From 2002 to 2007 there was a TV show called Extreme Makeover which gave its subjects a new look. Its frumpy subjects were given a new wardrobe and hairstyle, and were encouraged to diet and exercise. Some of the subjects were even given plastic surgery.
We were shown how they looked at the start, and then the "new" person was unveiled at the end of the show.
A similar, though not entirely positive transformation, seems to have taken place with Dennis Hastert, who was the Republican Speaker of the House from 1999 to 2007. Back in his Congressional days, he exuded a staid respectability:
He seemed at once kindly grandfather and responsible legislator, a man who bore his weighty responsibilities with the seriousness and sense of duty they called for.
Of course, that image evaporated as soon as we found out that he had once molested a bunch of high school wrestlers.
Still, it was a shock to see the picture that accompanied an article this morning about the conditions of his release from jail:
It could just be the lighting of the photo, but it almost looks as if his hair has been dyed blond. His haggard look indicates that jail apparently didn't agree with him.
The picture reminded me of one I'd seen of Richard Speck when he was in jail:
(Speck had dyed his hair while in prison, though it's not apparent from this photo. He also took estrogen so he could grow breasts; you might say he was a transgender pioneer.)
Note to older guys: don't grow your hair long and dye it blond, it's not a good look.
Oh, and don't do anything which will land you in the clink.