Being Hillary Clinton is not easy – trust me, I tried it
After spending a week living in her shoes, my feet were quite literally battered
by Jennie Gale
Despite being a household name in politics for the last 30 years, she’s demonized for being a mystery who doesn’t fit the usual description of an ‘everyman’ candidate.
Across this year’s presidential race, Hillary never electrified the young people in the same way as Bernie Sanders. He was warmer, people thought he was “cute“. By contrast, Hillary has been tarred as inauthentic – “too much of a politician” and “not a real person.”
I’ll be voting for the first time on November 8 and I wanted to get into Hillary’s head: really understand what drives her steely exterior and justify what I knew would be a vote in her favor.
They say you shouldn’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. I went one step further and became Hillary Clinton for a week.
Looking the part
Surrounded by people searching for drag outfits and vintage steals, I hit two Williamsburg thrift stores in search of one thing. Pantsuits. I needed structured shoulders, tailored legs and colors that screamed “watch me while I shimmy.”
Walking around the palatial shops with my best friend felt like a joke. I searched for American flags while she expertly sorted through glorified hand-me-downs. I couldn’t stop thinking about how easy dressing for the week was going to be. With that much tailoring I could dress with my eyes closed and not screw it up too badly.
Everyone’s staring – and not in the good way
The first couple of days in Hillary garb were awful. I was so self-conscious and convinced everyone was staring at me. I took back streets on my walk to work, avoided eye-contact at all costs and I only really felt comfortable going out with a human buffer.
I’d also been struck down with a filthy cold and I just looked sick. Call it method acting – Hillary’s pneumonia has been widely publicized – and I couldn’t help but think I wouldn’t be feeling vile if my clothes weren’t so goddamn structured.
There was nothing to be done though – I had to wear the loud blazers and hold watery eye-contact. This week, I was Hillary. You get shit done and there isn’t another option.
Eating and drinking like Hillary would
It’s been reported Hillary follows a diet called “Eat Fat, Get Thin” which essentially eliminates sugar, gluten, grains, dairy and most fruits from your diet.
I’m already gluten and lactose intolerant so decided actually adhering to those restrictions would suffice.
The only way to improve my boring anti-food was by adding the famous Hillary staple – hot sauce.
After searching the supermarket for the best (cheapest) one, I resolutely carried the bottle around in my bag all week and added it to everything I ate. Needless to say, I created a monster – one blink and three quarters of the bottle were gone.
Say yes to socializing after a long day’s work
If someone suggested drinks, I went. Coffee, yes. Dinner date? Walk in the park? Whine and wine or Wednesday night out?
I was morally bound to say yes to everything. There’s no rest for the wicked and apparently Hillary likes a drink, so sobriety was never going to be in my future. It all kicked off with a Monday night trip to the local bar.
You start as you mean to go on and by the end of the week I was exhausted and broke – but a force to be reckoned with when it came to scintillating small-talk.
Catcalling was more imaginative
Frankly, after hours of shopping and the miles I was traipsing in sensible black heels, I would’ve been furious if no one shouted “HILLARY” in my face at least once.
On Wednesdays, we wear pink – and pink pantsuit day was my time for not entirely unwarranted attention.
Like the fake celeb I was, no one came up and asked me why I was dressed like a cheap queen of England, but among the wolf whistles were shouts of, “Get it, girl” and, “Strut!” and I finally, blessedly, heard the words I’d been waiting for:
“She looks just like Hillary Clinton”.
Dating like a boss – on Tinder
You don’t realize how many men are called Justin until all you’re looking for is a Bill.
I changed my bio to reflect my new character. First dates are hard enough without aesthetic surprises, and I didn’t think my faux-bob and suit jacket would be endear me to nice Brooklyn boys.
Anyone with a bio referencing “Finance” or “Analyst” were immediately left-swiped. They had to be chilled enough to help me breathe after a stressful day and honestly, past the initial transfer of information, I wasn’t in the mood to explain my life choices.
By the end of the week, I was drunk on attention and elated. Then retrospect began to set in.
I hadn’t spoken to my family once, I’d fought with my friends, my skin and hair and bedroom were a mess. My standard of living had completely tanked and after nearly a year of living large in New York this was – unequivocally – the most tired I’d been.
Stamina always has a question mark over it when you talk about Hillary Clinton. Attitude is another.
After a week in her shoes, my feet were quite literally battered. When I eventually paused to take stock I knew I could’ve kept going, but “cold” would have been an understatement for my mood.
Despite Hillary’s campaign not adhering to the idiots guide on why to vote for someone – aka a one time beer with your sister’s friend of a friend – The Tab’s national survey confirmed 65 percent of students plan to vote Clinton.
What began as a silly social experiment became a humanizing mission – and I feel like I’m starting to get it. She probably doesn’t scream “personable” because her feet hurt, campaigning isn’t easy against an oversized Tangy Cheese Dorito and she is literally running for president. What do you do in your day job?
Now – more so than ever – I’m with her. And you should be too.
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