With the people who regularly sit on talk shows in times of crisis, you develop a relationship like with the protagonists from your favorite series on Netflix. That was the case when Corona was still the dominant topic in infotainment. Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann is now the new Lauterbach, so to speak, also because many would have wished for her to be Defense Minister. The chair of the defense committee in the Bundestag plays a minor role in German Ukraine politics, but is already a kind of cult commentator. She wears her bright white hair short and slicked back a little bowie-like, sometimes with red lipstick. She’s also never seen in anything but trousers and a jacket, but her fashion style isn’t as matter-of-fact as it might seem to the uninitiated. Their jackets fit snugly and well, and their shirts are a bit oversized, with large, buttoned collars and cuffs that protrude far out from the sleeves. With this almost dandy-like look, she wouldn’t attract the attention of the art groupies at the Venice Biennale either. But the secret of the Strack-Zimmermann style is something else: it only looks austere from afar. As soon as the passionate motorcyclist opens her mouth, it’s Rhineland, which means things are said as they are, without it coming across as mean in any way. But of course it is sometimes. It is a well-known fact that favorite TV characters are never one-dimensional.
The hard one
It’s a bit difficult to write about the politician Anton Hofreiter’s style without going to extremes. Because even those who are fundamentally ready for their agenda will at some point catch themselves asking the rude question: is this character doing more harm than good? So does his idiosyncratic look have a certain potential as a mascot for the Greens (in the sense of: “That’s another nonconformist, I like him!”) or does it outweigh the deterrent, because he’s sometimes eco-shaggy in such an outmoded way and seems muesli-heavy? Further questions follow: Is it a targeted tactic to credibly underline your own brand, message and conviction? Or are his outfits, such as this combination of bacon jacket/children’s T-shirt or the popular fairground blue suit, just symptoms of helplessness and general rebelliousness? Sure, as a botanist with a doctorate, hobby artist and leading Green Party politician, Hofreiter is particularly permitted to give a damn about fashion and other externals. But people and the media are so easily distracted these days! In the service of the cause, wouldn’t it be worth at least trying to get your head and collar in shape – to give a quicker view of the content? To dare a bit of polishing? Yes, German politics needs eccentric figures. But they are also welcome to prove from time to time that they could be beautiful if they only wanted to.