The Richard Desmond-owned tabloid was lambasted by Jacqui Smith and her supporters for remarks saying she was "barely recognisable" in a TV appearance, the ex-MP's "long mane of brunette hair with gentle blonde highlights" praised in particular.
The original piece said of Smith, who served for eight years in Government, that she was "showing off a new slender frame" and had deliberately dressed in a "purple shirt and black waistcoat" to discuss the rampage in France which killed 129.
Ignoring Smith’s comments on the tragedy, the writer instead said that the politician had been "sporting a sleek new hairstyle and snazzy glasses".
Leaving Parliament, they added, clearly "did wonders for formally-frumpy Jacqui, who oozed confidence on Sky News this afternoon".
The article itself prompted Smith herself to pen a tweet, though, calling the Express out for their coverage of her punditry.
— Jacqui Smith (@Jacqui_Smith1) November 19, 2015ADVERTISEMENT
Supporters on Twitter piled in to rebuke editors for commissioning the piece, some remarking that the offending content was "unbelievable", others that it was reminiscent of 1970s-style thinking.
@Jacqui_Smith1 No chance a male former Home Sec would have had the same treatment. But you are fabulous...in mind and body. Good old Express— CumberlegeEdenLtd (@Cumberlege_Eden) November 19, 2015
@Jacqui_Smith1 and people wonder why women's voices are lacking in public life :(— Meg Evans (@CaptainMeg) November 19, 2015
@Jacqui_Smith1 Oh FFS. Have I woken up in 1977? 😖— Paul Wilkinson (@paulwilkinson4) November 19, 2015
While one even managed to muster a joke about the Express' coverage.
The newspaper was contacted for comment but did not respond by the time this story went live.