Thursday, October 23, 2008

Michelle Obama and the First Lady Appeal

CNN's Campbell Brown committed on the reports that the Republican National Committee spent more than $150,000 on clothes, hair and make-up for Sarah Palin on the campaign trail. I pretty much agree with everything that Brown brings to the forefront--especially the double standards.

However, can you image how different the story would be if Michelle Obama spent similar amounts of money while campaigning for Barack Obama? Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and others could not get enough of it. Michelle Obama not only has the pressure of being a woman in politics, but also a Black woman with the potential of being First Lady. She has to be modest in spending to not only be "considerate" of donors but also avoid the "golddigger" stereotype and show off the "white first lady look." Yes, I said it.

Unfortunately, the image of the First Lady is extremely important to many Americans. Women like former First Lady Jackie Kennedy played the part extremely well and challenged succeeding First Ladies to up the ante. Yet, even Mrs. Kennedy was not excluded from criticism as she wore clothing from International designers. But, Michelle Obama's problems with having to appeal to the American people extends far beyond the issues that Palin and Kennedy experienced with scrutiny from men and women about hair and clothing.

Another layer of issues for Mrs. Obama is having to wade through the historical problems black women experience with appearance. Can you image if pictures surfaced on the web and on news networks with Mrs. Obama wearing cornrows or having braids while on vacation? Don Imus would have a party. So, Michelle Obama must wear the Pearls, keep the mane tamed with the edges straight, and spend within reason.

Whew...and we have not touched on other components of presentation.


Obama/Biden '08

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