The well-known joke goes like this…
Bill and Hillary stop at a gas station in Arkansas. Hillary recognizes the gas station attendant…after all, he was one of her first boyfriends. Bill chuckles and says, “Aren’t you happy you married me instead of him?” Hillary cocks her head back and says, “What do you mean, Bill? If I’d married him, he would have been President.”
As they say, “behind every successful man….”
It was the early 1970s. They were sitting in a Civil Liberties class at Yale back when men outnumbered women in law schools (women made up less than 3% of law students…as opposed to the standard 51% today). He kept looking at her. She was smart, confident, not aggressive, but assertive. She finally got up and said, “You keep looking at me and I’m gonna look back. I might as well introduce myself. I’m Hillary Rodham.”
They were married in 1975 and they lived happily ever after.
She achieved national and international acclaim in the early 1990s when her husband, then governor of Arkansas, was positioning himself as the Democratic national candidate for the presidency. No one liked her. Really, they didn’t. Frizzy hair. Frumpy dresses. Boxy suits. Not too attractive. But she was there. On his arm…the arm of a charming, well-spoken, engaging, and quite debonair 42nd president of the United States.
We vilified her. Called her a B*tch. Now we respect her. What did it? I, for one, was an ambitious 17-year old, impressed by her poise and confidence as she watched her husband face impeachment hearings and public torment due to his misadventures with a buxom, brunette White House intern with a lazy habit when it came to dry cleaning. But even then, we didn’t sympathize as much as we could (…or should).
The years unraveled. Everyone (except for Monica Lewinsky…where has she been anyway?) escaped unscathed. Even their only daughter, Chelsea Clinton, was able to have a legitimate, enviable relationship that blossomed in to an engagement, in 2009, and marriage, in the summer of 2010. Bill (“the Thrill”) settled in to a life of public appearances, political endorsements, and good-will efforts. Hillary came in to the light. First as a New York Senator…and then, as the Secretary of State.
Now, anyone that knows Leegal Deeva knows these few tid bits:
a) I love Power Couples…it’s all I’ve ever wanted for myself;
b) I am intelligent and I value guys who are drawn to intelligence;
c) I was 16 when I made my first (love) promise me that if he became President of the United States (which he said he would become…and it’s not unlikely seeing as he was an Eagle Scout, on his way to the United States Naval Academy…and now a Marine whose been to Iraq, Afghanistan, and more), he would appoint me as the Secretary of State;
d) I’ve had a life-long obsession with politicians and royalty;
e) I always imagined being the party-planning wife of a politician (this tid-bit is no longer…I’m over polticians , but that’s a topic for another day and another blog.)
So, it’s only natural that I would be in awe of all Hillary is and what she has achieved. Not just as a lawyer or a politician…but as a woman and a WIFE. I do keep up with her news. Which is why I was stunned, appalled, pained, and emotionally plagued to hear that the blogosphere as well as all legitimate news outlets were getting their panties in a bunch because why? Hillary Clinton had shown her face in public without a smudge of makeup?
Seriously, people! Hillary had to have quit her modeling career as early as 1970 because since then, she’s been a practicing attorney, and someone who strives and achieves far more than your average Jane Doe who looks like she’s been dipped in a vat of concealer every day. And last time I checked, the likes of Giselle Bunchen and Ryan Gossling aren’t working in Poltics.
Everyone was on her case. I mean this is not a woman who is a stranger to having her entire life dissected in the media. But seriously? She’s a 64 year old woman. She’s never gotten anywhere (sorry, Hill!) based on her looks or her beauty. And to expect “beauty” of an attorney and/or politician…it’s really unfair! She hasn’t put herself out there as an actress. She wasn’t our Sophia Loren or Linda Evans (I’m really sad about how Linda looks nowadays, by the way…super super sad). We don’t get to say Hillary looked ugly. We don’t get to dictate that she look beautiful at all times.
Regardless of where you find yourself in the world of politics (I lean to the right), the idea that any of us would hold the Secretary of State, a woman, to the beauty standards of actresses her age is simply bizarre. No one pays her to look beautiful. No one pays her to get her hair done, or her makeup done. If she chooses to go makeup-free for a day, it’s her choice. And I commend her.
But the rest of you, who judged her, like you’d judge a high school classmate for having acne or frizzy hair, sent a little message out in to the world that when you’re a woman, you have to look good doing whatever you’re doing…even if it’s serving as the President’s chief foreign affairs advisor.
Hillary, thanks for not giving a sh*t. Thanks for having the courage to dismiss the criticism. After all, she said, “You know, at some point, it’s just not something that deserves a lot of time and attention. I feel so relieved to be at the stage I’m at in my life right now, and if others want to worry about it, I let them do the worrying for a change.”
As a woman who sometimes goes without makeup but does want to succeed, I find you truly inspirational. Thank you, Madame Secretary.
©2012, Leegal Deeva. All rights reserved.