/ 2 November 2008

Pouts, pecs and power suits

On a recent Saturday evening in Brooklyn a glamorous Sarah Palin stepped out of a hair salon into the night. She was followed by a host of other Palins, all dressed in power suits and sporting the trademark glossy lips, sexy and stern glasses and lacquered, ”updo” hairstyles. The event was ”Updos for Obama” where Medusa hair salon ran a fundraiser for Democratic Party presidential nominee Barack Obama.

”Join the ladies of Medusa as we celebrate patriotic hairdos the Sarah Palin way,” read the flyer.

”Mavericks, hockey moms, PILS [pitbulls in lipstick], and reformers are welcome (‘Joe-six-packs’ are welcome too but we will be serving wine).” Competitors could choose from three different hairstyles: the ”maverick”, the ”reformer” and the ”huntress”.

Millions of Americans are not just redoing their hair for Palin. They’re taking off their clothes too. Some, like those gun-slinging six packs sporting ”maverick” on their chests, are stripping off their shirts as she titillates from the podium, fantasising about ”doing her”.

As Halloween, the season of scary fun and dressing up, approaches, just about everyone is going as Palin. You can get a bikini, rifle and ”Miss Alaska” beauty contest sash (although she was only runner-up) for $59,99 on Amazon. There are also blogs and instructional videos on how to create your own ”updo” and find the right shade of glossy mauve lipstick, if you don’t feel like spending money in these trying economic times.

Of course you won’t get quite the same sultry effect as the real Sarah Palin, who’s been lucky enough to have her lipstick applied by a make-up artist paid more than anyone else in the Republican campaign.

But as the hum dies down about the $150 000 spent on a makeover for Palin and her family — even her seven-year-old daughter Piper got lucky with a Louis Vuitton bag — the moose-huntin’ mom reminds us time and again how much she feels the pain of the American people right now and how she can’t wait to go back to shopping at her ”favourite consignment shop in Anchorage, Alaska”.

Another worthy accessory for Palin lookalikes is the lapel pin: the American flag, diamantè ”Alaska” pin or a polar bear will suffice.

Palin is also happy to endorse a tattoo as long as she approves of its subject matter. At a recent address to graduates from the talking-in-tongues Wasilla Assembly of God church three months before she catapulted to fame, she proudly told her audience that at first she was upset when her soldier son Track got himself tattoos before he went off to Iraq.

”I’m like, naah, I don’t think that’s real cool, son. Until he showed me what it was and I thought, ‘Oh, he did something right.’ Because on his calf he has a big ol’ Jesus fish and then he had to get another on his shoulder – a big ol’ map of Alaska with the valley [Wasilla] inked on it.”

So, if you’ve got a six-pack and don’t dig drag, the next best thing is to strip to the waist, carve a big map of Alaska on your chest and wink at Palin. She may just wink back at you.

Top Voices of Africa correspondents write about Barack Obama:
His head does a lot more than keep his ears apart, says a Windhoek pastor
Barack Who? Why the US presidential candidate’s not big in Bulawayo
To many Sierra Leoneans, Obama is like the long-awaited messiah
Down Obama Boulevard — A Kampala businessman paves the way
Read these stories and more at www.mg.co.za/uselections