But what caught my eye was the little promotional video they showed before his speech. In the montage of footage presenting Iowa as a healthy, prosperous and safe place to raise your kids up, was a clip of a child at some fair or festival getting her face painted.
It just struck me that a face-painting scene has become video shorthand for family life in a lot of commercials for area chambers of commerce, renaissance fairs and county fairs. I don't know that it has any cultural background to it, except for grandma exclaiming "Why did you get your face painted up like some wild Indian?" I first noticed face painting as an accessory to women characters in sword and sorcery comic books of the 70's. And now here it's a harbinger of traditional family values. I guess it's just one of those things that lends itself to a picture of a kid having some fun without being twirled around in a carnival ride.