An Expert Analysis Of Sarah Palin's New Cover Design


Harper Collins has released the cover for Palin’s new book, America by Heart. It will be available to deface come November. For now, we have to satisfy ourselves with judging just the image – with some help from the experts.

The first thought that comes to mind is this: The more things change, the more they stay the same. We’ve seen this design before on dozens of books adorned with the orange 70%-off stickers at Barnes & Noble, but most importantly, it’s just like the cover of her first guide to media dominance “memoir” book. In case you need a reminder, here is Going Rogue:

The similarities are striking. Same uppercase font for her byline, floating over the same puffed-up, subtly highlighted hair. Same (we assume, though she might have dozens) flag pin. The format is virtually the same — but there are a few key differences. What’s changed about Sarah Palin in the last ten months?

First and foremost, there’s some curl to her hair. It could be a nod to glamour, but it suggests that she’s more grown up now. Gone is the short-shorted jogger; meet the polished professional. And in her new cover, Sarah’s head is even bigger. Instead of seeing her from below as she dreamily ponders the Alaskan wilderness, we get a straight headshot. Suddenly — dramatically — it’s all about her face and eyes, which are locked dead on the viewer from behind those famous glasses. Hypnotic.

And let’s talk about her body language: On Going Rogue, Sarah appeared natural, at ease. She stood with her hands snugly in her track-jacket pockets as though she had just returned from a particularly un-strenuous run. On America by Heart, Palin’s shoulders are tense and her arm is drawn upwards to her body, as though to protect her own fragile heart (or to show off all that flag jewelry). It’s a pose worthy of any high school yearbook, though we would have liked to see her raise that hand a little higher and give us the chin-lean. That would have been far more natural.

But admittedly, I’m no expert, so I decided to phone a few: we called America’s Next Top Model Judges Tyra Banks, renowned fashion photographer Nigel Barker, and Andre Leon Talle for comment on the cover. None of them answered their cellies, but we think we know what they would say anyways.

Tyra: “Sarah, you’ve come a long way from the girl from Wasilla, but maybe the distance isn’t far enough of a distance to place you in the running. You’ve traveled and you’ve struggled, but the travels that brought you here only brought you so far. This shot is nothing like the woman I see before me, who once bravely said: ‘drill, baby, drill.’ I want to see this woman come out, she just needs your help to come out.”

ALT: “Girl, this is pure drekitude. It is the lowest point at the ebb and the farthest thing from the shore. When you first started, you were fresh, new. Not just a governor, but a person in life. But this picture is not natural, it’s stiffitization. It misses the mark for glamorization by leaps and bounds. You could have been fierceified, but you chose to give us commercial. I wanted to see magic, from the core of your being, but all I see is hunchitude. Drek. Pure and total hot mess.”

Nigel: “Where is your neck? You’ve lost your neck. But at least she’s smizing.”

Related: Judging A Book By Its Cover: An Artistic Analysis Of Going Rogue

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