January 21, 2009

I Hated Michelle Obama's Dress, But Who Cares?

Okay, I was watching the presidential inauguration yesterday afternoon with the rest of the world. Because I live in halls, and I didn't choose the network, I had no choice but to watch it on CNN, a network which does not have the best track record when it comes to representing women (See: Paula Zahn). Anyway, at the tale end, when Michelle was walking the Bushes to their helicopter with her husband, a male CNN commentator (not sure which one) commented, "I'm sure there will be much discussion about her dress later." Umm, wtf? Her dress?

K, I believe fashion is art and can be incredibly important to one's self-expression. I really, really do. But why then do we not also talk about the president's suit choice if we're going to talk about the First Lady's dress. Not only that, but why should it be the ONLY thing we discuss with regards to Ms. Obama. Why should it be what we focus on? Maybe if she was a fashion designer or a famous faschionista, we could argue she's probably making a big statement with her clothes that should be dissected, but really, I don't even think Michelle Obama likes fashion at all. Her clothes always look five years out of date to me, and they rarely fit well. I don't care about that, though, because a woman's fashion sense isn't the only important thing about her.

Not all women like fashion, and that's okay, but when a woman clearly isn't too bothered by what she's wearing, when then is that STILL our focus? We didn't talk about Obama's suits in the primaries, either, but Hillary Clinton's hairstyle, her pearls and her chinese collars all got a lot of airplay. Michelle Obama is NOT Jackie O, she's neither as style conscious nor as style-savvy and gifted. But that shouldn't matter. Fashion shouldn't be the default conversation when discussing the First Lady (or any lady) of the United States.

No comments: