OK

And you can put your lipstick right here ...
File this steaming pile of equine feces under Why We Can't Have Nice Things:
The other day, an innocent volunteer at the Defense Intelligence Agency offered her sisters in the struggle a few tips on how to dress for success at work — and in love and war.

The suggestions were unexceptional enough: Make-up makes you more attractive. Don’t be a Plain Jane. A sweater and a skirt is better than a sweater with slacks. No flats. Paint your nails. Don’t be afraid of color. Brunettes have more leeway with vibrant colors than blondes or redheads.

The result was indignation, not gratitude.

That would be Washington Times columnist Suzanne Fields, who is shocked—shocked!—that "someone on the scout for something to be offended by" might have been offended by a briefing on how to be a hotter, sexier employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Because somehow, wearing heels and nail polish helps those plain ugly broads provide better intelligence to our military. Unpainted lips sink ships, ya know!

Fields is utterly baffled at how such a briefing could possibly be a problem. It's just some good "unexceptional" advice for those Plain Jane dogs. What's the big whoop? Besides, women can serve in combat now, so what better way to prepare them for the front lines than some commonsense beauty tips? Oh, and also:

Still, when President Obama assumes responsibility for providing birth control help for the women of America, you have to wonder why a few beauty tips is such a big deal. Who can say anything is off the table (or under the bed)?
Obviously, providing insurance coverage of basic preventive health care for women is exactly like telling them how to avoid looking like they got beat with the ugly stick. Not that Fields thinks it will do any good.
Stamping out slovenliness in a culture so tolerant of slobs is probably a hopeless task even for a government that can win wars on two oceans at once, tame big rivers and send a man to the moon and back. Though the tips and suggestions were the kind of advice savvy mothers once offered to their daughters, and attendance was voluntary, after all, it’s true that our grandmothers could never have imagined that giving such advice is a task for someone from the government, even a volunteer.
And who doesn't want their boss to hand out motherly advice? Sure, having a career is nice. Paychecks are lovely. Devoting yourself to the security of your country is fine. But none of that beats some mom-like tips on how to dress more sexy-like. Remember, if you wear flats and pants, the terrorists have won. Also, remember Mata Hari:
Women in the intelligence services should be the last to be offended by the suggestion that looking good is bad. Mata Hari, the glamorous Dutch spy who died before a French firing squad for service to the Germans in 1917, was faithful to the end to the fashion tradition expected of women in her craft.
Thanks for the helpful advice, Ms. Fields. Or should I say "mom"?

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:48 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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