Sunday, November 23, 2008

Michelle Obama and the Red Speckled Dress

This Newsweek article irks me.
Allison Samuels is writing from a black woman's perspective. But her story seems to caricature Michelle Obama and play into stereotypes.

I never saw Michelle as the "angry black woman" but the right wing media played her that way and the rest of the media seemed to have accepted it as truth. They took Michelle's pearls to mean she was softening.

It seems that the media have largely been dismissive of Michelle. They tend to write about her only in context of race.

This article is also superficial. This article muses about her fashion style how it might be critiqued. Maybe if journalists started wondering about other things, such as what did she learn during all those meetings with military families, then Michelle will be treated like an episode of Entertainment Tonight. 

The manufactured debate around her "mom-in-chief" role is silly. Of course, her children come first. But anyone can see that she's ambitious and has a lot to offer. I think we can expect a lot from Michelle.
Newsweek: But Michelle's declaration that she plans to be the "Mom in Chief" has already ignited a minor flare-up in the ongoing white mommy wars between stay-at-home mothers and working women. (Don't all moms put their kids first, even if they're working? Is such an accomplished woman going to be content with Mom in Chief?) Still, most African-American women I know are thrilled she's in a position to make that choice. The average African-American family can't survive without two incomes—the poverty level among black families hovers above 30 percent, according to 2006 U.S. Census figures. And for single moms, that can mean working two jobs, leaving precious little time with the children. Michelle has already survived the working-mom juggling act, getting her law degree and working in government and administration before leaving during Obama's campaign.
Will she retreat if someone slams her style? Please.
Appearance could be another minefield for Michelle. First Ladies are always scrutinized—how else did Hillary end up in those black pant-suits? Though Michelle has shown a penchant for sleek hair and form-fitting dresses, her style is still evolving and wide-ranging. She's gone from $148 off-the-rack outfits to Dolce & Gabbana. When she showed up for her first tour of the White House wearing a striking red dress, she indicated she's willing to be daring. But will she retreat if critics slam her for bad hair days or talk too intimately about her shape?