What’s Sarah Palin Doing to This Child??

13 07 2009

palin in nyt july 13 2009

What (the hell) is she doing to this child??

Driving out demons? Has she stripped it down for examination first? Why is the whole community gathered to hold it up, and why are its little arms outstretched in crucifixion posture? Doubt she’s vaccinating it . . .and why is everyone else laughing, as the child goes into paroxysm?

Why doesn’t the New York Times front-page caption writer give me the answer??

But reading the accompanying article, I get a thought. The story explains how devastating her return to Alaska was, after her failed vice-presidential bid, and it details the real reason, not political but very personal. She said she’d work without any title to serve Alaska and all good people everywhere. So maybe she is now on a mission to save children from the horrors she herself has endured and this is the beginning of her selfless work?
Maybe she’s injecting some sort of hair-growing potion?

[Palin’s] hair had thinned to the point where she needed emergency help from her hairdresser and close friend, Jessica Steele.

“Honestly, I think all of it just broke her heart,” Ms. Steele said in an interview at her beauty parlor in Wasilla, the Beehive.

Now you might scoff and think the Beehive and the hair thing was a throw-away bit of color in this story but read on! It comes up again deep into the politics, at the veritable center of her family!

Things on the home front were equally strained. Paparazzi regularly stalked the family, once ambushing Bristol Palin when she arrived with her newborn and her father at the Beehive beauty salon. Mr. Palin was forced to wait for her in the car with Bristol’s baby, Tripp, whose image was fetching a particularly high tabloid bounty.

So it seems to me THIS is the photo that should’ve been on the front page. I give you — THE BEEHIVE.

palin's beauty shop the beehive

Or better yet the Grey Lady could have gone into her own files and pulled this shot from Sept 12 2008:

The Upshot on Palin and Her Updo”

plain's beehive hair place nyt sept 12 2008

“She’s very involved in her look and how she’s perceived,” Mrs. Steele said. “We would talk a lot about how if she looked too pretty or too sexy, people wouldn’t listen to her. How important it was for people to see her as an intelligent, smart woman. It was comical when her hair was down, how big a difference that would make, especially when she was running for governor.”

With more-established salons throughout the valley, the Beehive would seem a surprising choice for Wasilla’s then-mayor. Mrs. Steele started the salon in 1997 when she, a recently separated mother of two, put a salon chair in her garage and painted the interior Barbie pink.

Mrs. Steele relied on word of mouth through local congregations: “We’re all really strong Christians in this shop.”

Around 2000, the mayor called, needing rescue from a bad color job. . .Eventually, Mrs. Steele suggested that Ms. Palin put up her hair because “Sarah wanted to look more professional and ready to work and not come across as high maintenance and fussy.”

The updo had another benefit. “Sarah’s short,” Mrs. Steele said, and wanted to look taller in front of cameras.

When Mrs. Steele heard that Ms. Palin was running for governor, Mrs. Steele called her: “Let’s get you all picked up for campaigning!”

The two experimented with full bangs, side-swept bangs, clips, curls, twists and blond streaks. “We just kept polishing her look,” Mrs. Steele said. “We would try more warm, red and coppery highlights or more of a contrast with pale highlights, not to be severe but just more striking.”

Over the years, Mrs. Steele said, their lives have intertwined. Ms. Palin attended Mrs. Steele’s bridal shower; this spring, the five “Beehive Beauty Shop girls” were invited to a baby shower for Ms. Palin’s son. Hairdresser and client belong to Wasilla Bible Church.

During Palin appointments, Mrs. Steele, divorced and financially stressed, confided in her client. “Sarah was always saying that God was in control and to have faith that there is a reason for everything,” Mrs. Steele said. “We would say it together.”

. . .Ms. Palin told her “not to make excuses for why I am not a stay-at-home mom or have my kids at the shop.”

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14 responses

13 07 2009
Daryl Cobranchi

She’s signing her autograph on the baby’s sundress. You can see the Sharpie in her right hand.

13 07 2009
JJ

Has the child fainted with delight?

13 07 2009
Daryl Cobranchi

My guess is the child has the giggles.

13 07 2009
JJ

Nah — but maybe they’ll come up with a video version that makes it make more sense, like this:
Reuters Makes Obama Out as Berlusconi

(I see the BAG hasn’t gotten anything on the Palin photo . . .)

