Edit: This is probably a troll but 1) I fell for it and didn’t do my research, and 2) it’s still kinda funny, so I’ll keep it.
The word “optics” was fairly new to me this election cycle, but clearly has a necessary place in political vocabulary. Tactical visual presentation (or the analysis thereof) is a major part of politics today, as we continue our slide into the post-literate age.
How a person or situation is presented visually is just as important (or more important, frankly, since people are so often seeing a thumbnail and headline but not clicking through to the full article) as how it is verbally “spun” or rhetorically presented. The visual can be grokked in a split second, and can be just as persuasive and packed with meaning as a long-form essay.
So when Eric Trump showed up on my twitter timeline with a fashy haircut….
I’m not going to pretend to know what Eric Trump is thinking, or what he tells his barber. I would venture to guess that he puts some thought into his visual presentation, given that he was already in the public eye before his father became the President of the United States.
When we started this roller coaster ride two years ago, he had helmet-hair. Not sure if he used more hairspray than his wife, but it’s not the greatest look for him. Donald gets away with the outrageous hair because it is just as cartoonishly exaggerated as his public persona. Eric Trump doesn’t have the persona to go with weird hair, and whatever persona goes with crunchy hairspray, it’s probably not great.
Eric then switched things up to the “stereotypical 1930s movie villain banker” hairstyle (he needs some round, wire-rimmed glasses to complete the look, and a pinstripe suit) which was a welcome change. The side part broke up the crunchy helmet-hair effect, and plays better with his hairline.
(I’m not going to look any further back, because the results are tragic.)
But speaking of villains
Remember when the Trump children released this photo? Lots of comparisons to movie villains from the left. Cartoony, Wall Street-style villains. The ones the left loves to hate.
Or at least, they USED to love to hate them.
Since the Hillary speech, the alt-right has become the shadow behind every door and the boogeyman under every bed. Perhaps the new fashy Eric Trump haircut has been updated to reflect the new villains of the day: the alt-right.
Regardless of what this says about his political inclinations, I like this fashy version of his hair. Definitely an upgrade.