During the primaries, I supported Bernie and his ideas. A friend who also liked his ideas remarked that Bernie wasn’t presidential and that his wife Jane shouldn’t be in the White House as she didn’t have class so would not vote for him. I thought Jane would be a wonderful First Lady.
We had two very different woman that were at one point up for being the female image of the White House. Certainly, if Bill had become the First Gentleman his choice of suit or hair style would not have been discussed. I have a feeling that Michele Obama will be happy to have her fashion duties down graded and our interest in what she thinks upgraded. Hillary went with a fancy Angela Merkel/Michelle Bachelet style. A woman running the big show doesn’t seem to make time for bells and whistles.
We have Melania now. Let me give my disclaimer. I don’t really care what people wear, do to their hair, or what their fashion sense is. That being said, having a body, I have some experience about what it is to take care of one’s person and have an identity that is partly built on one’s image. Just like you do.
I feel for Melania. English is her second language and those speeches must have been terrifying. And all those that posted her naked picture to shame her need a rethink. A naked woman being a symbol for ridicule, for disgust, for being outcast is perhaps the biggest absurdity of our culture. We all come into this world from the body of a woman and yet its identity is largely controlled by the male gaze. Ladies are you sporting that male gaze?
Some Women, like I imagine Melania does, spend a great deal of time perfecting their appearance in order to control how others see them – as some ideal and perfect beauty. A woman can feel her survival and safety depend on her image and not on her awakening discourse. Hmmm.
I had wanted Jane Sanders to be the First Lady. I had wanted her to be the female image in the White House and the International voice of an American woman. Jane seemed a bit shellshocked by being tossed into the spotlight but just grabbed what was in her closet, ran a comb through her hair and quickly gathered up her ideas that she had been living her whole life and spoke.
I had wanted Poncho not Pucci, one lipstick not a team of beautifiers, loafers not stilettos, eco-sac not emu clutch, home cookin’ not fine dining, gardening not shopping, crafts not brands, comfort not control, someone who is a woman because she wakes up one not two hours of trowel and wand, because wouldn’t that be a sweet ride for America to wrestle with.
I am going to chop off my hair and continue to look deeply at the agency of my own consciousness. Because each consciousness has the ability to rethink what we believe, taking the best and leaving the rest. Perhaps our old self cannot truly be left behind but it can be shrunk as new ways are built by thought, by word, by deed.