Sarah Palin and the $150,000 shopping spree

It bothers me a lot that $150,000 was spent on remaking Sarah Palin’s image. It bothers me on several levels.

First, if I were a donor to the Republican Party (which I am not) I wouldn’t be thrilled my donation was used for highlights, outfits and shoes. I understand the party did nothing illegal in using campaign contributions for clothes, shoes and hairstyles for Palin. But just because it’s not illegal doesn’t make it right.

Second, it troubles me that it was considered vital to spend that much money on the female candidate and not on a male candidate. Now, perhaps, $150,000 has been spent on John McCain’s hair or his suits or his shoes. Or maybe this much has been spent on Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Maybe, but I doubt it.

This much was spent on Palin, in my opinion, because she’s a woman. I’m not a fan of her policies, but she is attractive. Of all four candidates, she’s arguably the most attractive. So why does she need a $150,000 makeover and McCain can stay gray, and Obama and Biden can wear their normal clothes and shoes.

Why? Because we still in a sexist country where women are judged more by how they look then men. It’s the same reason why I feel compelled to dye my hair to cover the gray and my husband wouldn’t think of it. I’ll be considered an old biddy with gray hair; he won’t.

In all this, I don’t blame Palin. As I said, I’m not a fan of hers. I don’t think she’s qualified to be vice president and I think McCain erred in picking her. But one thing I suspect about her is that she’s as uncomfortable shelling out that much money for clothes, shoes and makeup as I would be.  I don’t know this for sure, but I’m guessing she’s a “buy it off the rack on sale at Kohl’s” kind of gal just like me.

What saddens me the most is that this $150,000 makeover is clearly intended to grab the female, not the male vote. Most guys, at least straight ones, wouldn’t know a Dolce & Gabanna from a Target special. And most guys I know think a woman who is hot looks hot, regardless of the name brand of her clothes or even whether she’s in style. So if this money was to woo the male vote, it’s lost on many of them. I noticed that Palin’s hair was newly highlighted at the vice presidential debate, not my husband.

So this money is meant to woo us women, women who might think her dowdy in less high-end clothes or who might criticize in that catty way women sometimes have if another woman’s dress isn’t impeccable. That’s the part that really troubles me. First, the Republicans thought we would vote for her just because she has a vagina. Now, they think we’ll vote for her just because she has the designer clothes we might wish we have.

I know I’m really not that shallow. I hope American women really aren’t either.  Let’s show them we’re not.

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