July 2, 2022

"Everything — hair, makeup, jewelry, wardrobe and nail care — seemed to communicate calm, control and, especially, neutrality...."

"[Cassidy Hutchinson] wore minimally visible makeup — what appeared to be light bronzer, but no discernible colors of lipstick or eye shadow.... Social media teems with thousands of tutorials on 'reshaping one’s face' with contouring makeup, how to make eyes look bigger, noses smaller, skin smoother. The overall messages are clear but contradictory: 'become an artist of the self,' 'make yourself beautiful' and 'do it imperceptibly.' It’s a tall order — time-consuming, hard to ignore and subject to wide interpretation. And it’s especially hard for women in politics.... Many of the (often young and attractive) women of the Trump administration favored an overt, high-glam style, and we saw a lot of very long hair, dramatic false eyelashes, sheath dresses and stiletto pumps — a 'beauty pageant' vibe said to be favored by the former president.... At the hearing, Ms. Hutchinson’s image was distinctly different from that aesthetic. She dressed as if ready to blend into the corridors of power, to do her job, to convey depth over surface (although she was noticeably telegenic)..... And the nation is unlikely to forget the day Cassidy Hutchinson, with her precise, low-key style, told her disturbing story."

From "Muted Tones Spoke Loud and Clear/At a surprise session of the Jan. 6 hearings, Cassidy Hutchinson calibrated her appearance to keep us listening" by Rhonda Garelick (NYT).

I'm laughing at the happenstance of seeing "surprise" again so soon after going on about the tedium of surprise. But I'm blogging this piece because I'd blogged, just yesterday, about Cassidy Hutchinson's makeup: She seems to be wearing dark foundation on her face that doesn't match her skin tone. I'm saying that based on the light pink color of her hand, which we keep seeing held up next to her face, because that's the appropriately evocative taking-the-oath position.

But the Times writer, Garelick, is eager to extol the neutrality of Cassidy's look. It bolsters her credibility, and that's why it's the longstanding and obvious advice given to witnesses. But come on. I have a problem with Garelick's credibility. She describes the foundation as "what appeared to be light bronzer." But the photograph accompanying that text makes my point quite clearly:

 

I don't know what women hope to achieve by slathering on nonmatching foundation. Are they influenced by the bad makeup they see in social media? Well, Trump does the same thing!

 

Part of the problem is just not bothering to put makeup on one's hands and only caring about the face (and maybe the neck). So the hands are there to tell the tale. The real question is why do people think their face needs to be a different color? Is it a fear of looking "washed out" or sickly or weak (indoorsy)?

It's not just tone (dark/light). It's also hue — that is, the place on the color wheel. In those little pictures, you can see that both Trump and Hutchinson have a natural pink hue and they seem to be using makeup (or tanner) to move away from it. Trump famously lunges toward orange. Hutchinson going for something more neutral that most of us would call brown, but we might say olive. What is this rejection of pink? Too feminine? Weak? What is the problem to be solved with the expungement of pink?

There's a word for the fear of pink: Rhodophobia.

61 comments:

gilbar said...

i wonder how long it took her makeup artists to get her ready?
i wonder how much they got paid?

gilbar has a cousin that works in the movie industry as a makeup artist.. she gets paid GOOD Money
(and gets film credit!)

Michael said...

She is a low level functionary pretending to be in the in group. Sad, really, that she would be taken seriously by any adult. She was overhearing gossip. No one ever asked her opinion on any matter of state. Not once.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

The NYT is trying to put lipstick on a pig. Hutchinson's testimony was all lies. Saying how pretty she and calm she was is like slathering a thick coat of mud on wallboard when the best way of finishing wallboard is thin coats (Our new house's wallboard is being finished this week and next).

The Lie-Stream Media is hailing Hutchinson and Lizzie Cheney as courageous individuals for standing up to Ogre-in-Chief Donald Trump, who eats Democrats for breakfast. They say that Cheney is the ideal Republican and she needs to take back the Republican Party from the Trumpinistas. The grassroot Republicans don't agree, and Cheney will be soon out on her ass, after the Wyoming primary.

