Lisa Markwell: Success is the best revenge for these maligned women

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Hey, have you heard the news? Women sometimes don't wear any make-up or shave their armpits, or have smooth thighs. What's that you say, this is not news? No it's not, but you'd think it was from the frenzy of attention both here and in the US over a) Hillary Clinton not wearing make-up and b) Emer O'Toole on television with hairy pits.

Clinton got heat from the influential right-wing political blog the Drudge Report, for going about her business – and she's Secretary of State, remember – wearing glasses, an unmade-up face, and un-blow-dried hair. Last time I checked appearance didn't have any bearing on ability to do a job. If it did, we should note that many high-ranking executives look like they're unfit, get little sleep and drink too much. Isn't that more of a issue – physique being a barrier to performance?

But I digress. The thing is, Clinton doesn't need me to defend her, which is brilliant. With a bare face and glasses she looks like a major force in world politics, like lots of her peers. They too have bare faces and glasses, they just happen to be men.

And on to hairy armpits, which most men have (ignoring the curious creatures who inhabit scripted-reality TV shows). Emer O'Toole wrote a funny, insightful blog on the website vagenda.blogspot.co.uk about giving up shaving. It was weeks ago, and at the time it was shared among women with a wry smile.

But researchers on This Morning finally spotted her and she gamely appeared recently on TV in a sleeveless dress to demonstrate her experiment. She must have known what was coming; sure enough, 80 per cent of viewers said they were "horrified" by her hirsute body.

The point is, as with Hillary, it doesn't matter that anybody was repulsed. If success is the best revenge, then both have nailed it.

In other "Oh God, aren't some women hideous?" news comes the explosive headline from America that a cure has been found for cellulite. Pardon me, but since when was cellulite a disease? I mean, all well and good to peddle us another cream or salon treatment that reduces the appearance of the bobbly thigh, but please don't expend any medical funds on "curing" it. It is, as smart US commentator Dodai Stewart notes, a fact. It doesn't just afflict the corpulent and the lazy.

I'm willing to put money on any gentleman caller, when he gets up and very personal with a woman, happily overlooking any small lumps, bumps and tufts of hair. And if any world leaders behaving badly fall under Secretary Clinton's gaze, the last thing they need worry about is whether she's wearing lipstick.

 

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