You may have noticed that politicians’ looks come under A LOT of scrutiny. Eyeglasses, dresses, lapel pins, and haircuts have spawned whole newspaper articles and fashion movements. For those politicians (and all you politician wannabes) out there who need a makeover, this one’s for you.
HOW TO GIVE YOURSELF A POLITICAL MAKEOVER
Excerpted from The Worst-Case Scenario Almanac: Politics
By Dave Borgenicht & Turk Regan
1. Audit your appearance.
Take a long, hard look at yourself. Ask trusted colleagues and family members to evaluate how you look and take notes on your strengths and weaknesses. Your physical appearance delivers the first and most lasting impression of you as a person and politician to voters. If voters are not responding to your message, it may be because your appearance is either distracting from or working against the impression you wish to give. Your hair, wardrobe, facial expressions, and body language are all interpreted as measures of your abilities and aptitude.
2. Neutralize negative features.
Do not seek to turn every aspect of your appearance into a shining asset or you will risk overcompensating in a way that can draw still more attention to your flaws. Seek to deflect attention from what is a given (height, weight, ugliness) and change what you can.
3. Establish a core look.
Select signature clothing styles, personal details, or physical mannerisms that will form the foundation of the new political identity you wish to convey. Translate your desired impression into a fashion statement: decisive leadership (loud, colored accessories), steadfast and reliable (a sober hairstyle), someone who gets things done (shirtsleeves rolled up or hair pulled back), or the friendliest candidate (calculatedly unpolished.)
Use different fashion accessories to adjust your core look to the variety of events and locations you encounter. A hat, a clipboard, or a hot dog can complement, not compete, with your basic look.
5. Avoid trends.
Resist the temptation to adopt trendy fashions and hairstyles, which may make you momentarily popular with younger voters, but risk giving the impression that you spend too much time refining your appearance rather than considering substantive issues, or tagging your candidacy to a fashion look that may not last very long or suit you very well.
6. Blunt your sexiness.
While being attractive is an advantage in politics, being sexy can seem threatening. Voters want candidates who are easy on the eyes, but not hot.
7. Mirror success.
If you are unsure what look to adopt, consider the style and appearance details of successful candidates with whom you are not directly competing and copy his or her look.
What’s the best political makeover you’ve witnessed? Leave a comment for a chance to win The Worst-Case Scenario Almanac: Politics!