Wecome. It’s still cool outside. Let’s talk about one more media meltdown this morning. I know, my topic today is already overly discussed but I seem to always want to add my opinion. Let’s talk decorum and fashion.
OK…I’ll admit I’ve been the last one who could ever have been termed a “fashionista”. When I was in grade school we had to shop for “princess” style clothing…marketing term for bigger than average, or my child minder had to alter hand me downs from cousins to make them fit. When I was old enough to ride the bus into town, I shopped in bargain basements for outdated cheap clothes because I didn’t feel I deserved better. Anything not to have my father complain about costs for me. When I married my ex, he spent most of his money on himself, so I shopped at consignment shops and stores that made K Mart look like an exotic botique because I had inherited the fear of living in debt.
I always tried to blend in with my age group as much as possible and look the best I could. I tried to make sure my clothing was “appropriate” . Except maybe in the early 70s when I did have that pair of hot pants and calf length white patent go go boots I wore for a while.
I was the first teacher in my building to wear pant suits before they became popular among educators. I was evaluated lower for not dressing professionally by the same principal who, the following year, was wearing pant suits herself. The first outfit I wore to school was pink but was somewhat like this Simplicity pattern.
My clothes looked something like this: unprofessional for a teacher
What I’m leading up to is my abhorance of critics who have nothing better to do than criticize the dress of others. Now I will admit I, too, believe some professionals have carried individuality a little far. I’ve seen some teachers in the last twenty years who were wearing ill fitting jeans, tee shirts and flip flops to school on days that came to be known as “Casual Fridays” as well as every other day of the week. To me they looked more like they were ready to do housework on Saturday morning rather than to be a role model for students. They were carrying casual a little too far. But that was none of my business any more than what Michelle Obama wears on her vacation is any other’s business.
By now the world knows that our First Lady stepped off Air Force One yesterday wearing mid-thigh shorts while on vacation to the Grand Canyon. You’d think she’d gone skinny dipping in the Colorado River! Someone was trying to make it such a scandal attempting to use it for political advantage , I’m sure. The media yesterday morning jumped all over it asking for a variety of opinions. Was she showing a tacky amount of cleavage? Were they SHORT shorts as the media called them? No and No.
OK so Laura Bush was never seen in public with mid-thigh shorts. Did Laura Bush ever go on vacation to the Grand Canyon in August when she was twenty years younger? Laura Bush is old enough to be Michelle’s mother and Barbara Bush, her grandmother, yet that was to whom Michelle Obama was compared. What they were doing in their mid 40s was not national concern. The news did not cover them all that much when they went on private vacations. Of course that raises the question, “Can the first family ever even go on a private vacation?” Or must they be considered on the job 24/7, he the president, she the president’s wife, both open to criticism?
I believe that Michelle Obama was dressed appropriately for the occasion. They were at the Grand Canyon for goodness sake. It was August with temperatures over 100 degrees. They were on vacation! I wouldn’t have even faulted the President if, at that time for that purpose, he had deplaned wearing Bermuda shorts and a baseball cap.
What I want to know was what the hidden agenda was behind the critcisms. There always seems to be one. Was it to bring shame to Michelle? Was it by reflection to cast doubt upon the President’s ability to advise his wife’s (read control) every fashion move? Was it to divert attention from something else that is happening that someone wants to slip by public scrutiny?
OK for the sake of decorum, perhaps they could have been an inch or two longer, PERHAPS! They didn’t need to be, but there are those whose lives revolve around cricizing who could be salved a little to make them feel better about their self-important jobs of finding fault in others.
Maybe they, in their cricisms, would like to turn back the clock: