...

I've got chin hairs to worry about, too.


Just as long as there is no wart on the end of your nose.

John Henry

Darrell said...

I just barely see the mustache. . .

Have you tried cleaning your screen? There is nothing in the picture to see.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

What does this headline mean? you ask.

It means the New York Times has reached the bottom of the barrel of things to write about.

mikee said...

Newsweek no longer exists, right? Because nobody wanted to read it anymore, and nobody advertised in it anymore, right?

Gosh, I wonder what they did that caused an entire country to avoid their magazine.

It couldn't be the ridiculously one sided, partisan, biased, uninformed reporting, even going so far as to publish unflattering photos of candidates the Newsweek staff opposes, could it? Nah, never mind. I bet it is the incredible lack of reading ability of the nation's Republicans, whose sexist, racist behavior caused them to avoid Newsweek's proud declarations of the truth. Right?

Eric said...

Yes, magazines do extreme closeup crops on men, too. When they're trying to portray the figure as scary.

Dave in Tucson said...

Coincidentally. Unintentionally. Not on purpose. Unexpectedly.

These are "tell" words for the liberal media; it means they are lying.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Don't, and say you did. There are enough transgender/crossovers to entertain and fulfill the Newsweek fetish.

As for God, He said to strive, not submit, indulge, etc.

Sarah Palin strives. Perhaps Julie Baird is jealous.

n.n said...

The folks are flyover men, women, and children; serfs trapped in urban ghettos; and unpretentious members of the upper class.

Howard Nelson said...

And how about her brass balls which crush those who tread our polluted political halls?

Freeman Hunt said...

So why would a writer at the NYT try to make people think Palin had a mustache in that picture? Or why would the writer remember it that way?

Rhetorical questions, of course.

Daniel Jackson said...

The picture sucks. The crop is silly and the lighting is not simply harsh, it lacks professionalism. A single key light upper right was used with a dish light fill lower right resulting in a very odd key light in the single eye. Don't really care about man/woman light (head shots of executives use a strong light all the time but it is usually modified to prevent burnouts like the center of the cheek in this picture.

Interestingly, the key lights occupy the center line of this shot. Why was not the entire portrait face used? Perhaps there was too much drama with the full face.

On the other hand, centering the eye on the half line gives Ms Palin a cyclopean look--a single eye perhaps suggesting a narrow mind. In fact, the key light pattern looks like the famous wink.

I would imagine the full portrait shot is excellent and probably too executive looking for Newsweek.

Char Char Binks said...

Baird insists: '... the lighting was harsh, and that was precisely because the photoshoot was set up by technicians who did not know who McCain's running mate was going to be, so they had "man lighting,"...'.

It was force majeuere. They didn't know McCain was going to pick a woman until it was too late to find someone who knew how to operate a dimmer switch.

Anyway, nearly all women have mustaches, however slight (or not so slight). I'm not a fan of hairy women, but I suppose it is reality.