10 November 2008

Different Strokes for Different Folks

What do you see looking at this picture?

A lot of folks ... alright, alright a lot of folks on huffingtonpost.com expressed outrage at Michelle's general appearance as she left her daughter's school after a parent-teacher meeting last friday. Seeing the First Lady-Elect (is that the right way to address her? Will January 20th come by already?!) in sweats was just wrong I mean she is supposed to be the Jackie O of our times! You could just hear the collective sigh of betrayal. For me I felt Michelle was dressed appropriately considering where she was going. If she showed up at state dinner in sweats ehen even I would be up in arms. We all know though that Michelle cleans up very very nicely. I am guessing these people were reacting to a combination of recent Michelle sightings; her appearance on election day at the polls with her family (nothing wrong with her appearance in my opinion), the dress she chose for the Grant Park rally on election night (wasn't really feeling that outfit) this whole sweats and baseball cap get-up proved to be the final straw that broke the camels back so to say. Rather than looking frumpy, Michelle looks to me like a woman who has a family and a life, kinda like an every woman. She looks like she got up early to ready her young family for the day ahead. She probably made them a hot breakfast, packed lunches, found missing socks and scarves, loaded the washer, looked through homework before running the kids to school. She then probably ran a couple of errands (she has been away from home for some time) before her scheduled parent-teacher conference. I don't see food stains on her clothes, and the SS people around her are not holding their noses (indicative of an unwashed state). My point she looks like a normal woman going about her life as a mother and wife.

I see something totally different though when I look at this picture. I see the President-Elect and his wife sending a very important message here, responsibility. This man is the President-Elect, surely he has more important things to do other than "wasting time" attending a parent teacher conference I mean isn't that "a woman's job"? Apparently not, seeing that Michelle did not climb on top of herself and get herself pregnant. He appears to be sending a strong message to the African American community, the male and female components of that community alike, a continuation of his Fathers Day speech (the one that moved Jesse Jackson to mull the possibility of a change in profession - Nutcracker!) - "You don't have an excuse to shirk your responsibilities", "Look at me" he seems to be saying, "I am the president-elect, and I am attending a parent teacher conference. Are you more important than me? Busier perhaps? If I can do it so can you!"

At this point Barack seems to have it all, dream job, cute-as-a-button kids, an intelligent, accomplished wife (who also understands the importance of dressing for your body type), good will of the entire free world, a fashionable body type (didn't he look fabulous in his custom Hart Schaffner Marx suit as he accepted the democratic presidential nomination?) While understanding the importance of investing in your family (I am the product of a similar investment by my mother), and appreciating Michelle's desire to not be involved in policy decisions in the Obama administration I would like to see her define a new meaning for the female version of having it all. I don't know exactly what it is I would like to see her do, I do know I would like to see her be ... something (!) as well as Mom-in-Chief!