So I'm reading Jessica Valenti's new book because it's my brain candy, and I just read #11 - He's a Politician, She's a Fashion Plate. It reminded me of this clip I saw yesterday on CNN about Cindy McCain's appearance in Vogue. WTF?? Where's the coverage on Bill's latest fashion decisions?

The funny thing is that there is only political strategy behind Cindy McCain in the blue jeans and Michelle Obama as "Camelot with a tan." They mention it for, like, 3 seconds and move on. McCain needs his entire image (that includes his wife, of course) to say young, hip, guy/girl next door. Obama needs his image (again, including the wife) to say serious, experienced, ready for the White House. But instead of presenting it for the strategy it is and opening up the dialogue about how much BS is involved in politics, we're presented a piece about how beautiful she is and how she still looks good in her "size 0" jeans.

Umm.... okay.... I'll be sure to keep all of these critical fashion details in mind when I cast my vote in Nov.

2 comments:

At Tue May 27, 11:33:00 AM Al said...

Sorry dude. I have to disagree here. People need to stop comparing the media's coverage of Bill Clinton with Michelle/Cindy. Apples and oranges. He was a former prez! So, of course he is going to get more sunstantive coverage.

You are also a tad off base about fashion coverage in general. A few months ago, POLITICO had a whole piece about how Obama's fashion has evolved since Iowa. The change from open collar to tie, to look more presidential.

And the ever reputable SwiftKids for truth have also criticized Hillary's pants suits. But, we won't get into that.

The one right thing you said was that, that book is brain candy. It is just that...candy. It offers no nuanced discussion about gender relations in our country, only a witty, litany of dialogue about why being a women means you are held back. That is not at all helpful. And largely incorrect.

 
At Tue May 27, 12:20:00 PM Sally said...

Just because there has been a lot (too much) coverage about fashion in general for both men and women, that does not mean coverage on women and fashion in politics is much more prevalent.

As far as the book, I understand that the book is meant to read more like a blog than a factual text, but I agree that more facts could have been presented at least in notes and resources.

I also can't stand that every issue is brought back to misogyny and presented as "this is really a problem for women." A lot of the things she discusses need to be addressed from a male perspective (fatherhood, gay men, etc.) in order to invite men into the dialogue and really create any change.

That said, I still think a lot of the issues brought up are very real and do have statistical data to back them up even if she doesn't present them.

 

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