I hate to be the wet blanket. Sometimes I just have to speak my peace even though it may be pointless. So here goes.
Michelle Obama is a tremendous First Lady, in my opinion. She has been a class act from her first day in the White House. Her focus has been on her family, trying to provide health initiatives for kids, and actually representing our country in a positive, intelligent light. She is a contemporary, educated woman, by all accounts a dedicated wife and mother. And, just like with all first ladies, throughout her tenure people have analyzed and talked about her style. Some love it,some hate it.
That brings me to the most recent State Dinner.
The State Dinner is an elegant affair. This year, Mrs. Obama chose a low cut off the shoulder gown that hugged her curves, with a poufed-out bottom that looked more like a prom dress or a wedding gown than a formal state dinner number. Hollywood makeup, pop-singer sideswept hair that covered her face and longer nude-polished nails. Her pre-event Instagram photo looked more like a Mariah Cary photo shoot than the First Lady of the United States.
I am admittedly in the minority here, I know that. She was the toast of the town, feted for her edgy, smart fashion choice. The New York Times article described it this way:
“Her shrewdly calibrated allure, which easily rivaled that of any first lady in recent memory, suggests that Mrs. Obama has embraced an enviable position at the intersection of pop culture and politics — just because she can.”
“…an enviable position at the intersection of pop culture and politics” What the hell is that?
Call me crazy, but I have strong feelings about the persona of the couple who represents our country. As important as the politics they have is what their bearing and their appearance says about who we are as a country both socially and politically. I want my President and First Lady to have a regal bearing without appearing distant or haughty. I want them to be beautifully attired in American made clothing that is elegant in design, exquisitely tailored and appropriate to the occasion. I want them to be sensitive and thoughtful about how comfortable and at ease they will make their guests feel.
Descriptors of her look included: “wows”, “stuns”, “shimmering”, “killed it”, “stole the show”, “gorgeous”.
Yes, I would agree she was all of those things. Yet when I study the photos of her standing with the Chinese first couple, what could or should be a photo of the very best and highest representation of our country’s first family looks more to me like a Hollywood red carpet photo op. In this setting, with those guests, she just looked like any one of a host of common pop singers. It seems to me that the Chinese first lady, so elegantly and appropriately attired, really stole the show.