The Thinking 

Palin Chic

August 8, 2012


SARAH PALIN, still the avatar of Republican Girl Power, was in Missouri this week campaigning for Senatorial candidate Sarah Steelman in platform shoes, tight jeans, over-sized sunglasses and a Super Man T-shirt. Playing the ditz liberals always said she was, Palin referred to Steelman as a “hot mama grizzly.” The woman who inspired a mass cult and left the Alaska governor’s office to turn the country around has given up any pretense of being a serious politician, which was a very tough act to maintain anyway. Steelman was defeated in Tuesday’s primary.


—– Comments —–

MarkyMark writes:

Sarah Palin gave up any pretense of serious politics the moment she quit office. While her conservative backers will say that her opponents exploited Alaska law to make her life miserable (a true charge), the fact of the matter is that she quit office; the kitchen got too hot, and she ran out crying. Sorry, but that’s how I see it. Does she think that life would be any easier if she’d gotten to Washington, DC? Wouldn’t her liberal opponents, after having succeeded running her out of office once, be emboldened to do the same thing again once she was in Washington, DC? When she quit office like she did, she showed that she doesn’t have the gravitas or toughness for higher office. Her conservative backers may think that’s unfair, but that’s how I see things.

Having said that, she looks trashy in the photo. If she doesn’t, she certainly doesn’t have an air of GRAVITAS about her; she doesn’t look serious, and I wouldn’t take her seriously if I were to see her like that. She just looks like another shabbily dressed, suburban wife and mother.

 Laura writes:

I entirely agree. Once she left her elective office to become a TV commentator and star in a reality show, she should have been banished from serious politics altogether. But she was still considered a major figure despite this betrayal of the voters of Alaska. This demonstrated the degree to which celebrity worship has taken over politics.

 Kevin M. writes:

Much as I refuse to join the Palin Haters Club, the woman simply courts disrespect. I think she has completely given up on being taken seriously (a wise choice) and has embraced the notion of playing the GOP/Tea Party mascot. That she is commonly referred to as a “king maker” makes my flesh crawl.

On a more personal note, I hope she one day stops saying “Mama Grizzly.” It is both an unflattering metaphor and an inaccurate one, considering her repeated usage.

Finally, and at the risk of offending residents of certain environments (I really mean no disrespect), but her Superman get-up with the platform shoes just screams “trailer park” with no less arrogance than a bottle of malt liquor and a tramp stamp.

Sarah Palin may very well be far smarter than the libs give her credit for, and for all I know she just might perform well in a cabinet position. But I still wish she would just go away and grow up. Maybe read what Jeeves calls “an improving book.”

 Bruce B. writes:

My wife and I have discussed how almost all women’s shirts now have very short arms. It seems immodest and even somewhat suggestive but it’s hard to pinpoint why since arms (even upper arms) aren’t usually considered sexually suggestive. My wife thinks it’s suggestive because women that wear this sort of shirt seem to be displaying the general fitness and “tightness” of their bodies like in the Palin example you show. Have you thought about this?

Laura writes:

Interesting. I hadn’t thought about it, but now that you mention it, I see what you mean.

I think it is about biceps.

Palin is clearly showing off her fitness here. Even if she weren’t a major political figure, her outfit would be wildly inappropriate, especially for a woman her age. She appears to get fashion advice from her daughters. It’s an ugly look, especially the sandals, if that’s what you want to call them. They look like blocks of wood lashed to her feet.

The only thing she lacks is a tattoo.

Buck writes:

With many women, it’s all about the guns.

Bruce responds:

Michelle Obama’s look is different. She actually looks muscular. Palin’s look is one that we see a lot among suburban moms as well as their young daughters. You can see the veins in her bicep but her arms are skinny. It’s a “toned” look that I assume comes from lots of repetitive exercise with smaller weights.

To me, either look is non-ideal. Women shouldn’t have low body fat. An overweight woman is more attractive than a muscular or “toned” woman.

 Laura writes:

The toned, scrawny look shows a woman’s asceticism. It’s an ideal that was discussed in the entry on fitness. Here is an apropos comment by Mary from that entry:

It occurred to me recently that we are starting to resemble a modern-day, all-female Sparta. Some women in my town have reached an almost frightening level of fitness; they look more like warriors, with sinewy arms and hard faces. I see women every day, including some in my own family, who are so fit they are losing their bustlines, and their waists for some reason seem too straight (a result of no hips/bust?). They walk in a more masculine way. And there’s not as much smiling. I see women running along the main avenue of our town, the fleetest looking more like teenage boys but with breasts heaving (if they have any left). Ouch. Ancient Greece redux.

“There is a mystical belief in aerobic intensity as the key to longevity and contentment.”

Indeed. We are starved for ritual. This can be seen in the positively religious approach of many to pursuing physical fitness. I see many people of all shapes and sizes and fitness levels, male and female, chugging along the busiest road in town, probably because it’s relatively straight and flat, and I have to suppress a snicker – it seems comical to me. No one can convince me that pounding my knees and ankles on hot asphalt with cars zooming by is necessary to keeping fit, Ipod or no Ipod. Not buying it. I have no problem with people wanting to “stay in shape,” but using this method has moved entirely beyond that simple desire and has actually become an act of mortification and self-denial, but without the awesome payoff.

Laura writes:

Getting back to Palin’s outfit, she reminds me of the first hookers I ever saw on a city street. They wore tottering heels and tight, tight capri pants. I could immediately tell, even though I was just a little girl, that they were not normal. I wasn’t sure what they were.

Palin, the woman once hailed as the salvation of America by millions of people so blinded by wishful thinking they could not see the obvious signs of her poor character, looks like a tramp.

Hurricane Betsy writes:

I’m old enough to recall when completely sleeveless blouses were highly popular, with this style continuing for many years. These looked just like regular shirts sewn from woven cloth but with no sleeve at all, as opposed to the knit styles now (shirts, not blouses). Women didn’t have that muscular look back then, and there was no fixation on biceps, etc. These sleeveless blouses were worn by females of all ages, even the old ones with fat or incredibly flabby upper arms.

So, do you or your readers think that all those ladies, from little girls to really old women, were trying to prove something? Personally, I like the sleeveless cotton blouse look of the olden days, but the tight knit shirts of today are another thing altogether.

As I recall, this sleeveless blouse in sheer cloth was worn with a thing called a full-length slip or a camisole. Looked perfectly modest to me. Do you remember these?

Laura writes:

I don’t think most women who wear short sleeves are “trying to prove something” as many don’t have developed biceps or exceptional toning, but the tight shirts with very short sleeves Bruce was referring to are for some a way of displaying fitness.

I don’t find sleeveless shirts per se offensive. It depends on the occasion.

Bruce writes:

Regarding Betsy’s comment I don’t say that all short sleeves are bad or that they’ve always been worn to prove something. I’m remarking on Palin’s tight shirt with short sleeves that looks five sizes too small as if it were accidentally shrunk. It’s paired with the fit physiques that are now in fashion and it seems to me like this is a specific look that women are going for and that we see a lot of. It looks trampy and seems narcissist to me. I’m not sure if women wear things that look trampy to prove something or not. I interpret the the intention of the look as “look at how tight and tone everything is” and that’s how my wife interprets it too.

 Mrs. P. writes:

I remember the sleeveless blouses that Hurricane Betsy wrote about. I also remember the sheer see-thru nylon blouses my mother wore during the late fifties. At that time the ladies wore beautiful, lacy slips underneath these sheer blouses. I wonder if your readers find these vintage sheer blouses immodest because they show off a lady’s slip, an undergarment.

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