In October 2016, Hillary Clinton got some criticism when she appeared on The View wearing dark eye shadow and black eyeliner.
“I have very little time or patience for make-up,” Clinton told Extra TV magazine at the time. “If I’m running late because my daughter needs me, there are certain things I will put on.”
But Clinton — along with Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and countless others — knew exactly why they were doing it. They wanted their audience to see themselves reflected back from these public figures’ eyes. It wasn’t just vanity. People saw confidence in those faces — a kind of strength and beauty that often comes through without any help from cosmetics.
Fast forward two months, though, to December 8th, 2017. The day Donald J. Trump won the presidential elections. And then again to January 20th, 2018, when he officially took office. This time around, no one had to tell him to take off his sunglasses. He wore them everywhere.
As soon as America woke up to the news of his victory, Ivanka Trump stepped out in New York City looking almost unrecognizable. She’d taken to going barefaced since November, but it seems even more than usual this week.
She gave us an update on her social media accounts Wednesday morning, where fans sent her messages asking if she still wears foundation and concealer and whether she’ll ever be able to ditch the mascara altogether. (We reached out to Ivanka for comment.)
Here’s what Ivanka looked like before, during and after Tuesday night’s results show…
What did Ivanka look like before?
What was different about how Ivanka looked after the election?
Trump definitely seemed less glamorous following her father’s win. Her hair went platinum blonde and straight instead of curly, which made sense considering that she would need to focus on policy rather than image. There was also the fact that she wore glasses. No shade against her fashion choices! Just saying.
And yet Trump didn’t seem sad or depressed. In fact, she seemed energized. She smiled confidently and spoke frequently. Some speculated that perhaps she felt empowered by being part of the team. Others thought maybe she was simply happy to not be president anymore. Whatever the reason behind it, everyone could agree that post-“victory face” Ivanka was confident.
Why does Ivanka want people to know what changed?
One big difference between Ivanka’s pre-election days and now is that she doesn’t appear to share many selfies together. Most likely, she wants her followers to notice changes in herself personally — both physically and mentally — rather than seeing only external reflections of it.
Another possible explanation may be that we can’t always recognize ourselves in photos. We’ve seen plenty of examples showing celebrities getting photoshopped so dramatically that they don’t resemble anything close to their own original selves. So maybe Ivanka feels self-conscious taking pictures of herself and wants people to see real versions of herself.
The photo above might shed light on it too. On Instagram Thursday morning, she posted a selfie of herself holding a book titled Women Who Work. Perhaps she thinks it’s important for girls to see images of successful working mothers. Or maybe she just likes posing with books. Either way, it shows that she’s focusing on putting effort into personal appearances now.
Is this really as drastic an improvement as I think it looks?
Some critics say that Ivanka’s new look isn’t particularly impressive compared to other famous folks who’ve gone sans makeup recently. That said, she’s already accomplished more than some presidents.
For example, Barack Obama never used makeup until 2009, according to Rolling Stone. By comparison, Richard Nixon started using makeup regularly in 1973, and Ronald Reagan began wearing lipstick in 1981. President George W. Bush didn’t start appearing flawless until 2001. Even Bill Clinton didn’t go totally bare faced until 2004.
So yes, Ivanka’s change is significant, especially given how long she’s stuck to her old ways.
How much do you think Ivanka’s appearance has been helped by other factors?
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good, but it’s worth noting that Ivanka hasn’t done everything alone. Since November, Melania Trump has been helping out with her wardrobe selection. First lady Michelle Obama also reportedly provides input. Then there’s Jared Kushner, who apparently makes sure that Ivanka gets enough sleep.
Perhaps Ivanka’s newfound glow is due to the support system surrounding her. If so, it means she wouldn’t be nearly as popular if she decided to give up makeup completely. After all, she’s surrounded by people whose job depends upon having strong opinions about what’s best for her family.
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