NICOLA Sturgeon has often hit back at those who have commented on her appearance during her time in frontline politics.
But the First Minister cocked a snook at her critics as she posed for a photo shoot in the world’s most iconic fashion magazine.
In an interview with British Vogue, Ms Sturgeon accused those who give a running commentary on her appearance as “hideous and quite cruel”.
Appearing in a glamorous set of photographs wearing a Holly Fulton sweater and patterned skirt with fresh highlights in her hair, Ms Sturgeon spoke about how, as a female politician, she has faced scrutiny over the way she looks.
She said that she did not believe Labour leader Ed Miliband, who has been compared to cartoon character Wallace from Wallace and Gromit, had experienced the same pressure.
“I accept that Ed’s image and how he looked became a big part of how people perceived him,” she said. “But I still don’t think it’s quite the same.”
She added: “Literally every time I’m on camera, as well as there being commentary on what I’ve said, there’ll be commentary on what my hair looked like, what I wear. Often it’s written in the most hideous and quite cruel way.
“And yes, men aren’t immune to that, but even Ed Miliband I don’t think experienced it quite that way. But I’m actually inured to it now.”
She has previously complained that while women need to “think about what we are going to wear each day, assess if we need our hair done, angst over wearing the same thing two days in a row”, male politicians merely have to choose a tie.
Despite criticisms of her appearance, Ms Sturgeon has also been praised for her choice of clothes, particularly with her choice of more cutting edge garments created by Edinburgh boutique Totty Rocks, which has become the unofficial designer for the First Minister in recent years.
The designers, whose previous clients have included celebrities Kate Moss, Lorraine Kelly and even Gok Wan, were behind the choice of a red dress Ms Sturgeon wore when taking the podium at Holyrood for the first time after being named First Minister.
However, despite the comments over her appearance, Ms Sturgeon said she believed that her path to the top of Scottish politics had not been obviously hampered by sexism.
“I do struggle to identify an occasion when I was held back because I’m a woman,” she said. “You don’t think about it at the time, but looking back at it, of course.”
She also revealed that she puts pressure on herself in terms of her political performance, saying that almost every day, she thinks, “I should have done that differently”.
“I’m quite hypercritical of myself,” she said. “It’s a very Scottish thing, always thinking that you’ve got to be that bit better than everyone else to be good enough.”
The full interview with Ms Sturgeon appears in the October issue of Vogue, on sale on Thursday.