Sure the issues should matter more than how a presidential candidate looks when you cast your ballot on Election Day, but let’s face it – it helps if a candidate looks the part!
Whether President of the USA, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or any other executive-in-chief, there are certain physical attributes that experts say can make or break leaders.
There was a time when a President’s look had nothing to do with his or her political ascent. This all changed in 1960 after the first-ever televised Presidential debate featuring senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Vice President Richard Nixon. People who listened to the debate on the radio thought Richard Nikon won, but many of those who watched the two square off on TV were more impressed by JFK, who looked more regal and comfortable on the screen.
Now we see images of the President everywhere – in high definition, no less.
Yes, looks seem to count more than ever before.
What makes a person look like a President?
Some presidential candidates just seem to have a chin up on others. Many studies have shown that people with stronger chins are trusted more and viewed as having a greater ability to lead.
“Leaders often have a strong jaw line with a slightly squared chin,” says Indianapolis plastic surgeon Barry Eppley, MD. “They also tend to have a more angular face.”
If you weren’t born with a Presidential chin, this doesn’t mean you are destined to be passed over. “Chinplants” can increase chin projection permanently, and just may give you that competitive edge.
While most of us spend a small fortune getting our wrinkles frozen and filled, fine lines may be a good thing for a President. “You need a few forehead and crow’s feet wrinkles,” says Eppley. Wrinkles and lines tell the story of our lives, and may be a sign of wisdom among Presidents (within reason, of course).
And good hair also makes a world of difference. Presidents should have a full head of hair, often with some graying around the temporal hairline. A little gray hair, just like a few wrinkles, suggests worldliness, wisdom and experience, Eppley says. Many men are opting for hair transplants as they compete for jobs with younger candidates.
That campaign smile counts too. George Washington managed to skate by with wooden teeth, but that was the 18th Century. Times have changed. “Presidential teeth should be strong, bold, squarish and defining,” says New York City dentist Larry Rosenthal, DDS. “They should have a bright but natural color and a full smile that says ‘I am strong, I’m honest, I’m accountable and I am a leader.’”
Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery wants to know… Who looks more presidential to you?
President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney? Take the poll here.