A reader writes:
The notion that we don’t judge male politicians by their appeance is absurd. People comment endlessly about Chris Christie’s weight. Sarah Palin joked that if she had won the election, Joe Biden would be promoting his book, Going Rogaine. Reagan once pulled back his ears to demonstrate to a reporter that he didn’t have face-lift scars, and invited the reporter to run his fingers through Reagan’s hair to show that it didn’t feel like it had been dyed. Even when we don’t talk about male politicians’ appearance, we judge them by it. It’s been 112 years since there has been a U.S president who was shorter than 5’9” – the average height for an adult American male today.
Another is on the same page:
Ask Aaron Shock or Paul Ryan about covering men in this fashion. The fact is, most politicians just aren’t remarkably good or bad looking and especially aren’t young and “hot” enough to objectify. I’d contend that is more the reason why it’s rare to see these comments about politicians of either gender. That said, I doubt the breathless cooing and shirtless pics of Shock and Ryan measurably hurt their image. There’s the real difference. Attractive women are unserious or dumb, unattractive women have something to prove, and men are just a little more glamorous when they’re pretty and it’s irrelevant when they’re not particularly easy on the eyes. Maybe someday we’ll get to the point where we see Shock and Ryan as the bimbos they really are.