Being Called Beauty Isn’t a Compliment New York Post!

Picture this: you have a candidate who is running for District 1 Council member in Lower Manhattan. The candidate graduated from Stanford Law School, is legal director of the New York State Young Democrats, a civil rights attorney at Sanford Heisler, founder of a non-profit organization, and Democratic District Leader in Lower Manhattan. How would you describe this candidate? Ambitious? Determined? Influential? I’m sure over-achiever didn’t cross your mind, or if it did, it didn’t have a negative connotation. Well The New York Post seems to think “over-achiever” is a bad quality in a political candidate.

With the Democratic Primaries for Lower Manhattan approaching in September, incumbent Margaret Chin and opponent Jenifer Rajkumar are both vying for the position as District 1 Council member. But the New York Post ‘s Tara Palmeri decided to focus on Rajkumar’s appearance and diminish her achievements in the article with a loaded and biasing headline: “This over-achieving beauty is running for City Council as head of non-profit that’s only skin deep.”

“This over-achieving beauty?” Really?  Why does Palmeri feel as if there is a need to comment on Rajkumar’s looks at all? We get that Palmeri thinks she’s pretty clever being able to use Rajkumar’s “beauty” to joke that her non-profit organization is only “skin deep” but it’s an incredible stretch for some sexist (and weak) word play. There is no correlation with Rajkumar’s beauty and her career. So why add the “beauty” comment if not to undercut Rajkumar’s credentials with sexist cheap-shots? (It’s not like such commentary is harmless.)

Palmeri makes other claims to try to convince her audience that Rajkumar is not qualified to become a Council member. Unfortunately, by calling Rajkumar names that are inherently sexists make us loose all credibility in Palmeri’s reporting. Palmeri, next time you try to criticize a candidate, maybe try going beyond the “skin deep” issues.


Published by Michelle Van Veen on 05/29/2013

« Back to More Blog Posts