The fashionistas in the “objective” press displayed their favoritism by boosting Michelle Obama’s convention speech dress and quoted flagrant Michelle-boosters like Kate Betts, who insisted whatever stylishness the Republican women had they owed to the pioneering Mrs. Obama.
Time magazine knows it can't be all serious, so in addition to its cover story on Egypt this week, they have a gushy piece on Michelle Obama's fashions, written by Kate Betts, author of the new book Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style. Michelle's so chic it's historic:
Given her widespread reputation as one of the most stylish women ever to inhabit the White House, you might think Michelle Obama automatically belongs in the Madison-Kennedy lineage. But her background argues differently. No one can claim that Michelle Obama doesn't know what it's like to work or that she entered marriage because she didn't get an education and lacked economic power of her own. It is plain that she has learned as much if not more from the example of Hillary Clinton as from the example of Jackie Kennedy.
What makes Obama exceptional is that she seems so at home in both camps. So at home that the whole debate about style and substance suddenly seems passé, an anachronism of the gender wars, a false dichotomy enforced by narrow-minded men and women at war with themselves. That Michelle Obama does not see style and substance as an either-or choice is a powerful statement that the underlying assumptions about women's roles and images have changed. Embodying the confluence of substance and style, she has helped reconcile the long-standing antagonism between them. She has, in some sense, made them one and the same.