It was an impossible moment to defend. If anyone should be following the laws to the letter, it’s a lawmaker. Ms. Pelosi should never have set foot in that salon.
But it was personally frustrating to watch — not just because if the speaker had wanted to give Team Trump a beautifully-wrapped, aromatherapy-scented gift, she couldn’t have done much better, but also because Ms. Pelosi was seemingly giving us a preview of the post-pandemic future. And women, it turns out, will probably still be tethered to the same restrictive beauty standards and constricting clothes after all.
It’s true that grooming can be a healthy, pleasurable indulgence. When you’ve been stuck at home, working remotely, running a house/school/laundromat/24-hour diner, taking a few moments to put on lipstick or paint your nails counts as self-care.
And it’s even better if you can get someone to take care of you, the way you can at a hair salon, those oases of expertise and calm, fashion magazines and “Would you like something to drink?” At the salon, you leave your kids and, hopefully, your cares behind. Someone touches you, talks to you, tends to you. When you’re a woman — especially if you’re a woman who’s been getting by with drugstore dye and whose hair is currently three different colors, one of which is still gray — that can be a delight.
But sometimes — lots of times — grooming isn’t fun, or relaxing, or indulgent. It’s just another part of the job.
In her post-campaign memoir, Hillary Clinton wrote, “I’m not jealous of my male colleagues often, but I am when it comes to how they can just shower, shave, put on a suit, and be ready to go. The few times I’ve gone out in public without makeup, it’s made the news.”