In Stalinist times, politicans who fell out of favor were eliminated by various methods, and photographs of them were usually altered or destroyed. Today, an astute observer can usually pinpoint the moment a public figure is on his or her on the way out--the lighting gets harsher, the camera angles less flattering, and photo editors crop the image for maximum ugly.
Case in point--Rachida Dati, the French politician. Last June, she was a dead ringer for gamine actress Audrey Tatou.
Then she had a baby, and was back at work (and in the headlines) in record time, looking chic and happy.
And now she's out of her job as Minister of Justice, and she looks a little like Gladys Kravitz.