Florida Representative Matt Gaetz is many things—a big dumb racist, the father to an adult son that he successfully hid from the public for years, and a rightwing troll that has very successfully built a huge national audience through, well, trolling.
Part of his formula for success, according to a new profile of Gaetz in Vanity Fair? Much like any C-list YouTuber, he is a fan of contouring. Honestly, I should have seen this earlier, because the man’s got some jowls to hide!
And he learned his contouring skills from another Florida Man, Governor Ron DeSantis. Via Vanity Fair:
When I first met Matt Gaetz back in February, the Florida congressman was applying concealer under his eyes in front of a large mirror hanging in his congressional office, doing his own last-minute touch-up before we took off for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. At the time, I was more impressed with his technique than bemused at the spectacle. (In a later conversation, he credited his contouring skills to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who learned from his wife, Casey.)
Casey DeSantis, a former television host, is clearly a talented woman because here’s what Ron DeSantis looks like sans contouring and what I presume is any makeup whatsoever:
And here’s what he looks like through the magic of some light shading and face powder:
Still evil, but evil with slightly more defined cheekbones.
But let’s get back to Gaetz, who I learned in researching this very important blog has in the past sung the praises of contouring. The proof was there, if only we cared to look! In the HBO documentary The Swamp, he details his morning routine. “Gotta get the makeup on, first thing in the morning, got a lot of hits,” he explains in front of his mirror. He continues, as he takes a sponge to apply a tan foundation to his face, “And there’s no Fox News makeup lady, so, you gotta contour the sides.”
In his upcoming (???) book (????), Gaetz explains why he spends so much time spackling his face—politics, he explains, is all about giving the ugly a more palatable sheen. (He could give Jared Kushner, who always looks like he’s one cough away from dying of consumption, a few tips, imo.) Via Vanity Fair:
“Politics, they say, is show business for ugly people. The real question is who writes the scripts and produces the acts. You are governed by the theater geeks from high school, who went on to make it big booking guests on the talk shows,” Gaetz writes. “Ignore them and they’ll ignore you, and you’ll go nowhere fast. The hairdressers and makeup ladies and cameramen pick our presidents. As well they should. They are closer to the viewers and therefore the voters.”
Gaetz seems to know what he’s doing, at least when it comes to contouring and to building his profile through rightwing media. But as someone who has never contoured before in her life, I decided to turn to our resident expert Megan Reynolds to see if she had any critique of Gaetz’s technique. I asked her to judge this photo of Gaetz from his speech during the Republican National Convention, during which Gaetz, whose head is unfortunately shaped like a potato, looked remarkably chiseled:
She told me that “the contouring on his cheeks is pretty good,” and that it felt “subtle.” And she had some feedback for Gaetz. “I think he’s highlighting his chin, which I would advise against. And I am insane, but he could benefit from some bronzer on the forehead, just a tad.”
Ultimately, we both agreed on one thing—Gaetz still is an ass, and still has a face you wanna throw a milkshake at, contouring or no.