Illinois is one of many states with strict social-distancing guidelines in place to battle the coronavirus pandemic, and "non-essential" businesses have been ordered closed by Governor J. B. Pritzker. That order includes barbers and hairstylists.
However, over the weekend photos turned up on social media showing the Windy City mayor sitting with a stylist.
Not only does that appear to contravene the governor's order, but it also stands in contrast to a public service announcement in which she urged Chicagoans to stay at home. As Chicago's WMAQ-TV reported at the time, in the series of ads, Lightfoot took on a variety of personas, such as that of a baker. In one clip, she held a phone and pretended to tell the person on the other end to hold off on getting their hair worked on.
"Getting your roots done is not essential," she said in the video.When asked about the haircut by reporters, a "visibly annoyed" Lightfoot admitted to the haircut, but at first, appeared to try to act as if the people of Chicago had more important things on their minds.
"I think what really people want to talk about is, we're talking about people dying here. We're talking about significant health disparities. I think that's what people care most about," Lightfoot said.
However, pressed further, she appeared to attempt to justify her haircut, saying at first that her stylist wore a mask and gloves -- "I take my personal hygiene very seriously," she said. Further, she noted that she's the "public face of this city" and appears in the media and in the public eye.
At least one fellow Chicago politician is having none of it. Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, whom the Tribune describes as a frequent critic of Lightfoot, said that the mayor is under no obligation to look good when the cameras are rolling. Rather, her obligation is to model the same social distancing that she expects of her constituents.
"This is a bad example for our city," he said.
Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker, for his part, declined to comment on Lightfoot's haircut directly. He did say, however, that his own tonsorial needs are going to take a back seat during the coronavirus pandemic, saying he hasn't seen the barber since he put his own orders into place.
"I'm going to turn into a hippie at some point," he said.