August 22, 2009

"Bringing up the subject of the current first lady's shorts — indeed even admitting to noticing them — already has people booting up their laptops..."

"... and taking big, gulping swigs of self-righteousness before firing off e-mails and tweets declaring the whole discussion pointless."

Robin Givhan wants to talk about Michelle Obama's shorts. She's a fashion writer, okay? Deal with it!

And fashion is important. ("[C]lothes are part of our broader aesthetic obligation to each other.")

By the way, did you watch the first episode of the new season of "Project Runway"? On — ugh! — Lifetime now, instead of Bravo.

38 comments:

daubiere said...

robin givhan has a way of making fashion seem unimportant. she writes like a bad blogger.

verification word: exortuat, either a device to strengthen a womans external genetalia or a religious ceremony to cast off a particularly nasty woman

rhhardin said...

As somebody blogged when Obama threw flowers on the pile at ground zero, ``He has no idea what he's doing.''

EDH said...

Funky.

David said...

Michelle has better arms than legs.

But if she wants to wear shorts, that's pretty much her option, isn't it?

President Obama in shorts? Please, no. Hide those spindly storky dorky things under some pants, Mr. President.

David said...

Click on the EDH "Funky" link only if you are interested in dancing pubic hair. Apparently EDH is.

reader_iam said...

Given the fashion (not to mention decorating) aesthetic forced upon me in my formative years** you'll pardon me if I consider my "broader aesthetic obligation" to others a strictly limited thing.

(**I defy anyone to make the argument that there are any worse yearbook pictures in history than those produced in the 1970s. And to add insult to injury, you had to spend time raking the damned harvest-gold shag rugs.)

J Lee said...

Robin really, really, REALLY doesn't like the idea of The First Lady wearing those shorts, but spends about 450 words trying to dance around the subject and say it in the most subdued way possible, no doubt to avoid a jammed e-mail box full of angry Obama supporters come Monday morning (Givhan's fashion beliefs quite often outweigh whatever political biases she has -- she does tend to slam Republican style faux pas harder than she does the Democrats, but she's not in the Tom Shales universe at the WaPo, where any flaw your political soulmates have is to be ignored completely).

Deb said...

I don't care what Michelle Obama wears or when she wears it. But she does look a little sloppy in that photo. She is the wife of the President for god's sake.

opook. Opossum excrement? An exclamation of dismay, as in, "Opook. I knew I should have worn a dress instead of shorts."

holdfast said...

Well, it make her ass look like a satellite dish, but it takes a heroic effort to make it look otherwise.

VW: tomic - a weaker tonic.

David said...

Michelle was preparing to do what a number of people on this site have wanted her to do for a while: take a hike.

What was she supposed to do? Change into shorts in the back of the limo?

Now, dress up when I fly--even wear a coat and tie most of the time. It gets me better treatment by airline employees, for some strange reason.

Michelle does not have a problem with getting good airline service.

David said...

Malia is getting tall! Girl's gonna break six feet no problem.

I do like the pictures of the Obamas towering over various world leaders in their visits. One of my favorites was Michelle and Queen Elizabeth.

It's awfully hard to imagine the Queen in shorts.

PatCA said...

Givhan should go cry over her beer with the equally dorky Mr. Quenqua.

(I pray that they stop writing about the family so that the two adorable girls can grow up somewhat normally.)

ironrailsironweights said...

Click on the EDH "Funky" link only if you are interested in dancing pubic hair. Apparently EDH is.

What's this, pubic hair? Yum! Nothing is tastier than a thick, rich, luxuriant bush.

Peter

J. R. said...

What happened to all the sex blogging, Ann? Now it seems that it's all politics and shorts. I vote for less shorts and more sex.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"What was she supposed to do? Change into shorts in the back of the limo?
"

First of all there is no way that she wouldn't know that she and anyone else in her family would be photographed coming off of the plane. They are in the public eye all the time and she should have been prepared to look her best.

Instead she looks like a rag picker. Her shorts are all wrinkled, cheap looking and don't fit her well at all. They highlight her crotch. She looks like shit.

That look is ok for the rest of us, but for the First Lady and her family, they should have taken the time to wear clothing that flatters, isn't wrinkled and is just a cut above what Suzie Creamcheese would wear at a truck stop in Oklahoma.

