Lisa Schiffren reviews Michelle Obama’s performance today on The View. I actually made a mental note (and this proves the ineffectiveness of my mental notes) to watch the program today because of her appearance. But when 9:00 rolled around I was busy baking a birthday cake (yes, from scratch) and . . . well, good grief . . . it’s The View. There are few things that bore me more than The View. If I want to watch something like The View all I have to do is take my kids to the park and watch the mothers huddled around the picnic tables (and no, I don’t exempt myself from this caricature) discussing . . . well, whatever! At least we all get some fresh air to go along with the hot air this way.
Besides, I knew others would happily sacrifice themselves for me. Schiffren took up this cross and she tells me all I need to know about what transpired. Inane and banal. Well, I knew it would be that before it happened. I’ve never seen an episode the program that wasn’t.
But at the risk of sounding banal myself . . . may I suggest that Lisa and other commentators lay off Michelle, her sleeveless dresses, and her looks? That’s really barking up the wrong tree. The last thing I aspire to do each morning is praise Michelle Obama . . . but what’s right is right. Michelle Obama is a beautiful woman. She looks very good--and refreshingly feminine--in those dresses. Sleeveless? Well . . . it’s summer! It’s hot! And she can do it. Good for her. As my grandmother used to say, "If you’ve got it flaunt it!" Of course, there’s a limit to this (remember the flak Hillary took for showing "too much" cleavage) . . . but even then, if it were nicer cleavage she displayed, I doubt there would have been as much (negative) commentary on it. But MO hasn’t got a set of bat wings. She looks good and showing arms doesn’t reach the level of immodesty in my book. It’s not even informal. Most ball gowns are sleeveless, right? And what should she wear? A suit? I have always hated female suits--particularly pant suits. You might as well wear a habit or a berka as wear a suit. It is a uniform--and an ugly one at that. I suppose she could top it all off with a set of over-sized pearls . . . ugh. I’m sorry but if you can look pretty in a suit, you’re that special sort of woman who can look pretty in anything. That is the outfit that a younger woman can wear with impunity . . . not the dress!
I think it is wonderful and refreshing to see a woman in or around politics who strives to look pretty instead of "serious." It’s not the most important thing in the world, of course, and it can become a dangerous obsession for a women who is not, on some level, serious. But there’s no small amount of wisdom in a woman who knows that looking good is far from the least important thing in the world.