Those trademark braids

June 24, 2006

(Via: Julia Tymoshenko's personal site) [NB: I was going to post a photo that is more representative of her charismatic style, but the gentleman in the background of this one stole the show. This is a rare incidence where the sweatshirt makes the man].

'“She looks so small and tender, but she is the only man among the politicians,” said military surgeon Yuriy Shevchuk, about the former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who announced she and other allies from the country's Ukraine's Orange Revolution would start forming a government.' (Source:The Globe and Mail)

The seemingly polar worlds of fashion and politics collide in Ukrainian Prime Minister (just restored to the position from which she was dismissed). Overcoming allegations of corruption and fraud, Tymoshenko has become a "passionate revolutionary-like leader" in her campaign to reform Ukrainian politics. She was Victor Yushenko's right-hand woman in his campaign for the presidency until she was dismissed last September after a falling out from which she bounced back this spring.

Her trademark halo of a thick blonde braid and gracefully sartorial wardrobe have set her head and shoulders above the other female politicians (though admittedly an easy feat since the number of women in politics is still too few, but I digress). With a PhD in Economics and a long career in business preceeding the foray into the political arena, she was named the 3rd most powerful woman in the world in 2005 by Forbes magazine. Though she may have a spotty past (and what politicians in developing nations don't and even continue to engage in activities of a dubious nature?) the next few months with her in power may be pivotal in determining the trajectory of Ukrainian politics.

I first saw a photograph of Tymoshenko during the turmoil of the elections last year, and was impressed by her stature, the way she carried herself, her suit, high-ass heels, and insane hair – all while in parliament – just blew my mind. She exudes charisma and definitely looks like a force to be reckoned with.

Now for the questions of silly, childlike curiosity: I wonder how long it takes her to do her hair in the morning…and how many people does it take to do it?

More importantly though, I wonder if there have been grumblings questioning her ability to lead a country while being very concerned about her appearance – especially in a parliament full of men?  Surely her political capabilities have shown their muscle enough to quell any quips of the sort.


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