She should have changed into, before stepping off of the plane, a knee length walking short, capris, cropped cargo pants or a skort that isn't creased. A crisp blouse that fit well or short sleeve top instead of a cheezy t-shirt that was all rolled up around her midriff. Or a rayon blended twin set and for God's sake something that wasn't hanging all cockeyed off of her shoulders. A nice pair of walking shoes WITH socks.

Instead they look like they are going to K Mart at the mall.

Later, if they want to wear the crap they are wearing when out of the public eye, fine. Dress how you want.

They are representing the United States of America as the family of the President of the United States of America. For Christ's sake, have some dignity and respect for the office even if you don't give a shit how crappy you look.

EDH said...

What's this, pubic hair? Yum! Nothing is tastier than a thick, rich, luxuriant bush.

And, you don't even have to worry about forgetting to floss afterward!

Joan said...

For once, I agree with Givhan.

BJM said...

I'm with DBQ, this was a totally inappropriate outfit, the First Lady should not show inner thigh or camel toe crotch wrinkles. Jees.

A similar cringe worthy outfit was Malia's short shorts in Rome; a huge cultural blunder. Only stupid American/Brit/German tourists and whores wear short shorts on the streets in Italian cities.

former law student said...

Robin Givhan exhibits the sense of entitlement possessed by bad sportswriters -- that the people they cover exist to fill the needs of journalists. I could have lived my whole life without seeing Mrs. Obama come off the airplane. Mrs. Obama was there to have fun with her kids and she dressed appropriately.

Robin should request transfer out of the pink-collar ghetto, and cover some stories that people actually would give a damn about.

traditionalguy said...

As commander-in-chief a President needs to dress to show the respect he has for the Office, and that is also an important part of the first lady's job when she travels with the President. Obviously the Obama's have no respect for their country as yet. Stay tuned as the disrespect derby devolves until 2012 when the Whack Jobs from Alaska shows them how Presidents act in public.

Marianne said...

Unlike the president, whose entire life, down to his medical history, is available for public scrutiny,...

Really? Did I miss the release of all that info?

former law student said...

the Whack Jobs from Alaska shows them how Presidents act in public.

real Presidents eat what they kill?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26802611@N05/2861404363/

And they prefer clothing that sends a message, apparently:

http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/36715/original.jpg

traditionalguy said...

F L S ...Thanks for the help. We do need another Palin thread to keep the fun going.

ricpic said...

Garbage on top. The world upside down.

NKVD said...

Yeah, that article was a pack of lies - tell us, how much does Obama smoke, and what brand? Has he stopped smoking crack? How about some drug testing?

I think Michelle's head is shrinking, at least that what it looks like in the picture.

Marcia said...

There are a lot of jobs I would never want. First Lady is near the top of the list.

OTOH, people pretty much left Laura Bush alone, which is as it should be. Now Obama's political detractors go wild if Michelle's hair isn't perfect, and his supporters are going far out of their way to find a body part to admire. (She's an attractive woman overall. I don't understand the fixation with her arms.)

From Givhan: "Of course, none of the other recent first ladies was an avid fitness buff. Magazine articles were not dedicated to speculation about their workout routines."

Why does Givhan seem to think this second sentence proves the first?

If a First Lady cross-trains in the White House and the press isn't there to report it, does she burn any calories?

DADvocate said...

Not much in the way of legs. She should follow Althouse's rule of shorts for men, don't wear them.

bagoh20 said...

"aesthetic obligation" ?

Oh please! One person telling another one that the clothes they like are not good enough based on an imaginary standard consisting of the whim of a clique and their desire for the appearance of authority.

It is nothing more than the need of some people to find themselves superior to others. Some of us outgrew it in 9th grade.

I feel no obligation to anyone who assumes that authority.

holdfast said...

If the Obamaphalating press didn't spend so much time trying to convince us peasants that Lt. Worf is the epitome of style, we'd spend a lot less time mocking her royal wookiness.

VW - boardin - as in I am lookin forward to doin some boardin this winter

Kevin Walsh said...

Very refreshing, after all those Hillary pants suits. She can wear shorts all she likes.

www.forgotten-ny.com

rightwingprof said...

I can't imagine being so bored that I would watch Project Runway or read anything that a "fashion writer" wrote -- especially since classes are starting tomorrow.

downtownlad said...

Yup - Palin would never wear shorts according to Traditional Guy.

Um - wrong.

http://static.twirlit.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/sarah-palin-runners-world-1.jpg

jaed said...

downtownlad, surely you have noticed that Sarah Palin is not, in fact, the President of the United States? (At least not yet.*)

Or perhaps you and FLS are laboring under the delusion that she is in fact the president? That would certainly explain the intent focus on her. Hmmm.

