The Hillary Clinton Selfie as Political Salve, or Weapon

Excerpt from this article:

In the weeks since the election, some Americans have found a new folk hero in a familiar face: Hillary Clinton, comfortably dressed suburban retiree… Each chance Clinton meeting is marked with a digital memento: A selfie with the woman who would be president (sometimes photographed by a man who already was).

…But the real message is in the visuals. In each photograph, Mrs. Clinton smiles warmly. Her face is free of makeup, her hair undone. She wears practical layers — leggings, turtlenecks, patterned fleeces, fun scarves. After the knock-down, drag-out battle of the campaign, the images suggest she has, unexpectedly, found peace. She has cast off the militaristic coats, the pantsuit uniform, the helmet hairdo and the mask of TV news makeup that she wore as Hillary Clinton, embattled Democratic hopeful and Republican villain. Now she presents as a recently retired woman living her best life.

There is a larger Democratic fantasy being enacted here. The smiley sightings project an idea of enclaves — perhaps deep in the woods of Chappaqua, or in the stacks of an indie bookstore — where the fear and depression felt by many after the election does not loom.

 

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