Thursday, December 27, 2007

Yulia Tymoshenko is possibly best known for her highly fashionable wardrobe. It is unusual for her type of clothes to be worn in a political environment and this has given her an international notoriety that most Eastern Europeans certainly never achieve. I think this has afforded us the space to reconsider the approach that is taken towards dress by most female politicians. The accepted baseline is always conservative clothing, nothing too risky, kept as close to menswear as possible in order to accentuate the more masculine elements of personality. People who reveal themselves as too feminine, Theresa May, Jacqui Smith, are more likely to be criticised than regarded as fashionable. It often feels like female politicians are opening themselves up for a world of sexist pain if they dare to wear half of the clothes available in Marks and Spencer, never mind any other shops. However the perception that they have pushed it too far in order to look good is wildly inaccurate, if they really were wearing tremendously fashionable clothes, the type that can be recognised by the most incompetent among us then they would clearly come in for less criticism.

Tymoshenko's clothes are better, more exciting and beautiful than any British female politician's. Even the younger women who go into politics don't bear any comparison and that's not because they have less money. They just don't seem particularly interested in the way that they look. Political hair among the women of this country is dire, even those with good haircuts like Sarah Teather lean towards the thoroughly conservative. Tymoshenko takes great care of her appearance generally, she would never allow her hair to be styled like Theresa May's, she clearly has her fingernails manicured. Originally I wanted to write a comparison, unfortunately the only viable and consistent comparison on the level of dress seemed to be with Laura Bush (who does not have a career as a politician), who also has an ability to choose clothes cut to a very high standard.

Hilary Clinton is perhaps the next best comparison to make. Again she has hair problems, women appear to get to a certain point in their lives and western hairdressers start giving them very specific haircuts with matching colour jobs. Clinton has always had atrocious hair, in no way does it stand up to the record set by Tymoshenko whose hair has never been objectionable, even if it sometimes comes across as boring. Clinton does know how to choose her jackets though, they fit well and they often have good collars, which is true of Yulia Tymoshenko's jackets as well.

There aren't any competitors in English politics, tidying up Theresa May is the best option available and although she will never be as glamorous, as well kept she will choose interesting clothes. The press should stop criticising female politicians for wearing what they enjoy, it's difficult to choose items that are formal, interesting and suit bodies that are not as petite as Tymoshenko's and some of our politician's have been doing an okay job of it, even if their garments aren't as enthralling as I would like.

1 comment:

DXB said...

fascinating blog.

great post