Guess whose high school yearbook pic?

Yep, Rachel Maddow’s. Out and proud Rachel Maddow of MSNBC’s kick-ass liberal politics show “The Rachel Maddow Show.” Maddow, who wears as little makeup as the producers will let her get away with, who would never be caught dead in feminine jewelry (let alone pearls!), who’s always in jeans and sneaks under her television desk, who gets her haircut with what looks like a Flowbee. Don’t get us wrong — none of that is a dis. We love, love, love that Maddow refuses to abide by the strict beauty rules set for women in our society, especially in our society’s television media. Which is perhaps why this picture is so striking — it’s such a 180 for her, the epitome of the feminine ideal, even today: blonde, long-haired, tan, make-up-ed, and accessorized. We admit, our first reaction was: OMG! But why?

Most people look entirely different from their high school year book pic — that’s the nature of time. People change, both physically and personally. And why should anyone be so surprised that someone, who was probably only just discovering her sexual (and political) identity in high school, would chose to look like every other female in her class? Fitting in, especially when you’re a teenager, is a basic human need. Add to that the rampant homophobia in our culture that was only twenty times worse twenty years ago, it’s no wonder she went for the pearls! She probably didn’t have much choice.

But choosing to fight the powers that be today to be her own person, and look like herself, especially in an industry that basically requires every female personality to don 6 inch heels, is not only inspiring, it’s attractive. And we think Maddow’s all the hotter for it.

[via Unamericana]