Temujin said...

Is there nothing real about people in politics? Why wouldn't someone be able to look credible, or run for office using their actual skin color? It's just weird that some think they are getting away with it. John Boehner famously looked like a cadaver, yet I have to assume he thought (and thinks) he looks great.

Loved this line: "And the nation is unlikely to forget the day Cassidy Hutchinson, with her precise, low-key style, told her disturbing story."

Who dat?

Wince said...

by Rhonda Garelick (NYT).

Althouse said...
There's a word for the fear of pink: Rhodophobia.

"Is there a little similarity there? Whoa, I think there is."

Humperdink said...

Unlike blindingly bronze eye shadow worn by the new Bribe-em spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre.

Achilles said...

It is part of the blue orange effect. Scenes that contrast blue and orange are visually appealing. Pink white skin does not have a corresponding color matching affect and it looks unappealing. You look older and your wrinkles show up.

The best way to see this is to look at movie advertisements. Over 80% use blue orange.

The reason politicians do this is because it works.

It works mostly because of voters who vote based on emotional cues they generate internally and they are not willing to assess results for themselves or take responsibility for applying their perceptions. There are millions of people out there who still stupidly consume the mass media and let the media determine how they think rather than actually look at the results of policies.

There are a lot of people on the left and right that want Trump gone not because of the results of his administration, but because the media threw a fit.

They use makeup in response to this surface level judgement and it works.



Owen said...

I expect she will soon find work peddling her own line of cosmetics. Cosmetics are there to fool the viewer. How apposite.

EAB said...

Minimally visible makeup? That’s pure bull. The fact her eye makeup and lipstick are neutral colors doesn’t disguise she’s wearing a boatload of makeup. Thick foundation, bronzer, various colors of eyeshadow, and, yes, false eyelashes. Unknown if it’s for the appearance or cameras, or if it’s her usual makeup. My guess is it’s a version of her usual makeup (to cover some imperfect skin.) Amped up for cameras.

Notice the sexism in the article. Women…you want to blend into the halls of power and appear competent? Wear this kind of makeup instead of more glam. Blend in with the men (except Trump). Visible makeup implies too feminine, thus incompetence.

Spiros said...

Women use makeup to look more attractive because attractive people are treated more favorably in every area of life, from dating to jobs to criminal trials to whatever this thing is.

Scott Patton said...

"seemed to communicate calm, control and, especially, neutrality...."
and...
the wisdom of wearing gloves when gardening.

"Trump and Hutchinson have a natural pink hue and they seem to be using makeup (or tanner) to move away from it." Unfortunate, because a pinkish hue is very desirable.

Wa St Blogger said...

(and gets film credit!)

It seems everyone gets film credit. I be the kid who stocks the paper cups people use to drink water while on set gets film credit.

LilyBart said...

Who would write such garbage? You have the attention of the NYT readers, and THIS is what you write? Superficial, mean-girl garbage.

dbp said...

"And the nation is unlikely to forget the day Cassidy Hutchinson, with her precise, low-key style, told her disturbing story."

High, if unintentional humor: This is likely to be more of a 15 minutes of fame thing. The story is only slightly disturbing, if you think it's true--which is the case for people who already think Trump is literally Hitler. Everyone else has either tuned-out or assumes correctly that it's the usual BS, which vanishes in a puff of smoke as soon as it touches the light of day.

Howard said...

She's the hearsay harridan of hysterical heresy.

jim5301 said...

She needed some fairly heavy foundation to conceal the 666 mark on her forehead. And her hand is very white because she had to scrub off her tattoo of a little boy with an erect penis.

Achilles said...

LilyBart said...
Who would write such garbage? You have the attention of the NYT readers, and THIS is what you write? Superficial, mean-girl garbage.

The NYTs knows it’s readers.

The people who read this publication are stupid and want to be lied to.

The people who read the NYTs want to avoid thinking about he results of their actions and will look for any justification to do so.

Static Ping said...

People see what they want to see.

Ann Althouse said...

Rhonda is a Welsh name that means "noisy one."

