It has come! Barack Obama is now the 44th President of the United States, and let the change begin.
I’d like to start with the sorry state of reporting in the United States. Or perhaps it’s more the sorry state of people’s interest? I’m not sure, but the two are certainly linked.
I love fashion, I really do. I appreciate fine clothing as much as I enjoy fine cuisine – and those of you who have been out to restaurants with me know how I love sampling good food. But I find it sad that most of the articles about Michelle Obama in the news nowadays is centered on her fashion sense. If you Google ‘Michelle Obama’, you will find that almost every other article in the news tab is about what she wore and what she is going to bring to the fashion world (you can find a couple of examples here, here, here, here, here, and here – there were many, many more but I decided to stop).
Michelle Obama does have a great fashion sense. Americans are thirsty to know more about their next First Lady, and one way of knowing a part of any person is through their fashion choices. Speaking of Michelle Obama’s fashion choices isn’t wrong in itself; but diminishing her by -only- speaking of her fashion choices is demeaning and, perhaps, insulting.
The fact that this aspect of Michelle Obama’s personality is the focus of ‘news’ reports rather than being an interesting side note – where I think it should be – is very bothersome, especially when we are supposedly ushering in an era of change. Can we really change the way things are going if we keep focusing on such superficial things as we have in the last couple of decades? How can we as citizens reflect and participate in this new democracy if our time is taken and our opinion influenced by Michelle Obama’s fashion rather than her insights on the various important issues of today – say, like the economy?
I’m glad that Michelle Obama, as the First Lady of the United States, looks great and wears her clothes well – but what would make me happy is to hear more about her opinions on various issues, especially those she personally feels strongly about. She would be such a great force of change herself, inspiring conversations and debates I’m certain she has the ability to engender and sustain.
We are being told “Be the change”; how about putting down the tabloids and picking up a copy of the Times this week?