Give up war paint Don't be a powder puff, Hillary!
01:25 GMT, 11 May 2012
Those of a sensitive disposition should look away now.
For we are about to show you a photograph of a 64-year-old woman who is — now brace yourselves — not wearing any make-up.
I know! Shriek. Please try not to vomit or panic. If you feel the need, pop on a pair of lads’ mag standard issue, lead-lined crone-o-vision spectacles.
Then and now: Hillary Clinton says she has enough of wearing make-up. After pictures of her make-up free face surfaced last week, she told reporters it was something which did not deserve a lot of time and attention
These will help to shield your eyes from the hideous kryptonite glow of lips bereft of gloss, eyes au naturel, clear and present wrinkles in the cheeky chops department.
I mean, just look at this woman, daring to appear in public without recourse even to a dab of concealer or a spritz of Elnett. Somebody should call the lipstick police and have her arrested. Is she insane
No. She is Hillary Clinton and she says she has had enough. She has had enough of the old powder puff, the painstaking painting, the blend-blend-blending, the cleanse, tone and moisturising.
Of making an effort, of getting her hair done, of the daily onslaught of being a woman in the public eye who is supposed to look her best at all times.
Well forget all that. From now on,
Hillary is going to roam around the globe meeting important world
leaders while looking like a lightly boiled bag lady. She just doesn’t
care any more.
got a bare-faced bare face. And like an addict who can’t give up the
comfort of elasticated hair accessories, she is even back on the
scrunchies again. What is going on
Making an effort: To this day, Margaret Thatcher has never appeared in public looking anything less than freshly powdered, crisp and completely immaculate. She is pictured with her son Mark
After photographs of Hillary Clinton’s make-up-free face surfaced last weekend during an official tour of Bangladesh and India, the politician told CNN reporters: ‘You know, at some point, it’s just not something that deserves a lot of time and attention.’
Her po-faced explanation was that she was ‘relieved to be at the stage I’m at in my life right now . . . and if others want to worry about it, I let them do the worrying for a change.
‘Because you know, if I want to wear my glasses, I’m wearing my glasses. If I want to wear my hair back, I’m pulling my hair back.’
The inference is that it’s frivolous and tiresome to bother about things like make-up and hair when there are more serious and pressing matters to attend to.
Of course, in some ways she is right — and maybe the exuberant freedom from the tyranny of slap is a good thing.
Maybe we will all celebrate a Hillary Moment in later life and burn our mascara wands in a great pyre on the village green. But somehow I doubt it. For giving up caring how you look is not an expression of emancipation, it is one of resignation and defeat.
To this day, Margaret Thatcher has never appeared in public looking anything less than freshly powdered, crisp and completely immaculate. As did Clinton’s two predecessors, Madeline Allbright and Condoleezza Rice.
And I’m sure our very own dear Queen must often think: ‘Oh stuff it. I can’t be bothered with all the hats and robes and matching handbags and make-up and shampoo and sets. I think I’ll just nip down to open Parliament in my tracky bottoms and a beanie.’
Of course it would never happen. Protocol and HM’s sense of duty wouldn’t allow it. The Queen owes it to herself to look good in public. And she owes it to us.
Looking your best and wearing make-up is not about taking part in a beauty pageant or trying to be the prettiest girl in the room. Powerful women all over the world understand the power of image, of good grooming and polish.
Look at the increasingly stylish and pulled-together Yvette Cooper. She has recently discovered eyeliner, which — I am not joking — gives her a more commanding and focused air.
This stuff is important. And if there is one person who truly does understand that, it is Mrs H. Clinton.
It was a very different story when she sought the Democratic nomination four years ago, wasn’t it
Back then, she couldn’t get enough slap. The physical transformation of this former militant feminist — whose views on abortion and stay-at-home mothers would surely alienate the moral valuists and faith-based groups who wield enormous power on the American political landscape — was huge.
Warrior Hillary morphed into a pastel-wearing personette in lavender eyeshadow and smiling peach lips before the electorate’s eyes. She carefully softened and calibrated her appearance to appeal to her wavering army of older, female supporters.
So what I am saying is the reason Hillary has gone all hairy-legged basket-weaver on everyone is not because she is giving up lipstick, but because she is giving up politics. She has no desire to run for high office again, surprise surprise. She wants to step down, saying: ‘I just want to take some deep breaths.’
In a way, she has boomeranged back to the geek from Arkansas in the bottle-neck specs, and put all that vote-winning glam stuff behind her.
Politics is not a beauty contest, but I do think those in high office should be as groomed as possible. Clinton is representing the people of America. Come on. There would be outrage, not fem-applause, if it was a male Secretary of State who was wandering around unshaven and unkempt.
Hillary also looks exhausted — and no wonder, given her gruelling schedule. Do you know what I say about that Blusher always helps.
