For some, when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Bangladesh in early May, the country's human rights record wasn't the top news. Nor was her speech on the recent tensions within the country.
Instead, the Drudge Report splashed a photo of Clinton's makeup-free face, calling her "au natural," as she merely sported black framed glasses and red lipstick.
Now, amidst the mounting rumors that Clinton will run for President in 2016 -- the knives are really coming out.
The latest attack on Clinton's appearance came from Ed Klein, an author who has penned a number of controversial and criticized books, including "The Truth About Hillary", which delves into Clinton's private life.
"At this very moment that we're speaking right now, Brian, [the Clintons] are already thinking seriously about running in 2016," author Ed Klein told Fox News host Brian Kilmeade. "She'll be 69 years old. And as you know -- and I don't want to sound anti-feminist here -- but she's not looking good these days. She's looking overweight, and she's looking very tired."
Klein, a former New York Times magazine editor continued to comment on her appearance.
"I think she's going to take some time off, get back into shape. And if her health holds out-- that's a big if, of course -- if her health holds out, there's no question in my mind she and Bill -- two for the price of one -- will run in 2016."
Hillary isn't the only female politician to have her appearance attract media attention.
Whether it is Sarah Palin's glasses or Nicholas Sarkozy reportedly poking fun at German Chancellor Angela Merkel for taking a second helping of cheese after claiming she was on a diet, our society is seemingly comfortable judging female politicians on issues beyond their policies.
As Jezebel explains, this is the consequence of a society heavily conditioned to airbrushed photos.
It's not enough that Chancellor Merkel has a Ph.D. in Physics and is essentially viewed as the de facto leader of the E.U. Nor is Hillary Clinton's success as a lawyer, senator and secretary of state enough.
And when female politicians don't comply with societal expectations of beauty -- by foregoing makeup or taking an extra helping of cheese -- style and appearance can seem to trump policy, at least in some media reports.
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