13 07 2009
Crimson Wife

My 3 yr old does that lean back with arms spread out thing when he doesn’t want to be held. Should be a clue to the mom that taking her toddler to a political meet-n-greet probably wasn’t the best idea (gee, ya think?)

Don’t knock the updo, though. It’s a very practical look for moms who don’t want to cut their hair short but want to keep it from getting pulled by grabby baby hands…

13 07 2009
JJ

I agree CW, didn’t think it was a thrill down the leg or just the giggles [pffft to Daryl!]
😉

14 07 2009
JJ

LMAO! I was wrong and she just hasn’t been clear I guess — it’s not her hair or babies and abstinence, David Letterman or hunting and fishing, Alaska and ethics complaints, or grudge matches with McCain’s campaign staff or Levi Johnson and her evil ex-brother-in-law she’s focusing on!

From today’s WaPo under Sarah Palin’s byline:

“Unfortunately, many in the national media would rather focus on the personality-driven political gossip of the day than on the gravity of these challenges. So, at risk of disappointing the chattering class, let me make clear what is foremost on my mind and where my focus will be:

I am deeply concerned about President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan. . .”

While I was still laughing, I remembered this, my version of her power of story as 2008 campaign legend (hint, it had nothing to do with cap-and-trade economics!):

Cinderella Meets Tokyo Rose in GOP Fairy Tale
. . .their glass slipper fits one woman who grew up believing she’s destined for greatness by god, born a princess but kidnapped by Alaskan wolves if not set forth in a rush basket in a reverse Moses story, a princess-in-the-rough perfect for this politically arranged marriage, um, concubine-soulmate role.

Maybe we need to coin the phrase “reverse classism” then, because that’s how exactly how Palin was packaged and sold, and of course why she was chosen in the first place.

14 07 2009
JJ

It is July in Florida for me. So I’m thinking maybe this photo shocked me subconsciously because of that. Sarah Palin and I may both live in Real America but not in the same reality . . .

To me it’s just WRONG that
a. The child’s eyes were at risk, pointing straight up into the summer sun that way, and it might even be painful and causing her obvious physical distress; it literally made my eyes water to see this shot;

b. The child’s most vulnerable (chest and face) skin was dangerously exposed to sun damage, no hat or stroller shade, and her mom didn’t seem to know any better, is making it even worse in her eagerness to get an autograph;

c. Sarah Palin is always outside, which makes her seem not suited for work indoors. Has she thought about being a park ranger or camp counselor?

14 07 2009
Crimson Wife

My DH is currently writing a book putting forth the conservative case for clean energy. Looks like he needs to hurry up and get it finished!

15 07 2009
JJ

Just saw the BAG’s take:

Although at least a week behind in the “why’d she do it?” media-stakes, this NYT image — Monday’s front pager — goes some way in making up for it. The image, taken five days after her resignation announcement, shows Sarah P. sharing a laugh with a Mom as she autographs the woman’s contorting baby.

So the question is, how much is the photo a non-verbal poke at the contortions Palin has wrenched on her own brood?

15 07 2009
JJ

Some of the BAG commenters saw it the way I did, hmmm —

” Jeff said…
Interesting framing choices here: the autograph is central, Baby and Mom are next, with Sarah off to the side.
Baby looks like it is nailed to a floating cross, Sarah’s sharpie looks like a scalpel. The camera lens distorts the periphery in a subtle, upsetting way. Baby’s Mom expresses disturbing glee.
It is a stunning photograph.”

“Mountainviewer said…
I’ve never seen an image that so powerfully depicts a group of people projecting their own madness onto an unwitting child. The smiles on these faces, starting w/ mom and then spiraling out from there, give me a sense of what witch burnings must have been like back in the day. This is definitely going to give me nightmares tonight.”

“Anonymous said…

Children as literal props.
Commodities.
Tools. Objects to be used in photo ops, political campaigns, and then discarded.”

20 07 2009
JJ

Beehive gal pal denies the whole story now, that mean old Grey Lady . . .

21 07 2009
21 07 2009
JJ

New Sarah Palin ethics complaint about undeclared gifts — what is the definition of the word “receive?” — plus more tweets to tangle with than you could ever imagine, you betcha. . . Hey Lady, Get a Blog Already!

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