GRAY IN L.A.
Looking at Hillary Clinton the other day at the debate gave me great pleasure! Listening to her did too, by the way. We had a case of almost glowing "Mature Beauty" here. Very fetching hair in an amazing color, soft lipstick, sparkling blue eyes! "What's your secret Hill?" one could have almost cried. I think I know it. What's even more -- and very impressive -- I'm convinced that no knife, no implants, no Botox or any other poison for invasive, hell-bent "beautification" has touched her skin.
I think what made her look so fresh and relaxed is the simple effect that confidence, courage and intelligence has on a woman's beauty, regardless of age, weight, class and color.
Call me a flaming feminist (yes, please do) but I think that is a pretty wonderful thing to present to the world by a 68-year-old possible woman president. I also happen to think that Hillary's new beauty is a triumph after all the nasty scrutinizing and the vile sexist attacks on her sometimes dowdy looks.
"Oh, not her looks again!" I hear you yelp. Yes, yes, I know -- boring! Beauty and age is an old tired topic and is being addressed enough to fill future files about the trials and tribulations of women in the last two centuries. But provocative topics are like a rare disease; they live on until a cure has been found.
How very much the beauty-obsession is eating away at women's conscience 24/7 was cemented again last week by a very good article in the New York Times by Debora L. Spar, the president of Barnard College, in which she examines fear, shame and double-standards when it comes to women, age and plastic surgery.
Can one do artificial things to one's "beauty" without being ashamed? Sure one can, and should. As long as one doesn't look like Dory the fabulous fish and has lost all means of slightly human expressions.
But that Hillary seemed to have been able so far to resist the temptations of tightening her face like the skin on a drum and erasing some well-earned wrinkles is an act of supreme confidence -- or is it simple lack of time? -- as a bitchy friend of mine remarked. And we almost got into an argument.
I watch women and their looks a lot, of course. As they say in certain ads, "I'm not an expert, but...", I'm not either but I'm cursed with X-ray eyes that are specialized in detecting too-darkly- dyed gray hair, nose-jobs, breast-enlargements, cheek-implants, facelifts and too stiff upper lips. There were some scandals, yes, but to me it looks like Hillary hasn't been cheating us on her looks.
I'm not totally happy with her clothes, though. They are too Angela Merkel, and that's never a compliment. I still think Nancy Pelosi had the best take (and figure) on the wide-legged, slim waisted pantsuit. But it seems a bit beside the point in this minute because what we are really marveling at is the beauty of confidence and the coolness of experience.
I don't know Hillary personally, of course, but I very much would like the idea that she is a "conscientious objector" -- just like some very young soldiers during the Vietnam War -- towards the cruel and boring "Beauty Duty."
I hope that she looks in the mirror in the morning like maybe millions of 60-plus women, frowns, sighs, lifts her eyebrows to make the eyes look bigger, pulls the skin on her neck a bit towards her ears, thinking, "well, maybe just the tiniest tuck...", only to straighten her back, smile into the reflection of a lived-in, perfectly human face, and maybe in the privacy of her home says the "f" word towards her most chauvinist critics.
Furthermore, I have an added scenario of what probably has happened in the Clinton home.
Could it be that Hillary went through an internal nip & tuck?
Hillary finally woke up and toughened up, found that she has had it with bending over backwards to please the hostile masses that only slapped her face in return.
"Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" is a slightly creaky old adage, custom-made for the female doubters. But I think maybe Hillary herself found out the clever new interpretation I discovered and use myself:
Let the beholder be YOU! Now, let's all get back to work!