Bachmann Sexism Watch: Hair and Makeup Edition

Michele Bachmann
Pic via

Remember Palin Sexism Watch and Hillary Sexism Watch during the last presidential election? I guess it’s time for the Bachmann version.

Mother Jones of all places wrote yesterday about Michele Bachmann’s hair and makeup bill:

According to Bachmann’s latest campaign finance filings, her campaign spent nearly $4,700 on hair and makeup in the weeks after she entered the presidential race on June 13. Records show her campaign made three payments of $1,715, $250, and $2,704 to a Maryland-based stylist named Tamara Robertson. Robertson’s LinkedIn profile says she works as a makeup artist at Fox News in the DC area. She’s also listed in the “Make-up” section of the credits for the Citizens United-produced film A City Upon a Hill, hosted by Newt and Callista Gingrich—a pair who’ve raised eyebrows with their own spending.

The “story” has spread quickly to tons of other media outlets. Folks have tried to make this relevant by bringing up Bachmann’s fiscal conservatism. It’s not.

Yeah, that’s a lot of money. Politics in our country is very much a game of appearances, and candidates shell out a lot on their looks, especially when they’re thrust into the spotlight of a presidential campaign. Suddenly a public servant’s got to come off well next to pictures of movie stars. And of course the pressure’s greater on women, who face more expectations about their looks anyway, and who also have to spend more money to fit cultural beauty standards.

Calling out Bachmann, still one of very few women ever with a shot at being a viable presidential candidate, in an increasingly visual culture, for her stylist bill is just tired sexism. And it really sucks when I’m joining Fox News in pointing this out.

I cannot stand Bachmann. I don’t just disagree with her views, I think some of them are downright evil. But could we maybe focus on how her politics are the worst instead of focusing on her hair?

h/t @berendsenea for the link.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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