Even the tray looks tastier than the food
Despite the best intentions of Jamie Oliver, school dinners in the UK clearly remain a desperate and pathetic affair for some unlucky children.
For this insight, we are grateful to nine-year-old Martha Payne, who took photographs and blogged about the lunches served at her Scottish school. The result has been a huge hit on the internet, and no wonder.
Her pics of one lunch — a grey cheeseburger, two potato croquettes, some bits of cucumber and an ice lolly — was particularly grim. An ice lolly! Just the thing to get a child through a long Scottish winter.
Bright: Martha Payne, 9, took photographs and blogged about the lunches served at her Scottish school
Another picture showed a pizza, one croquette, about a dozen kernels of sweetcorn and a cake on a plastic tray.
Idea! Throw away the food and eat the tray — it looks as if it might have more nutritional value.
On her blog, complete with her Meal-O-Meter, Martha wrote: ‘The pizza in the first pic was all right but I’d have enjoyed more than one croquette. I’m a growing kid and I need to concentrate all afternoon, and I can’t do it on one croquette. Do any of you think you could’
It would be laughable if it was not so sad. Is this really the best that we can do It is not hard to imagine that prisoners in Scottish jails probably get a better meal deal.
And I weep for the poorer children who have free school lunches and for whom this paltry offering might be their best chance of having a decent meal every day.
So thank you for this important insight, Martha. Congratulations on your good writing and excellent reportage skills.
Your school should be ashamed of its lunches — but very proud of you. I hope more children follow your example. They just might be able to shame their schools into providing them with better meals.
Diana didn't do badly as a mum
The new biography of the Duke of Cambridge paints a rather dark portrait of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
Author Penny Junor suggests she was mentally ill and never got over feelings of abandonment when her own mother ran off when she was a little girl. This left her, it is suggested, emotionally fractured — unsure of what it was to be a mother herself.
Praise: Jan Moir says Diana, Princess of Wales, always looked like a natural mum
Well, she always looked like a natural mum to me. And if she was such a terrible and clueless parent, why have her sons (pictured with her in 1988) turned out so well
Some of the credit for their wellbeing must belong to her. And let us not forget that the Duke has always called her ‘the best mother in the world’, and both boys adore her to this day. Be fair.
A gold medal for grumbling
If marathon moaning was an Olympic sport, Londoners would all be wearing gold medals.
There would be about three million of them, crammed onto the winners’ plinth for Excellence in the Field of Sustained Grumbling over Nothing Very Much At All.
Right now, in the capital city, the cacophony of complaints about the forthcoming Olympic Games is reaching a crescendo.
There is no end of grievances to air: Olympic ‘improvements’ to the city, weekend Tube closures, general disruptions to our wellbeing and zen, the outrage of traffic Zil lanes, queues at Heathrow immigration counters, random security alerts, the hideousness of the Olympic mascots, Seb Coe, ditto.
All of it thoroughly enjoyable. And as the opening ceremony draws ever nearer and rapacious entrepeneurs get ready to reap the harvest, I have opened my Olympic Black Book of Shame.
First name in, yoo-hoo!, the Travelodge hotel at Stratford, East London — the branch of the budget hotel chain nearest the Olympic Village. Travelodge prides itself on low prices and no frills: no trouser presses, no chocolates on the pillow, no nuthin’.
Yet the room rate for the night of the Opening Ceremony in July is a whopping 480 — not including breakfast.
Kerching! Welcome to London, everybody.
Coco Chanel once said that a woman without a perfume is a woman without a future. I’ll spritz to that. And to the enduring appeal of her classic scent, Chanel No 5, the world’s best-selling fragrance.
Marilyn Monroe, Catherine Deneuve and Nicole Kidman wear it. Iconic Frenchwomen such as Audrey Tautou, Carole Bouquet and Vanessa Paradis have all advertised it. And now, joining their ranks is the ever-fragrant Brad Pitt.
Star: Brad Pitt is to become the face of Coco Chanel
Never mind that Brad (above) is all stubble and biceps, he is going to be the first man to promote the scent and become the face of the brand.
Brad and Chanel No 5 It’s an oddly sexy combo. We could all get down with dabbing a bit of Brad on our pulse points.
And after this, life would be complete if I could hose down George Clooney with my Insolence.
Honestly, what filthy minds. It’s a perfume by Guerlain.
The Japanese have invented a vacuum cleaner that chats to you as it cleans the carpet. That’s exactly what I don’t need. Appliances that talk back.
My iron would be moaning, my dishwasher would be wheezing, the mini-chopper would be rasping ‘Oil my blades, woman’. The steam cleaner under the sink would be crying and weeping like a girl at a Berlusconi bunga-bunga party: ‘I was so expensive — and you only used me once!’
Call me cruel, but I want my domestic equipment to be efficient and silent. Sorry, I don’t want us to be friends.