2014 50 Most Beautiful

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio)
Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio)
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Rep. Joyce Beatty says she comes from a long “hair-itage” of women who ditch the Clairol in favor of going au naturel.

“I grayed very early in life. ... My mother’s hair is totally white, my grandmother’s hair was totally white, all at an early age — so I thought I’d continue that legacy.”

Now the lawmaker’s follicles have become central to her style. 


“I try to make sure that my presentation is appropriate for place, size and age, and now, gray hair,” she chuckles. “I think my hair is the focal point of making sure things don’t conflict with it because it’s the thing I really can’t change.”

But something Beatty can mix up is her fashion. The congresswoman, who until recently owned her own boutique, is known to sport a killer pair of pumps. Wearing them now is particularly meaningful; she suffered a stroke in 1999 and was confined to a wheelchair for months.

Calling herself a “proud stroke survivor,” Beatty explains, “I was happy to be in my wheelchair for a long time because it gave me the freedom to travel, but thanks to a lot of great doctors and physical therapy, I wear my two-inch heels now.”

When she’s not walking the halls of the Capitol in her heels, you might find Beatty on the water with her husband, Otto. “He’s a boater and I like being the first mate,” she said.

In addition to watching “all the traditional news shows,” the couple developed their own weekly ritual: “Early in our marriage, we decided we’d pick a TV show that wasn’t germane to anything that made you think or work. We would do something fun like ‘The Good Wife’ or ‘Scandal’ and we make that our date night.”

Beatty also spends a lot of quality time with her nearly one-year-old granddaughter, and even has a special alternative to being called “grandma.”

“I’m called ‘Grammy,’ and I like that because it’s like the Grammy [Awards]. And that’s how I think of her and want her to think of me, like it’s the best prize you can get — it’s a Grammy.”

— Judy Kurtz