As far as Michelle Obama is concerned, she is neither an elected nor appointed official, and her status as "member of the personal family of the president" does not come with any particular sartorial obligations as far as I am concerned. When she accompanies her husband to official functions I will appreciate it if the first lady is dignified in her appearance, but at other times she can wear whatever she wants.

As for this outfit... it's Arizona. It's August. She's going hiking. Of course she's going to wear shorts and hikers. Pace DBQ, tight capris, chic Ralph Lauren crops, a snug polished cotton blouse, or a rayon twinset are in no way appropriate or comfortable clothing for such an outing. These demands are inappropriate.

I agree that this fuss is mostly blowback for the "Michelle, the most stylish first lady ever! Our new style icon!** Bringing elegance back to the White House!" nonsense, and to the extent that was deliberately used as a campaign tactic it's partly her own fault, but still.

* Yes, that was unnecessary. But it's so much fun to watch certain people's heads explode.

** Actual quote from a catalog I used to buy clothes from. I got spammed with this ad campaign about the "Michelle Collection" several times a week for a while there. I ask you.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQ, tight capris, chic Ralph Lauren crops, a snug polished cotton blouse, or a rayon twinset are in no way appropriate or comfortable clothing for such an outing. These demands are inappropriate.


No they aren't. I wear those things, except for the twin set. I only referenced it because it seems that Michelle likes to wear that type of thing.

The cropped cargo pants in rayon blend are perfect for hiking in Arizona or Northern Calif where I live and it was 104 yesterday so I know HOT. Cool and crisp with some pockets to carry things so you can keep your hands free. A nice sturdy pair of Rockport walking shoes and a pima cotton T or a cotton rayon blend camp shirt would be great. I would also suggest a big straw hat to keep the sun off of her face.

She would have looked nice, instead of frumpy, wrinkled and showing a camel toe. The clothing I suggested is functional and glamerous.

And yes, it is somewhat of a push back against the drooling fawning media trying to make out like Michelle is some sort of fashion icon, when most of the time (except when she is wearing those fabulous Donna Ricci dresses that flatter her difficult figure) she looks like she picked her clothes out of the Salvation Army sale bin.

jaed said...

Well, those crops look too slim-cut to me to be comfortable hiking (and no spandex), but I defer to your experience.

I agree she could have been more elegantly dressed and still been wearing something acceptable for what she was doing. My main point was that she's not under obligation to be elegantly dressed at all times, any more than anyone else. She is a private citizen, not royalty.

(I hesitate to bring this up, but it occurred to me that President Bush once was photographed in perhaps the worst political shorts ever, which can be seen here. [Granted, the press had not just spent the previous year or so drooling over Bush's elegance and sense of style. Going for the "Michelle is the new Jackie" narrative was not so smart, in retrospect, given that it set a standard she cannot meet.])

Dust Bunny Queen said...

LOL at Bush in those shorts!!! He looks like a doofus with a beer belly.

Well, those crops look too slim-cut to me to be comfortable hiking (and no spandex), but I defer to your experience.

Well, it wasn't as if Michelle et al were going to be hiking the Pacific Crest trail or climbing through the manzanita over lava rock formations. Beating the brush and camping out. In that case they would have been in much more rugged gear and even then her stupid shorts would REALLY have been inappropriate to keep the bugs, snakes and brush cuts off of her legs.

They were going to be walking on some paved and improved trails that took no skill other than being able to place one foot in front of the other. Like hiking in Big Sur or on similar tourist trails that are made for senic viewing and easy walking. Even handicapped accessible.

There was no reason not to at least TRY to look nice as the First Lady.

I know people want to say that she wasn't elected to that position and it is true. However, once IN the position she has an obligation to try to live up to some standards when in the public eye.

kentuckyliz said...

She'll have camel toe in any shorts or pants because that giant ass will pull on the fabric from the back side. Makes the front tight.

WV adsit
Please do not get up during commercials.

jaed said...

Au contraire. I have a giant ass and do not have camel toe. The back waist will pull down and gap, but the front crotch will not pull tight for such a reason. The front rise will usually be too long, not too short, because pants are usually cut to allow for more belly if they are large enough to fit one's ass. It's more likely to cause extra fabric to hang down in front.

(That cameltoe is... unfortunate. I hadn't seen that second picture until just now.)