...and all other women.
There is one thing I will gladly say about Palin. She is a beautiful woman, especially considering her serial motherhood and her not-so-young age. She is gorgeous. To say that she is not, when viewed close up, is both a lie and horribly insulting. To tell people in general and women in particular that you need your photograph to be "touched up" to appear good is in fact both grossly offensive and ridiculous.
And yet, that is what has happened.
A Republican media consultant on Fox news called the fact that Sarah Palin's photo on the cover of Newsweek was untouched a "gross slap in the face to Governer Palin" and "any woman who sees this cover would be shocked and horrified". The Fox news commentator remarked that "any respectable magazine" would touch up a candidate's cover photo and that they had of course done that to Barack Obama (although she could offer no proof of that assertion and Newsweek does in fact not do so).
Well, I am indeed shocked and horrified, Ms Media Consultant. And I will tell you why. I am shocked and horrified that anyone at all would think that looking faultlessly beautiful is what counts in a leader, and that we are so brainless that we would vote on the grounds of the "looks-good" factor - and therefore it is important that "respectable" magazines should touch up photos.
Looking a bit like the back of a bus after it was rear-ended, I can assure you that my face doesn't make one whit of a difference to whether I write a good book. Palin's great looks won't make her a good - or a bad - VP. And to tell us that we are the kind of morons who think it does is more than offensive.
Fox news and you, Ms Republican Media Consultant Andrea Tantaros, I thought you guys relished the idea that the Republican nominations weren't those terrible elitist people (shudder) like the Democrats insist on fielding. That yours are just ordinary folk without a decent college degree, like Joe Six-pack. Doesn't it strike you that maybe airbrushing away wrinkles is a tad elitist? You know, "Look, my flawless VP candidate could be a super model?"
Sometimes I despair of the world. And if I were Sarah Palin I would be really really angry - and not with Newsweek.