I love clothes and shoes, really I do. Maybe even a little too much. I'm the first to admit that my closet runneth over with too many cute dresses and kicks, and that I too often resort to retail therapy when I'm having a bad day.
But why is it that the very first thing the media wants to tell us about obviously accomplished women and girls is what brand of clothes they're wearing and how good or bad they look in them?
Michelle Obama has been more highly praised for her kitten heels and J. Crew dresses than for any of her numerous life accomplishments, as was Jackie Kennedy, the First Lady to whom she's often been compared.
And now one of the only things we know about her eldest daughter is what T shirt she wore last week and how quickly it sold out. Surely there's a lot more to Malia Obama than that?
Maybe it's because the world is curious about the children of presidents who are kept out of the limelight, so a newspaper will grasp at anything revelatory to write about them.
But think about the last time you saw a young (or not-so-young) man's existence --especially a world leader's son--reduced to the clothes on his body, i.e. his looks. I bet you can't think of a single time.
Of course fashion is a legitimate art form and topic. But unless you're a model or designer who makes her living in the fashion industry, why is the New York Times writing about your clothes? Why is the media interested in whether Malia Obama has a stylist? Would they be as curious about that if she were a boy? Or would they be asking different questions and writing about more substantive things, like maybe her plans for the future, instead of reducing her to a living mannequin?
The answer to that last question, I'm afraid, is definitely yes.