Until I saw their photos posted next to each other, I had never thought about Jane Goodall and Ivanka Trump at the same time. Besides the fact that they are both women and both household names, they have little in common.
The article that united these two familiar faces was about a Jane Goodall quote that Ivanka Trump used in her book. You can read it here. What struck me, however, were the photographs. The two faces are surprisingly similar in shape and feature. To be sure, Goodall has a few decades on Trump, but if you subtract the age difference, it’s easy to imagine that the two could be related.
The difference is not age so much as it is makeup. Years ago, when Goodall was at the height of her career, a man said to me, “It’s such a shame that she’s so plain.” Plain, of course, meant ugly. The comment stuck with me, because it so obviously carried the extra meaning that women really need to be pretty if they want to be perceived as worth anything.
Ivanka Trump is, according to all usual standards, pretty. But how much is really her, and how much is artifice? Take a look at the two faces. Same forehead, same face shape, same cheekbones, same chin. Is Jane Goodall “plain,” or has she simply eschewed wearing cosmetics all these years?
If I were handier with PhotoShop, I could give Jane Goodall eyeliner, mascara, eyebrow pencil, foundation, blush, lipstick, and blonde hair. Or maybe I could take all those things away from Ivanka. I will spend time doing neither.
What I will do is admire Jane Goodall for being herself all these years. I envy all the hours she didn’t spend altering her appearance to measure up to somebody else’s idea of beauty. She’s used her time on earth for far more important things, as the video below so perfectly illustrates. If you haven’t already seen it, prepare to have your mascara smeared. If you have seen it, watch it again. It might well wash your mascara off entirely.