It happens every time I see a picture of her. It’s even worse when there’s video. I steel myself to pay attention to the message and not the vehicle through which the message is delivered. “It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter,” I repeat like a mantra. “What the fuck did she just say?” will sometimes break through the mantra, until finally, my brain can’t take it anymore.
“JUST CUT IT!! JUST CUT IT SHORT! CAN YOU NOT SEE YOURSELF???”
I’m not sure what happened to Kellyanne Conway’s hair. It looks like maybe too much processing, but there’s a dull sheen to it that reminds me of George Washington’s powdered wig. Which I suppose makes sense in the White House, but it still feels wrong. And I know it’s bitchy and beyond inconsequential, but at one point I realized that I’d never seen her hair without a weird curl in the wrong place, or one chunk with a mind of its own, or a general look like she just woke up the morning after book club, where she chatted about a Leni Riefenstahl biography and drank too much chardonnay.
I know how this sounds. I know I shouldn’t even be talking about it. Sure, Trump’s hair has been a running joke for years, and an argument could be made for treating women in politics just as shittily as we do men. But Kellyanne’s hair doesn’t live in a vacuum, and we’ve been commenting on women’s appearances instead of their work and character since Susan B. Anthony’s protest bloomers were deemed “totally ratchet” by her peers.
It shouldn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. But when it is so colossally wrong, it makes me want to get a message to her: You must make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. You must have access to literally the best hairstylist in DC. So why can’t this be fixed?
I haven’t quite figured out why I can’t let this go. I imagine part of the reason is that I’m an American woman who’s internalized all kinds of negative messages about my own body and hair. I’ve practiced finding things about myself that suck and harping on them since I was 12, and so it’s pretty knee-jerk for me to find those sucky things in other women. Does it make it more difficult when you’re a feminist? Sure it does! But it doesn’t make it impossible.
I guess my biggest problem with her hair is that it grows out of a woman who was instrumental in electing a man to the presidency who bragged about sexually assaulting women just like her. A woman who lies so much that she actually created a new term to deal with lying’s branding problem so she could continue doing it. A woman who just recently disavowed feminism, the very political movement that has allowed her to reach the throne from which she is now looking down on us—I mean, if she can even see us through those raggedy-ass bangs.
See? I had to do it. I can’t stop myself.
But I should stop myself. I need to start stopping myself, because my obsession with her hair is really about my belief that she, along with her staff and boss, are chipping away at the things that used to make America great: diversity, inclusion, a free press, a moral arc that bends towards justice, and politicians who lie approximately 30 percent of the time instead of 84 percent.
So Kellyanne, you don’t need to fix your hair for me. It’s perfect the way it is. But if you could fix your temperament, moral compass, and pitch-black garbage soul, that’d be great.