In some ways, political figures are among our “royalty” who get constant media attention and commentary. They must be aware of their appearance and their influence on the public as much as any Hollywood celebrity. In this visual age, whether political candidates can benefit from plastic surgery procedures or not is an interesting question.
Different Standards for Women
Though male politicians can look craggy and elderly without much comment on their appearance, female politicians are held to a much stricter standard. Women must be well-dressed and well-coiffed. Moreover, women tend to experience a societal expectation for them to wear make-up to get public approval. Women must work especially hard not only to do their jobs as public servants but also to be attractive visual representatives of the culture.
Judgments on Plastic Surgery
While the public wants their public figures to be visually appealing, they still have mixed feelings about these politicians resorting to plastic surgery to improve their appearance. Plastic surgery is still a new idea to many people across the country. These people have no need to change their appearance in their everyday lives. They may even have moral or religious objections to making these changes to the natural-aging process. Nonetheless, they also make judgments regularly on people they see on the news. This dichotomy puts an unusual burden on public figures that want to look attractive, yet are aware of homespun values on “authenticity” and “aging gracefully.”
Changing Views in the 1980s
This negative view of plastic surgery was upended in the 1980s when former First Lady Betty Ford admitted in the press that she’d had plastic surgery to improve her appearance. Since that time, the press has reported numerous celebrities and political figures who have had plastic surgery procedures to look younger, smoother and more attractive for the media. The acceptance of plastic surgery has grown as more people have seen the benefits that these procedures can bring.
Hillary Clinton’s Run for President
With talk of former First Lady Hillary Clinton’s expected run for the presidency in 2016, many people wonder whether she will consider plastic surgery to erase the wear-and-tear of her grueling work Secretary of State to provide a more relaxed and youthful appearance for her campaign.
Benefits of Plastic Surgery
Because we live in a media-conscious and visual society, political figures will no doubt join the growing number of men and women that seek cosmetic surgery to reduce lines, lift facial muscles and provide a younger-looking and more confident appearance.