How does the perception of plastic surgery change a potential presidential candidate’s campaign? How does it change what voters think about that candidate?
Before the advent of television, political candidates more or less were straightforward and had to politic in more traditional means. Then the first televised debate occurred in September of 1960 between presidential candidates Richard Nixon (the current vice president) and a senator from Massachusetts named John F. Kennedy. Interestingly, most of the public that listened to the debate on the radio declared it a draw or thought that Nixon had won, while those that watched the debate on television overwhelmingly thought that Kennedy had done much better. Was it because Kennedy was deemed better looking? Or did he just engage the camera and television audience better than Nixon?
Now there are a lot of variables when it comes to being photogenic, especially for television and not all of it has to do strictly with looks. Kennedy performed better for television, addressing the camera instead of the reporters present, more or less connecting with over fifty million Americans watching from their living rooms. Kennedy was prepared, Nixon was not.
Since then, many elections have come and gone, but one constant has remained. The media and television have played a huge role ever since the debates of 1960. Now, being in front of a camera constantly on a campaign trail has necessitated the need for candidates to look their absolute best. In fact, it’s been said that people naturally gravitate toward a more handsome or attractive person, even a political candidate.
What if a candidate has the best ideas, the most centered personality, the smarts and basically everything they’d need to win an election, except looks? What do they do then? Would some turn to elective cosmetic surgery? Possibly, but it probably wouldn’t be in their best interests, even if it did improve their looks.
According to a study done by RealSelf, candidates would be negatively affected by their decision to undergo a plastic surgery operation. The study basically determined that depending on which type of procedure, a certain percentage of the public would either reconsider their vote or change it.
This means that even though most plastic surgery performed in this day and age is done with the intention of a medical or a self-confidence benefit, the negative stigma remains. Whether it’s right or not, we seem to be concerned more about a candidate’s personal life and choices, not about whether or not they’re a qualified individual.
Moral of the story? If you’re voting this election season, make sure you vote for the best candidate, not the best looking one.