January 29th, 2014

Defending Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Don’t worry folks, I’m not defending her politics. I’m just defending her hair, on behalf of curly-haired women everywhere.

First let me establish my bona fides (if my photo on this blog hasn’t done so already): yes, I am a curly-haired woman. I’ve written about it, and I’ve been through every conceivable way of dealing with it. I don’t look good in straight hair (tried to iron it long ago, and blow dry it more recently). Straightening it is just not complimentary to my face or my hair, and it’s a royal pain in the butt, so I don’t do it.

But most curly-haired people can’t just let the hair go completely au naturale, or they get a huge frizzball. It needs to be coaxed—ideally, gently and without too much fuss—into showing off its natural curl in the best way possible. That usually involves a good haircut, a few products, and air-drying or drying with a diffuser. Not that terrible a process, really, although the drying can take time, and if the hair is especially curly the taming can be more difficult to accomplish. For all of us our sworn enemies are humidity, the brush, and too-frequent washing.

That said, Wasserman Schultz was dealt a particularly bad hand in that she’s got hair that’s both curly and thinnish, and she resides either in Florida or Washington DC, two of the frizz capitals of the world. She’s also Of A Certain Age (although it’s an age that sounds youngish to me), which means her hair isn’t getting any thicker with time.

Now at this point you might say, “Neo, I thought you said you were going to come to Wasserman Schultz’s defense.” But bear with me; all in good time.

Today I was reading Ann Althouse’s entertaining list of 10 things she might have live-blogged from last night’s SOTU speech, had she been live-blogging it (my hat is off to anyone who could watch that thing, much less watch it and make amusing comments about it), and I saw this:

“Shirley Temple is there,” I said, spotting Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and being unfair to Shirley Temple, whose ringlets — as I do an image search this morning — look artlessly subtle and not at all like Debbie’s headful of boing-y springs. Incredible what women can do to themselves and still be taken seriously…

Ah, but I’d wager that Wasserman Schultz hasn’t “done” very much to herself at all to get that headful of boing-y springs. She’s probably desperate for an “artlessly subtle” look, but that’s probably beyond her powers, or would take so much “doing” for her as to be all-consuming. She’s lucky if her hair doesn’t frizz up into a big puffball or frizz down into a limp and wan collection of wires.

As for Shirley Temple, who was indeed a cutie-pie, it was her hair that was the product of a great deal of work (in addition to having the glow of youth). Her “look” was – as Althouse suggests – “artlessly subtle,” but there was actually a great deal of art behind it:

Temple was undoubtedly a great actor for such a young child, but it didn’t hurt that she usually had a head full of perfect curls when she stepped in front of the camera. As you might expect, giving a preteen such a meticulous hairdo was no small task. Before she turned in for bed each night, her mother had to set her hair in 56 carefully planned curls.

Temple reportedly didn’t love the hairstyle; she preferred the shorter, tousled locks that her hero Amelia Earhart sported. Temple did, however, understand the value of her trademark look. In 1938 she visited the Roosevelts at their Hyde Park estate. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt asked the star to go swimming with her, but Temple declined “because of my hair.”


Here’s Temple in her heyday:

shirley temple

You all probably know what Wasserman Schultz looks like on a bad hair day, so I’ll spare you. I couldn’t find a still photo of her at the SOTU speech last night, but here’s a video clip. She’s in black at the right of the video, and then later towards the center and slightly in back, and I think her hair looks darn good, and although not “artlessly subtle” it’s actually going the way curly hair goes when you get a decent haircut, put just a couple of taming products on it, and dry it naturally:

And that’s probably the last nice thing I’ll ever say about Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

[ADDENDUM: And if you still want to read something about the actual SOTU speech rather than the travails of curly-haired women, here's a reflection on the reactions to the speech, more about the speech, and the Tea Party rebuttal by Utah Senator Mike Lee (sounds interesting).]

22 Responses to “Defending Debbie Wasserman Schultz”

  1. southpaw Says:

    She’s a twit, but I kinda like her hair. If you gotta look at at liberal when they’re blabbering, at least you get one that’s sort of cute. (my opinion)
    Does this qualify as proof that a conservative can appreciate a liberal even if he hates her politics?

  2. vanderleun Says:

    “I knew a little girl
    Who had a little curl
    Right in the Middle of her forehead.
    And when she was good,
    She was very, very good,
    But when she was bad
    She was a neo con with neo proclivities…”

  3. chuck Says:

    @southpaw Nah, it’s proof that men have primitive priorities when looking at women.

  4. neo-neocon Says:



    Same for Shirley Temple–a Republican! Very, very bad.

  5. southpaw Says:

    Guilty as charged

  6. vanderleun Says:

    My problem is an eye-worm. Will I ever be able,upon viewing the neoneocon apple logo, not be able to think “Ah ha! Wasserman-Schultz!”

  7. Ray Says:

    The is the last picture I saw of her. Vanderleun was too polite to mention this.

  8. Sgt. Mom Says:

    Shirley Temple may have kicked over the traces a little as a teen (rebellion and all that) but you have to hand it to her parents; she was a remarkably un-messed-up adult, for someone who had been a huge movie star as a child.
    I had read somewhere or other that when she was not actually working on the set, her parents ensured that her life away from the movie studio was absolutely middle-class normal and age-appropriate. Friends her own age, Girl Scouts, practically no contact allowed with other actors and crew.
    When you look at the messy lives of other former child stars to the present day, I think Mr. and Mrs. Temple were on to something. Pity Miley Cyrus’ parents didn’t take notes.

