I can't believe we just put the biggest crack in the glass ceiling yet.Despite this historical achievement, the media have continued to base their commentary on superficial aspects of this campaign, sometimes writing solely about Hillary Clinton's hair. An article in the New York Daily News suggested that Clinton presents a good presidential look because of her "perfect highlights" on the cover of her new book.
Have any other news broadcasters published a similar article commenting on Donald Trump's hair? My research suggests not (despite the fact that his hair raises far more questions than Hillary Clinton's and in my opinion demands further explanation.) Nor was there an equivalent article written during the publication of Barack Obama's book before he was elected.
These observations beg the question: in the eyes of the media, when will women's achievements ever be enough? It scares me to think that in future generations, those for which this "glass ceiling" is deemed nothing more than a historical metaphor, successful women will still be required, on top of everything else, to meet superficial expectations for their looks.
If I have a daughter in later life, I imagine her coming to me at a young age, innocence and determination in her eyes as she confidently tells me she would like to become the head of government when she grows up. What would my reply be? "That is wonderful honey, but even after you have successfully come through your education, built a credible political reputation and gained the trust and respect of the nation, you must then prove your candidate worthiness by having well groomed hair and exuding an overall 'presidential look'."
This dual-standard for women to not only prove themselves professionally but to also satisfy certain expectations for their demeanor and looks is manifested in pop culture. It is hyper-sexualised in the showbiz and entertainment industries. This conceivably adds an additional tier to the glass ceiling, a further requirement in order to be deemed 'the ultimate woman'.
The roast of Justin Bieber was the third most watched ever for Comedy Central. Undoubtedly, the vast majority of these viewers were adolescents, mainly young girls. The roasting panel featured Martha Stewart who was praised afterwards for her dry and vulgar jokes. In her conclusion, the lifestyle personality advised the rebellious heart-throb to search for an influential, powerful woman to marry. She described this ideal future spouse as:
...a player in the boardroom and a freak in the bedroom.Pop-icon Usher released a hit song in which he expresses longing for a woman who is:
...a lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets.This can be contrasted with self-proclaimed feminist Lilly Allen's lyrics:
If I told you about my sex life, you'd call me a slut but boys are talkin' bout their b****** and no one's making a fuss.In the eyes of the media, a woman who excels in the public sphere must also encompass the male's ideal in the private sphere. We are told that on top of other facets such as intelligence, relatability, humour, kindness and determination, women must also look good and have sex appeal. When I graduate from college and pursue a career practicing law, I hope that I will be evaluated on my hard work and quality of service to clients, not on my hairstyle.