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The Beauty Myth: Study Finds Sarah Palin's Looks Lost Votes

The Beauty Myth: Study Finds Sarah Palin's Looks Lost Votes


Between Michelle Obama's bare arms and Hillary Clinton's boxy pantsuits, women can't seem to catch a break. Not even during Women's History Month! Because now (or, should I say again?) Sarah Palin's looks are under scrutiny. A new study suggests her attractiveness may have cost her and John McCain votes last November.

Though the study represents a limited group (students from the University of South Florida), it reinforces previous research that concluded pretty women in powerful positions are perceived as less competent. However the finding, which is to be published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, says it was not her attractiveness that did her in, but the effect it had on voters' perception of her. It made them see her as less competent, capable, and intelligent. Seems like splitting finely coiffed hairs though, no?

So what's a gal with 2012 presidential ambitions to do — dress down or study up?

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