The name Rhoda means "rose."

Carol said...

Was the sexless professional effect meant to neutralize any questions about how she got so far so fast?

If you know what I mean.

Richard Aubrey said...

For caucs, a couple of fifteen minute walks in daylight will provide all the natural color needed unless you're freaked out about natural color.
Up north, shoveling snow even in the dark with a stiff wind blowing will give you some color.

Tactically, however, the endless permutations of promised advantages provide for a hugely profitable industry.

Yancey Ward said...

It is impossible to parody that essay- it is simply laughable all on its own merits. Garelick is a clown, and is simply oblvious to this.

bentoak said...

I'm trying to imagine the same high level of interest for an older, ugly man offering the same second-hand testimony. But I doubt it. She's a young, pretty woman, whose name is Cassidy. She even has a feminissima name. There is a Pretty Privilege here.

MountainMan said...

Did the Dems set up a GoFundMe for Miss Hutchinson? Is the money rolling in yet?

Yancey Ward said...

And I will write it again- the entire hearing is a show-business presentation- the chances that Hutchinson prepared her own make-up is essentially zero. The committee has a professional make-up artist do this for the witnesses and the committee members, too.

Joe Smith said...

Peggy goes all-in on the 'Brave woman' trope in today's 'WSJ.'

She (Peggy) is past her sell-by date...

hombre said...

Theatrical makeup for political theater.

Unfortunately, lookin' good did not help her distinguish between "the Beast" and an SUV, did not make "sounded like" (or whatever) accurate replays of actual conversations, did not make hearsay reliable, etc.

Even if true, her story doesn't establish that Trump's motivation for going to the Capitol was unlawful.

Her stuff was good enough for Cheney, the Dems and the mediaswine however. It is surprising that Andy McCarthy, formerly the last remnant of sanity at National Review, thought her testimony was significant. It wasn't.

Joe Smith said...

Heard it from a friend who

Heard it from a friend who

Heard it from another you've been messin' around...

Kevin said...

The people who read this publication are stupid and want to be lied to.

I would say they need to believe.

And when their faith is shaken by real-world events, they need to turn back to scripture to find solace.

Scott Patton said...

Temujin said... at 8:47

"Loved this line: "And the nation is unlikely to forget the day Cassidy Hutchinson, with her precise, low-key style, told her disturbing story."

Who dat?"

Should read: ..."And readers of The Nation are unlikely to forget "...

William said...

Attractive women will go to a lot of time and trouble to appear a shade more attractive. I think it's kind of foolish, but maybe they know something I don't. At any rate, she is far more attractive than Col. Vinkman. I think she has even less credibility, but there's no denying she's easier on the eyes. Vinkman inspired an impeachment. Perhaps she'll inspire a criminal indictment. When you're appealing to the superficial, it helps to use a good looking spokesperson.

Tom T. said...

Orange woman bad!

Bender said...

IN WHICH the New York Times actually diminishes Cassidy Hutchinson with its sexist focus on her makeup and dress.

Rabel said...

She's quite frumpy in most other photographs and a bit chubbier too.

Her appearance was, as others have said, the result of a professional make-up artist hired by the Hollywood showrunner who is staging this farce. Any impressions formed based on her appearance were the reactions planned for.

Michael K said...

The whole thing, including thick makeup, was her audition for the TV job she craves. She has one quality that will help in her TV job. She lies with a straight face. Kind of like Blasey Ford but without the tears or the little girl voice.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

She's the hearsay harridan of hysterical heresy.

Howard for the win on alliteration!

Iman said...

This had my Bullshit Detector on full alert status.

Iman said...

It’s all pink inside, Achilles.

A sexist would say…

Iman said...

I see Margot Kidder in “Sisters” when I see this woman.

Bob Boyd said...

Re the picture of Trump, whenever he's out in the sun he has a golf glove on that hand.

walter said...

I appreciate the femaile journalist being allowed to expand on tis important consideration as opposed to their usual insertion of seemingly irrelevant aesthetic observations. Really gets some room to roam.
Bravo.

Doug Hasler said...

