Ryan Tubongbanua / The Collegian
THE POST-REPUBLICAN CONVENTION SHOWS WERE abuzz with it.
It wasnâ€™t political. It had nothing to do with stances on issues or promises of change.
â€œLetting her hair down out of that matronly bun was a bold maneuver.â€
â€œShe wore heels â€” not just heels, but high heels.â€
â€œSarah Palin is bringing glasses back in fashion.â€ This latter came from Nina Garcia, panel judge of the popular Bravo TV show â€œProject Runway.â€
The price of McCainâ€™s tie wasnâ€™t mentioned once. But Palinâ€™s outfit, from her diamond stud earrings to her decision to wear a skirt instead of pants, was analyzed thoroughly.
Los Angeles Times fashion critic Booth Moore posits that the nationâ€™s obsession with Palinâ€™s wardrobe is due to its hazy understanding of her positions on pivotal issues.
Yet when Hillary Clinton was campaigning for the Democratic nomination, her pantsuits were often a discussion point.
â€œHow manly does she look today?â€ the tabloids would ask. â€œWhy does she have so many of the same outfit in different colors?â€ And so on.
Clintonâ€™s ideology is about as clear-cut as any politicianâ€™s ever is.
Thus, during the post-convention coverage, I glared at the television and whined, â€œWhy?â€
The coverage comes not because Palinâ€™s political leanings are unknown. Had she not been stereotypically conservative, McCain would not have chosen the former beauty queen as his running mate.
Her beige jacket is under inspection because of the breasts it covers.
Her red peep-toe pumps are noted because of the legs sporting them.
Americans are obsessed with looks, and Sarah Palin has them. As long as women are rushing to buy librarian-style glasses, Palinâ€™s political agenda will take a backseat to her sense of style.
Every woman faces the same sort of instant judgment. Womenâ€™s cognitive prowess (or lack thereof) is nearly always of secondary importance to their appearance.
As an example, an attractive friend of mine was approached in a Starbucks by a man who wanted her phone number.
â€œI know if Iâ€™d have been 50 pounds heavier, he wouldnâ€™t have asked,â€ she told me. â€œHe was obviously interested in my mind.â€
Most people of this great country unfortunately seem to share a mentality with my friendâ€™s Starbucks stalker.
In other words, men and women alike need to stop focusing on female politiciansâ€™ high heels and start focusing on their platforms.
Heather Billings is a senior at Fresno State majoring in mass communication and journalism with emphases in print journalism and digital media.