Germany's first female candidate for chancellor, Angela Merkel, has few women role models but said she saw parallels between her life and US Senator Hillary Clinton's -- particularly in the media's fixation with their appearance. Merkel, 51, who trained as a physicist in East Germany before turning to politics, told women's magazine Cosmopolitan in an interview released Thursday that the figure she admired most was the late French physicist Marie Curie. "I don't really have a role model in the political arena," she said. "But I remember when I was asked to give a speech in Hillary Clinton's honor and leafed through her book I found some funny similarities" including blanket coverage of their changing hairstyles, particularly when Clinton was First Lady. "It reminded me a lot of the excited discussions about my appearance." Merkel has brushed aside frequent comparisons with Britain's Iron Lady, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, saying they had little more in common than being conservative women in politics.