Newsweek’s controversial August cover featuring Michele Bachmann and the headline “Queen of Rage” has inspired a do-it-yourself costume that's zipping around the Web. The Grindstone, a women’s website that focuses on workplace issues, first posted the idea several weeks ago, featuring the cover cut out for use as a mask. Time then offered some simple step-by-step instructions to make it: “Cut out Bachmann’s face from Newsweek cover, poke holes through eyes, staple rubber bands at the edges and place on your face.”
The Newsweek cover appeared in August, when Bachmann was leading polls in Iowa. It quickly took on a life of its own. The meme “Hot Chicks With Michele Bachmann’s Eyes” quickly sprung up, replacing the peepers of stars from Kim Kardashian to Jessica Alba with Bachmann’s intense gaze. There was even an iPhone app, Bachmann-Eyezed, which facilitates the Photoshop trick for any personal photo.
Some outlets suggested the portrait was unfair to the candidate. Newsbusters said it “makes the Congresswoman look crazy” while Slate debated whether it was “sexist.” Newsweek responded to the uproar with a series of outtakes from the cover shoot. Tina Brown, editor in chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, simply replied “Michele Bachmann’s intensity is galvanizing voters in Iowa right now and Newsweek’s cover captures that.”
Time offered a wry tip to its Bachmann mask-making instructions: “it helps to walk around overly wide-eyed, like you just drank a coffeemaker.”
Other politicians aren’t being spared this Halloween season. Time had similarly creative costume ideas for Rick Perry and Herman Cain, while The Huffington Post recommended downloadable cutout masks of several political figures, including Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell.