The Aesthetically Pleasing Leader

By Allison Hong

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s face is symmetrical, the correct proportions of forehead to eyes and mouth to chin. His nose, the right length. The cadence of his voice, firm yet soothing. His salt-and-pepper hair, although coiffed just so, is the one thing shy of perfection. His hair is a tad long in the back.

Perhaps he hasn’t been able to get it cut, because his statewide coronavirus response measures have all the barbershops closed.

These are the things my mother, a 65-year-old former artist living in East Hollywood, tells me. She thinks Newsom “is good-looking; don’t you think he’s good-looking?”

Every day at noon, Newsom has delivered a televised briefing on updates in the global pandemic that has parts of the world isolating at home. In California, as of the end of April, there were 50,422 confirmed cases of COVID-19 spread throughout the population. Hospitalized cases comprised 3,428 and fatalities from the disease totaled 2,073.

Every day at noon, my mother has perched herself in the living room recliner closest to the television to watch the good-looking leader of the state tell her the news she needs to know. She brings her afternoon meal with her. Lunch and a date.

Once she forgot the briefing. My brother, who lives with her, told me he gave a shout while she was inside a bedroom, “Your boyfriend is on.”

She races to the kitchen. Grabs a bowl, tongs, wok, noodles, chopsticks, step, step, step, step, plush blue recliner. She’s seated by 12:02.

COVID-19 has been known to affect men in greater numbers than women. More research is being conducted as to why that gender gap exists. In California, 25,167 confirmed cases have occurred in men in comparison to 24,973 in women.

I joked with my mom that maybe Newsom’s visual appeal had something to do with the official discrepancy. She can’t be the only female in the golden state who is smitten with the guy.

“If he says we should stay home, we should stay home,” she says. “I’m not going to question what he says.

“You should watch him. He’s so eloquent.”

OK, mom. Maybe I’ll tune in tomorrow.

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