Ethics Hero: Hillary Clinton

Those are four words I once would have bet I would never type.

Real. Honest. Brave. Beautiful. Thanks.

The Secretary of State deserves them though, for appearing in public, before the cameras, with no make-up and just a touch of lipstick. Let Fox News and the Matt Drudge mock: Hillary didn’t “forget her make-up.” She just decided “to hell with it.” And, as the Washington Post correctly noted, she looks just fine.

I just spent an event sitting next to the wife of a friend. She must be pushing 70, and her face and hair would not provide a single clue that she was more than 45, except for this: but for the movement of her eyeballs and occasionally her lips, her expression was completely unchanging.It was creepy. Her husband, whom I hadn’t seen in about ten years, was aging normally, but now his marriage of 40-plus years looked like he had robbed the cradle, albeit the cradle of a family afflicted with genetic facial paralysis. What’s the point? Why do American women feel the need to feign youth, even to those who they can’t possibly fool? Hillary looks like a real person to me; my friend’s wife looks like she may crumble into dust when the sunlight hits her.

We all know the culprits in America’s escalating obsession with physical perfection, as well as the terrible consequences of it for women and the culture: low self-esteem, obsessive dieting, excessive exercise, discrimination, bullying, cruelty, anorexia, bulimia, plastic surgery addiction, self-mutilation, and more. We all know the remedy, too: distinguished role models among prominent and accomplished American women in the public spotlight who have the courage to say, “This is how I look; this is how a normal woman my age looks. I’m not ashamed of it. There are more important things than worrying about crow’s feet, gray hair and blemishes. Like what I do. Like character. Like the things that really matter.”

Hillary has shown the way, and we should all be grateful to her on behalf of our sisters, daughters, and granddaughters yet unborn.

You’re beautiful, Mrs. Clinton.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

(Especially Bill.)


Spark: Washington Post

Graphic: KLS

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work was used in any way without proper attribution, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at

10 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: Hillary Clinton

  1. My mother never wore make-up, nor did she keep up with the latest trends. She had other priorities and she saved money, but she always looked nice, happy and relaxed. I was never ashamed of her.

  2. “There are more important things than worrying about crow’s feet, gray hair and blemishes. Like what I do. Like character. Like the things that really matter.”


  3. In my view one of the word’s great beauties is Aung San Suu Kyi (67 next month), a stateswoman of Myanmar (Burma). Does she plaster herself with camouflage? I don’t think so.

    She causes longing palpitations to my 80-year-old heart.

  4. I almost fell out of my bus seat this morning when I saw this headline come across my Twitter feed. On behalf of women of all ages, thank you, Jack!

  5. It has gone way beyond what role models could solve – even prominent ones. Not that it wouldn’t be a great start.

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