When great skin is not enough

The Washington Post has a section called “Style.” I call it the paper’s id. Left-wing memes and rants too out there to appear in the news section or the op-eds find voice in the Style section.

This article by Monica Hesse about Elizabeth Warren is a good example. Here’s how it opens:

One of the more intimate side conversations you were likely to overhear between women at an Elizabeth Warren rally was about the candidate’s skin. How it glowed. How it seemed perpetually soft and dewy, even under her eyes, and that’s hard for anybody to achieve but especially someone who is 70 years old.

Her complexion became so famous that Cosmopolitan asked her about it in an interview once, at which point she shared that she used Pond’s moisturizer, and then this became part of the conversation, too. Pond’s! Such a simple, old-fashioned beauty tip, given so willingly by the woman who had a plan for everything, even your combination skin.

After reading this tribute to Warren’s skin, one hopes the ego will intrude. It doesn’t. The id remains in control.

A female acquaintance of mine once mentioned online that it scared her how much she loved Elizabeth Warren. . . .She wasn’t scared of Warren. She’d just never felt so personally moved by a candidate before, which meant she’d never felt so vulnerable to the idea of her candidate losing.

What was the basis for this love? Was it Warren’s skin? Her gender? Her plans for everything?

The closest Hesse comes to an explanation is to say that the love is partially grounded in the perception that “unlike even the most wonderful, wokest gentlemen,” Warren “didn’t need to learn about [sexism], because she already got it.”

Speaking of sexism, you won’t be surprised to learn that Hesse thinks it undermined Warren’s campaign:

From almost the beginning, [Warren’s] candidacy was haunted by the gauzy, shapeless specter of sexism, which it turns out is the worst kind of sexism, because some people can feel it in their bones and some people don’t believe it exists at all.

Hesse provides no evidence that sexism harmed Warren’s candidacy appreciably. Her bones aren’t evidence.

In fact, one should conclude from Hesse’s column that some of Warren’s support was gender based. It stemmed in part, Hesse says, from the sense that Warren understood herself to be a victim of sexism. That, plus maybe her skin.

I assume that Warren lost some votes because of gender-related matters. But did that number exceed the number of votes she won because feminists wanted to elect a woman or because her candidacy catered to a certain kind of woman? This question, which I addressed here, would seem to be the critical one.

Hesse offers nothing helpful on the question. Naturally. The id does not permit the kind of analysis required to answer it.

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