Part 1: Massachusetts Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren stupidly declared that unlike her opponent, incumbent Sen. Scott Brown, she didn't pay for college by posing naked (for Cosmopolitan back when the magazine published monthly nude male pinups.)
Part 2: When asked by a talk-show host whether he had "officially responded to Elizabeth Warren’s comment about how she didn’t take her clothes off?" Brown stupidly laughed and said “Thank God!"
A couple things here. First of all, if Elizabeth Warren used as many cosmetics as Scott Brown she'd be as conventionally attractive. This isn't a knock on Brown, but it's not a knock on Warren either. Cosmetics are a choice. They can have a profound effect on our appearance even though they make no difference in our abilities to function.* Brown has generally chosen one way, Warren another. Both are petty to have brought it up.
Second, fuck Warren for trying to slut-shame Brown!
Third, fuck Brown for slamming Warren's potential sex appeal!
Since both present entirely within generally-accepted parameters for life in contemporary culture it's none of one's businesses either how the other chooses to present nor is it anyone's business how the rest of the general public ought to interpret their choices.
Oh, and fourth, the role reversals -- Elizabeth Warren playing the "dismissive male" with her disapproval of frivolity and Scott Brown playing the "compromised but prideful ingénue" with his arch riposte is just too precious for words.
And finally? Fifthly? Good for Brown for posing naked for beefcake photos in a national magazine at a time when there was tremendous pressure on men to gaze rather than be gazed upon. And for similar reasons good for Warren for putting accomplishment ahead of appearance. Each played then, and to a certain extent could play now, an important role in breaking through centuries of gendered expectations... but by now fishtailing past each other like Boston drivers in snow they're not helping anybody.
Note: Image and all quotes taken from TalkingPointsMemo.com.
* Well, technically it can make a difference in terms our our ability to "psyche" ourselves. For instance an always-meticulous editor I used to work with (not as a writer) always wore a precisely tailored suit, tie, and polished shoes on the days he did his final edits. His argument was that dressing extra carefully helped him work extra carefully. But I digress...