Washington Post's Robin Givhan and Her Hair-Raising Fashion Bias

Washington media types love gossip about style, and one increasingly influential source of style buzz is Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan, who today attacked UN Ambassador designate John Bolton: "His attire was not merely bland but careless. His hair was so poorly cut, it bordered on rude." She wisecracked that Bolton's locks looked like he had "shaken his hair dry in the manner of an Afghan hound." His mustache looked "like it should be attached to geek glasses and a rubber nose."

Despite her February raves for Condoleezza Rice's high black boots, Givhan usually starts news buzz for lashing out at GOP fashion flaws. In 2000, she blasted Florida's Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who "can't even use restraint when she's wielding a mascara wand." In January, she lashed out at Vice President Cheney for wearing a parka ("snow blower" attire) to an Auschwitz ceremony. But go back to a July 9, 2004 Post article on candidate hair, and you start wondering how much her critiques are tilted by her politics.

George W. Bush "has enough hair to fully cover his head, but it is a dull gray thatch that is unremarkable and never seems to glisten even when he is standing in direct sunlight."

Dick Cheney "has thinning white hair, and the few strands that are there are so lacking in body and bounce that in the presidential hair wars, they don't even register as wisps."

John Kerry's "hair may have turned silver, but he has arrived at age 60 seemingly without having lost a strand. What man wouldn't gloat, just a little?"

John Edwards makes Givhan's heart pitter-patter, writing in one ardent passage that his "hair has regularly been referred to as a mop, but that suggests that it is messy or unkempt. Nothing could be further from the truth. He has a precise haircut with artfully clipped layers. His hair is a beautiful shade of chocolate brown with honey-colored highlights. It is not particularly long, but it is smooth and shiny. It is boyish hair not because of the style but because it looks so healthy and buoyant and practically cries out to be tousled the same way a well-groomed golden retriever demands to be nuzzled."