February 12th, 2009
12:22 PM ET

Tell me what she wore

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/LIVING/personal/01/20/michelle.obama.dress/art.is.obama.jcrew.jpg]

Jeanne McManus
The Washington Post

How to say this: I enjoy reading about Michelle Obama's clothes. I like to know what she's wearing, appreciate details about her shoes and gloves, wonder where she got her necklace. When she shows up at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, I'm not distracted from her message by being simultaneously informed that she is in a slate-gray suit.

Is it right about here that other women start throwing shoes at me?

In the stunning image of Michelle Obama, a woman of substance and of style (in this case, attention-getting, Vogue-worthy style), it is apparent that in Washington we don't always do a good job of acknowledging those two sides of the same woman - or of allowing them to coexist. Hawk-eyed consumers of mainstream media are ready to pounce anytime a reporter covering Mrs. Obama goes off message and writes about her clothes.

History is partly to blame for this kind of self-consciousness, a willingness to deprive ourselves of one side of the prism of an important woman for the sake of being proper and fair. First ladies have been minimized and marginalized.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Michelle Obama
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Kriss - Washington, DC

    I really like knowing the First Lady wears clothes I can actually afford! She is stylish, although I think the dark purple color makes her look much older, and she looks comfortable and confident no matter what she wears. I just really wish she would put her shoulders back and stand straighter. Perhaps she slouches unconsciously because of her height. But, what a stunner she is when she's standing tall and beautiful!

    February 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  2. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    For god sake--it is just clothes. The economy is tanking and some of us are concern with the Vogue worthiness of Michelle Obama-–looks like you are suffering from the Peter Pan Syndrome.

    February 12, 2009 at 2:45 pm |