Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sarah Palin's wardrobe firestorm

I defer to wisdom from CNN's Campbell Brown

...and the wisdom of the great Melissa McEwan.

It's no secret that you should "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have." Well, Palin is dressing to look Presidential, so it's understandable that she wants to look sharp. Not only that, as a woman in the public eye, she HAS to look sharp.

Throughout this campaign season, the press has made it abundantly clear that it won't be cutting female politicians any slack. Article after article was written about Hillary's pantsuits, the 'is-it-there-or-not' cleavage and the choice of wardrobe colors (did that blue really flatter her?). And forget the clothes, was Clinton even HOT enough to be President? Believe it or not, it was a concern some pundits had.... Rush Limbaugh (professional asshole) wrote an entire article about Hillary, "Does Our Looks-Obsessed Culture Want to Stare at an Aging Woman?"

So needless to say, there's pressure to look flawless. Palin's already been subject to scrutiny for outdated hair or for simply appearing as she is!

However, as McEwan and Brown both point out, we can acknowledge the sexist double standard but still point out the hypocrisy that Ms. Small Town, "Real" America, Hockey Mom, Average Joe-loving Sarah Palin shops at stores (and with expense accounts) that in NO WAY reflect the average American experience.

Yes, woman are held to unfair standards but Palin dropped a LOT of cash ($150,000 over the course of 2 months) on clothes from top designers while Michelle Obama rocked a White House Black Market dress for less than $200.

And if they were just two women living their life, that information would be none of my concern.

However, Palin's campaign crux is that she sees America the way YOU do ('you' being, middle class, small town folk) and her actions continually speak otherwise.

Besides, if I were a donor to McCain's campaign (hahahah, perish the thought) I'd be just a lil' pissy that she couldn't have shopped a few sale racks.

Update: Just found a great post from Echidne on this issue.


Anonymous said...

Why compare Palin to Michelle Obama? What does Mrs. Obama do besides Barack?

Perhaps you should compare Palin with Hillary's Oscar De Larenta outfits... or maybe the Pelosi pearls that cost more than Palin's home. Stop being so transparently one-sided.

Tobes said...

"What does Mrs. Obama do besides Barack?"

Stop being so transparently sexist.

FYI- To my knowledge, Hillary's suits and Pelosi's pearls weren’t paid for with campaign contributions.

Pointing out the difference between Michelle Obama and Sarah Palin is not exactly the same-- one is 'running' for 1st lady, the other for VP. But alas, I have no other current female candidate for Prez/VP to compare Palin too so yeah…..

While both women likely use campaign funds to keep up their appearance or "brand," Michelle seems to keep it more affordable visiting shops like H&M and White House Black Market-- while Palin drops over 100 thousand on high end stuff.

This has sparked a lot of outrage on behalf of McCain's OWN supporters who didn't want their money spent all on clothes for Palin—especially such spendy clothes.

Palin sells herself as some Washington outsider/regular ol’ hockey mom but current decisions about campaign spending for clothing really contradict that.

Either way, her contradiction is just one more to add to the list….

She's “for working moms “-- but runs with a candidate who doesn't support equal pay or adequate maternal leave for new mothers.

She's a “feminist” but wants to force victims of rape and incest victims to bring pregnancies to term.

Her entire persona is a lie.

* I still say this clothing spending is not a huge infraction—as I said, it’s a damned if you do/damned if you don’t scenario-- she’s supposed to look like a million bucks but not spend that much.

Lori H said...

I want to know why no one has disclosed what the male candidates paid for their wardrobe. You know they didn't buy those suits at JC Penney.

Tobes said...

Chicago tribune had a brief article talkign about how Obama has worn a suit worth over 1,000 dollars--,0,2396496.story

and McCain has worn $500 shoes. But nothing comparative into the Palin wardrobe-gate.

They say that Biden, Obama and McCain pay for their clothes out of pocket. Of course they've have years upon years in politics to build it up. They didn't just have to show up day 1 looking like they'd been doing this for years.

What is even more shocking than this wardrobe mess is the news now that the highest paid McCain staffer hte last two months has been the woman who does make-up-- not the policy advisors or anything like that... the MAKE UP LADY!


Adrienne said...

I think this whole business is sad for two reasons:

1) With the current economic crisis, I simply CANNOT believe that the campaign would justify spending that amount of money on clothes-- whether or not they were going to donate them to charity. What kind of a message did they think that would send to us?

2) Who do they think they're fooling? What do they think of us? 'Here, lets get this grossly under-qualified person to run with us, for the SOLE purpose of confusing voters of which vagina they are voting for and to counteract the women's movement-- oh, and then we need to put her in really fancy clothes so that the American people will just be distracted by all the shiny things. They will realize that a woman who has perfect hair and coordinating outfits can, obviously, run a country.'

Putting Sarah Palin in $150,000 worth of clothes is the exact definition of putting lipstick on a pig.

Lori H said...

I guess it's like my Daddy keeps saying, "It's all pointless stuff designed to keep people from noticing that none of the candidates have a clue how to fix the real issues."