The research for this project was twofold. The first was proving that the media often focuses on the appearance of female politicians, and the second is that the coverage affects these women’s political career negatively.

There were studies done, with a 2013 study stating that the “coverage of female candidates’ appearances and clothing choices is widespread” (Bahadur). Another study by “Name It. Change It.” showed that press releases that included details of a female candidates’ appearance lead to a loss of voters (Hess).

But the findings of these studies were backed up by recent news articles. The quotes in these articles demonstrated that some media does place a focus on a woman politician’s appearance. An interesting find is that the authors of the three examples below are all female.

1. “Hillary jokes that people regard her hair as totemic, and just so, her new haircut sends a signal of shimmering intention: she has ditched the skinned-back bun that gave her the air of a K.G.B. villainess in a Bond movie and has a sleek new layered cut that looks modern and glamorous.”

“In a hot pink jacket and black slacks, she leaned in for a 2016 manifesto, […]”



2. “Representative Tammy Duckworth, Democrat of Illinois, said she has upgraded her purse size three times so far, ending up with a green-and-blue checked Franco Sarto, in order to fit all of her Congressional needs into one bag”



3. “Ruemmler first attracted attention for her glam heels as a Justice Department prosecutor trying Enron executives Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling in 2006, when she sported what The Wall Street Journal described as “stunning 4-inch bright pink stiletto spikes.”





Bahadur, Nina:

Dowd, Maureen:

Eilperin, Juliet:

Hess, Amanda:

Parker, Ashley:


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