Why, oh why would the NYT and our comments to the article find so much meaning in a woman's makeup? Better that we ask why Nancy Pelosi refused to allow GOP leadership to make their own appointments to this enterprise. Hutchinson's statements would have been more meaningful had they been subject to probing questions from members representative of the Republican Caucus.

mikee said...

Didn't see the testimony or read about it until Althouse gave her take on it. Thus I am left with the certainty that her testimony was presented in a biased and propagandistic manner despite near-instant refutation by those she accused or described. And that just about settles that, as now I don't have to care about her, her makeup, her story, or her moment of celebrity tattling any more ever again.

You want my attention to TV testimony, get me the equivalent of Ollie North's secretary, Fawn Hall.

Bob Boyd said...

The NYT telling us to focus on how Hutchinson's face is made up rather than on how her story is made up.

R C Belaire said...

Quite disappointed with today's Ramirez cartoon. He seems to believe Ms. Cassidy. Sad.

Buckwheathikes said...

Where's your "cruel neutrality" tag on this post?'

Garelick sounds like Zapp Brannigan, waxing poetic.

Richard Dolan said...

Finally, there is something interesting happening at J6 that's worth talking about. Make-up!

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Dick van Dyke, who will (we hope) turn 100 in about three and a half years, married his favorite makeup artist ten years ago. She is 50. Apparently he needed makeup for public appearances. When I google "makeup for men going on TV," there is nothing about tone or hue: foundation matching one's own skin to obscure imperfections, make them less obvious; powder to eliminate shine. I worked for a guy who was somewhat known for his "orange" tan in all seasons; perhaps from tanning salons. When photos circulated of him and his wife, there was mockery about "Ken and Barbie." Too phony.

GrapeApe said...

Perfect, Bob Boyd.

That make up did nothing other than make her look like a preening pea hen. Or a turkey. Leaning toward the latter.

Robert Cook said...

"I would say they need to believe."

This can be said of many (if not most) people, Trump's adherents not least among the many.

Michael said...

"And the nation is unlikely to forget the day Cassidy Hutchinson, with her precise, low-key style, told her disturbing story."

The nation has forgotten it already, despite the best efforts of the NYT, WaPo, etc.

pj said...

What makes your observation really delicious is that, technically, Hutchinson and Trump have the SAME hue (well, close enough). The Value and, more importantly, the context are just different. This discussion of brown kind of blew my mind the first time I saw it. It seems intuitively obvious, but you somehow never do intuit it.

Lurker21 said...

Is "style" writing inherently subjective? Or is it rather that in the world of fashion and makeup everything is pose and disguise and affectation and nothing is real? Or is it just that the newspapers move employees who can't write about anything else to the style pages?

I don't want to hear about how "stunning" and "brave" somebody is when they're lying, and please, if you can't write that somebody you agree with is wearing a drugstore full of cosmetics on their face, then don't write anything at all.

Michael K said...

I glanced at Peggy Noonan's creed today. She is convinced by the young liar that it is all true. Peggy has had a bad case of TDS for years. What is interesting is that she seems to have acquired a fan club of TDS sufferers. The comments to her column is almost all TDS. I wonder how many readers have stopped reading her ?

Bruce Hayden said...

@Loyd:

Must have been about 20 years ago. We ran into one of the local (PHX) news anchors in one of the clubs around town. He asked my (now) partner out. She responded that she didn’t date guys who wore more makeup than she does. She ran into his weatherman a couple weeks later, and her put down had been THE topic of discussion/gossip around their office the last couple weeks. Everyone thought it hilarious. He had been wearing quite a bit of makeup that night. His problem was that being in front of those lights 5 days a week aged his skin. He’s still on the air 20 years down the road, after a couple of face lifts. My partner noticed early on, growing up, and going to college, in Las Vegas, that movie and TV stars invariably had old looking skin from the lights, and wore a lot of makeup as a result. I should qualify that - white actors and actresses did, while black ones (like Bill Cosby, whom she became friends with) aged much better in front of the lights. What was almost shocking is how much makeup was used. She remembers meeting actors in private situations, who had current series, who looked very different than on screen. A 40 year old may look 60 without his makeup.

