This week, as federal agents assault peaceful protesters on the streets of Portland and the daily coronavirus death toll exceeded 1,000 Americans, one conservative pundit stood against the real enemy: a liberal woman with green hair.
Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who is known for her joyful fashion choices, showed up to the Capitol on Tuesday in a dress with floral embroidery, a blue medical mask, and a mint-colored wig.
The hairstyle—a long bob with bangs—was sleek and well-maintained. Even if the color was a little Troll doll, the prim blowout looked entirely appropriate.
Sinema did not have much to say on the topic, only clarifying to MSNBC reporter Garrett Haake that the shade was “mint green” not the “blue” he assumed.
While Sinema’s press office declined to comment to The Daily Beast on the record, her team did speak out back in May when she wore a lilac wig to the Capitol Building.
According to that statement, the senator opted for the $12.99 accessory as a means of social distancing—she could “do her hair” without having to go to a salon. (A wise choice, as her state has emerged as a coronavirus hot spot.)
So Sinema wasn’t in the Senate to debut any look, she was there to do her job. Tell that to the conservative consultant and apparently boring human Matt Mackowiak, who took issue with the pastel hue.
“This is a sitting female US US Senator,” Mackowiak tweeted incredulously.
The tweet was quickly flooded with replies including photos of Donald Trump looking typically slovenly or distended, his upper lip coated with sweat beads. How can we scream about Sinema disrespecting political decorum when this man is in office? (An entirely valid argument, though there are so many better ways to dunk on a politician than by hitting their appearance.)
Mackowiak’s attempted burn on Sinema—however lame it may be—comes as especially egregious, considering it occurred the same day as Representative Ted Yoho called Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a “fucking bitch” on the steps of the Capitol.
In a time of global crisis, we can count on one thing: powerful, insecure men will resort to weaponizing womanhood. Their targets, in turn, will have to ignore these attacks or take the high road.
As AOC put it on Twitter, using a shrugging emoji for punctuation, “Hey, bitches get stuff done.”
The question remains: How come conservative men, who wear white socks underneath their Clark sandals at the beach, seemingly become fashion authorities every time a woman with power wears something they disagree with?
Stephanie Brown, a colorist at New York’s IGK Salons, told The Daily Beast that Sinema’s wig is fairly on trend. “More people are embracing them,” she said. “It’s better to use a wig than to dye your hair mint green. When that washes out, it does not look pretty. It looks like dishwater in your hair. So a wig is the best way to go.”
Many of Brown’s clients, the stylist says, have become more free-spirited when it comes to switching up their color. “Life is short and we’re really starting to see that it is,” Brown said. “So people just do whatever they want. Who cares about the rules of, ‘I have to look professional for whatever reason.’ It’s not the case anymore. People are more accepting of self-expression. If they want to be creative, let them do it.”
As far as unnatural hair colors go, mint might not be as ubiquitous in pop culture as, say, pastel pink. But it’s still been worn by celebrities like Cynthia Erivo, Nicki Minaj, a few Kardashian-Jenners, and pop-punk queen Avril Lavigne.
In film, the shade has been used to denote a character’s outsider position—think of Jared Leto and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, or Kate Winslet as the manic pixie archetype in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Senator Sinema’s riot grrl hair might be primed for a Sleater-Kinney Zoom concert, but the centrist politician is no radical. Maybe she’s trying to slightly communicate something, or maybe she just likes the color. We can only speculate on her motivation, which keeps the conversation centered on what she looks like. So let’s all shut up and wait for the next color.