  9. parker Says:

    He doesn’t have curly hair, but Mike Lee’s response to the SOTU is worth viewing. http://tinyurl.com/oto6oje

  10. neo-neocon Says:


    Take anyone’s picture from an angle like that, while their face is distorted by talking, and the most beautiful will be made to look ugly.

    Not that I’m saying Wasserman Schultz is a beauty. But she’s an attractive woman in the physical sense (can’t stand her politics or her personality, but fair is fair). If you didn’t know who she was and met her at a party, most people would think she was relatively attractive for her age.

  11. DNW Says:

    Is that outspoken tone typical for Althouse? I don’t know because I have not read her blog recently. But her comments on The State of the Union and Obama himself have a directness, and a justifiable vehemence, I don’t recall from a couple of years ago.

    “Who the hell cares that the light was “flipped” on? …

    But what does it mean that one particular lady got insurance? It’s all worthwhile — all the clusterfuck of Obamacare — because Misty DeMars got insurance? …

    The speech is literally claptrap. … Scalia, … said: “I resent being called upon to give it dignity…. It’s really not appropriate for the justices to be there.” I, too, resent being called upon to give it dignity …

    The dismal old cliché put your shoulder to the wheel gets tricked up with the lefty words “collective” and “progress,” and the workmanlike action verb “put” becomes the never-did-a-day-of-manual-labor word “placed.” And now, we’ve gotta get out of this place, back into our individual lives, and I don’t want to be in your collective, I’m tired of your “progress,” and I’ve got my own wheels. “

    Huh. Maybe Althouse deserves another look.

  12. stu Says:

    For one who lacks the basics to even talk about curls, I feel no sympathy for those that do.

  13. neo-neocon Says:


    Although Althouse voted for Obama in 2008, she turned on him some time before the 2012 election and has been very critical of him for quite a few years. She did not vote for him in 2012.

  14. Ymarsakar Says:

    I think people like Althouse felt that they had a duty to vote, so probably believed in too much of the anti Republican propaganda floating around. She hasn’t had her yearly resistance and de-conditioning training, as far as I know. Not even sure she has ever taken one, self or externally applied.

    That’s some years of working up bait and switch angst.

    Probably when you only have two choices or limited choices, propaganda and mind control tends to play a disproportionately greater effect than on people who have the time to pursue other options.

  15. Jon Jewett Says:

    Personally, I’d rather hear about the travails of curly haired women, especially ones I’ve become fond of by reading her blog.

  16. Al Says:

    I get a kick out of Shirley Temple but I’m glad she didn’t get that role in The Wizard of Oz.

  17. waitforit Says:

    Althouse has a great mind and sensibility, maybe not so much on other things, like I’m not sure what but we are what we are from a lot of inputs, but the first two pretty much make up for a lot! Her analytic ability and love for nature (ie., reality) impels her, like a sidewinder missile to track, track, and track. Surely she has seen this attitude: I am a socialist. Hey, when do the dancing girls come in?

  18. I Callahan Says:

    Just my humble opinion, but I find curly-haired women INCREDIBLY sexy. DWS’s issue isn’t her hair; it’s her droning, whiny voice. That more than offsets her hairstyle.

  19. Tonawanda Says:

    Her face and demeanor are repulsive.

    Contrast this: Sarah Palin.

    The countenance of the Left versus the non-Left ought to be studied.

  20. IGotBupkis, "'Faeces Evenio', Mr. Holder?" Says:

    A dupe from my post in another thread –

    Grover Cleveland responds to Obama’s SOTU Address:


    “When we consider that the theory of our institutions guarantees to every citizen the full enjoyment of all the fruits of his industry and enterprise, with only such deduction as may be his share toward the careful and economical maintenance of the Government which protects him, it is plain that the exaction of more than this is indefensible extortion and a culpable betrayal of American fairness and justice … The public Treasury, which should only exist as a conduit conveying the people’s tribute to its legitimate objects of expenditure, becomes a hoarding place for money needlessly withdrawn from trade and the people’s use, thus crippling our national energies, suspending our country’s development, preventing investment in productive enterprise, threatening financial disturbance, and inviting schemes of public plunder.”

    Cleveland’s third annual message to Congress,
    December 6, 1887


    “…inviting schemes of public plunder.”. Wow.

  21. IGotBupkis, "'Faeces Evenio', Mr. Holder?" Says:

    I get a kick out of Shirley Temple but I’m glad she didn’t get that role in The Wizard of Oz.

    It would, indeed, have been a very different movie.

    OTOH, I’m glad Richard Burton didn’t get this role, which he was a front runner for.

  22. Ymarsakar Says:

    The ancient societies used to group together hags, old women, with witchcraft and magic. Supposedly internal corruption would lead to external corruption of beauty. Then there was the Greek idea that evil is beautiful for women.

    But probably in the old days, they lacked the skin care and freedom from manual labor that would have preserved youthful vitality. But I wonder what people’s excuses are now in the modern era. Power is so intoxicating it can destroy a woman’s outward aura?

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.


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