She modeled her way through college. It was far more lucrative than flipping burgers - lucrative enough that she had bought her first house by graduation. She was normally shy, so thought that would be the worst part of the job. Nope. It was the makeup. It didn’t feel good, and was a major pain to remove. She claims that there were times when it took longer to remove the makeup, than for the photo shoots themselves. Most models have to have asymmetries removed and blemishes removed before they are photographed. She didn’t, and very rarely wears any - just to really dress up (whenever I am wearing a tux, or maybe a nice suit).

One of the things that she learned from her mother was how to apply makeup. Her mother was (maybe still is) an artist, who taught her that her face was her artistic pallet. Also, that skin tone should always match your hair. Her mother would switch hair color every several weeks for awhile, and that would necessitate different skin color for her face, which meant different face makeup. Most women don’t bother, or if they do, they don’t work that hard at it, so she can usually tell a woman’s natural hair color from her skin color. This doesn’t appear to apply to actors and actresses - the makeup artists applying their stage makeup know this, and adjust accordingly. Not having the artistic eyes of my partner or her mother, this surprised me. I thought nothing of it, when so many of the girls with southern Italian ancestry in my HS class were blond - until I saw them with their dark haired families at graduation. By my 20th HS reunion, a distinct majority of the many blonds in my HS class had reverted to their natural hair color. It was enlightening.

Michael K said...

Blogger Robert Cook said...

"I would say they need to believe."

This can be said of many (if not most) people, Trump's adherents not least among the many.


I disagree. Trump is the rare political candidate who kept his promises. Those he didn't keep were blocked by politicians who never keep theirs. I'm referring to both parties there.

Biff said...

I suspect that Rhonda Garelick's evaluation of Hutchinson's style would be slightly different if Hutchinson had praised Trump's actions.

Rhonda Garelick, Robin Givhan, and others of their ilk are jokes.

iowan2 said...

As is often noted. Trump has broke the left.

How can a NYT story about makeup habits, spend so much time on Trump?

wildswan said...

Cassidy Hutchinson graduated from college in May 2019 and worked in the White House from March 2019 to January 2021 so she was 20 or 21 three years ago. She's no more than 25 or 26 now and I think her makeup is working to erase her youthfulness. She worked in the White House as an intern in the summer of 2018 and, in an interview for her college paper, she mentions her excitement at being close to events and having an opportunity to leave her mark.
"For Hutchinson the most memorable part was the day-to-day exposure to the inner workings of the government, and the opportunity to leave her mark. "I attended numerous events hosted by the president, such as signing ceremonies, celebrations and presidential announcements, and frequently watched Marine One depart the South Lawn from my office window, ..."
https://cnu.edu/news/2018/10/19-pols-s19_hutchinson/#skipheader

Later as a full time employee after graduation from college in 2019 she may have had more advanced duties but her LinkedIn page does not mention any separate initiatives during her employment at the White House. Nor does LinkedIn show where she is now working. But, again, her make-up suggests that she was an important aide to Mark Meadows, not a political wannabe and that she's important now wherever she is working. So, again, I think her makeup is doing its duty.

[Another 2019 graduate of Cristopher Newport University was Noah Green who crashed his car into two US Capitol police officers killing one and injuring another on April 2, 2021. He got out of the car with a knife and was shot.]

wildswan said...

Forgot links on Cassidy Hutchinson and Noah Green

Christopher Newport University - Hutchinson
https://cnu.edu/news/2018/10/19-pols-s19_hutchinson/#skipheader

Noah Green
https://www.wdbj7.com/2021/04/03/man-who-rammed-car-into-capitol-police-a-former-alleghany-high-athlete/

Richard Aubrey said...

Seen a couple of brief shots in movies recently where an actress who looks pretty good as a twenty-something really, really needs a hand stand-in or hand double, however they put it in Hollywood.
Isn't there some kind of simple tightening the docs can do about the skin on the back of the hand?
Point is, without makeup, a lot of these folks would be nobodies, or at least ex-somebodies.