October 7, 2007

WHO DOESN'T WISH THAT HILLARY'S PROBLEM WAS BEING TOO ATTRACTIVE AND PATRIOTIC?:

'The braid' is crowning glory for the Ukranian politician Yulia Tymoshenko (Clifford J. Levy, October 7, 2007, International Herald Tribune)

[T]he braid is not just a fashion statement. It is a calculated political tool with significant cultural resonance, one that has helped turn her into more than a candidate. To her supporters at least, she is regarded as a kind of Lady Liberty.

A braid is a traditional Ukrainian hairstyle, and by adopting it, Tymoshenko, 46, and the former prime minister, has been able to underline her nationalist credentials, drawing a contrast with her main opponents, who are more closely linked to the onetime overlord, Russia.

Wrapped up in Tymoshenko's nationalism are religious overtones. She has often tried to capitalize on the revival of the church in Ukraine, and the braid echoes the halos found in representations of Orthodox Christian icons. Imagine the effect at political rallies, where she often calls for moments of prayer.

The success of her look can be seen in one of her strongholds, central Ukraine. In a tiny village home last week, an elderly woman named Praskovya Teplyuk posted a photo of Tymoshenko next to that of a traditional Orthodox icon. Teplyuk seemed to regard both with equal fervor.

What did she think of the other candidates? "They are all gangsters," Teplyuk said.

Tymoshenko has tried to play up that view with her other signature look, white clothing, which is intended to show her purity in the face of what she has called a corrupt political and business culture. (Her rivals are quick to point out that Tymoshenko was once an energy oligarch in Ukraine.)

Tymoshenko's hair color has varied over the years, from dark to blond, but lately, she seems to be keeping it almost as light as her clothing.

Tymoshenko's advisers acknowledge that using a hairstyle as a campaign symbol could trivialize her. But they say that she is such an electrifying leader and speaker that no Ukrainian would consider her a hollow candidate.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 7, 2007 8:47 AM
Comments

Remember Hill's picture taken in the White House at the height of the White Water scandal? Hill in a pink suit, sitting under the portrait of honest Abe.

Posted by: ic at October 7, 2007 2:07 PM

She apparently throws her perls at her opponents, too.

http://perles.effisk.net/?186-yulia-tymoshenko

Posted by: Jorge Curioso at October 8, 2007 3:23 PM
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