Hillary Clinton's natural appearance scrutinized

Hillary Rodham Clinton
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a press conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, May 5, 2012. Clinton is in Bangladesh to press tolerance, democracy and development in one of the world's most impoverished nations that is now in the throes of political turmoil.
AP Photo/Pavel Rahman

(CBS News) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is back from an overseas trip that took her to China, Bangladesh and India over the weekend. But it's not her diplomacy that's making news - it's her appearance.

On a stop in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Clinton appeared with no makeup, natural hair, and glasses - and she made no apologies.

Published pictures from the trip have sparked a flurry of articles opinions about her looks. Comments have ranged from Clinton looks "like a schoolgirl" to she looks "tired and withdrawn."

Clinton, responding to the controversy on CNN, said, "I feel so relieved to be at the stage I'm at in my life right now, Jill, because if I want to wear my glasses, I'm wearing my glasses. If I - you know, want to pull my hair back, I'm pulling my hair back. And, you know, at some point, it's just not - it's just not something that deserves a whole lot of time and attention. If others want to worry about it, I'll let them do the worrying for a change."

Clinton's attitude is a very polarizing issue, "CBS This Morning" contributor Lee Woodruff said Wednesday. Woodruff said she's often heard discussion that focuses on appearance when it comes to women in power.

"I'm tired of the conversation being always about a woman's looks," Woodruff said. "And Hillary, Hillary gets nailed. Did we do this to Janet Reno, to Indira Gandhi, do we do it to Merkel? I mean, are they getting raked over the coals if they're having a bad hair day?"

"CBS This Morning" co-host Charlie Rose added, "You should be allowed to grow older as you do. And she's very comfortable in her own skin now. Especially now. And that's one of her more admirable qualities, of which there are many, intelligence, a work ethic, a whole range of other things, including feeling natural about herself."

For more discussion on "CBS This Morning" about the importance of appearance in politics, watch the video in the player above.