Hit & Run

Virginia Postrel on Glamour and the Art of Persuasion

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Credit: The White House

Although people often equate them, glamour is not the same as beauty, stylishness, luxury, celebrity, or sex appeal. It is not limited to fashion or film; nor is it intrinsically feminine. It is not a collection of aesthetic markers-a style, as fashion and design use the word. Glamour is, rather, a form of nonverbal rhetoric that moves and persuades not through words but through images, concepts, and totems. Glamour is powerfully persuasive, argues Virginia Postrel, who sees President Obama as the most striking recent exemplar.