It’s over and the Democrats have done it! U.S. history has been made with naming Hillary Clinton as the first woman to lead a major political party. She fought hard, there was much controversy, but she prevailed. And now it’s time to discuss a topic that’s been our minds for quite a while….her clothes!
But wait, you say, that’s sexist. We don’t discuss men’s clothes. I beg to differ…did you read what was written about Bernie’s appearance? And besides, overcoming limitations doesn’t mean we have to negate who we are. We love talking and reading about and looking at images of clothes. There’s really no need to point to the multitudes of print magazines and online blogs and websites to prove it. But we need to be wary to avoid defining a woman by her clothes. No one is stupid or brilliant because of what she is wearing. No one’s character can be read by the length of a jacket or height of a heel. But clothes, especially for a woman in the public sphere are chosen with care to project and image while remaining functional for the tasks of the day.
Hillary Clinton seems to have settled upon a uniform of single color pantsuits, creating a column of color and practicality. This is not to say that she never moves beyond this look, but only that it seems to be her go to image, an outfit she’s most comfortable in. So much so, that it was a white pant suit, with a longish jacket, that she wore to the convention to accept her nomination.
But in choosing these outfits, her message reads that the glass ceiling is still in place. She dresses as if to say, it’s still a man’s world. While no doubt comfortable and practical, her choices reflect a feminine version of a man’s power suit. I say, let’s celebrate this achievement by celebrating womanhood! There is no need to mask it. Let’s not send the wrong message…one that says, yes, I am a woman, but I don’t worry, I can play like the boys. Let’s say, yes, we are here, and we like playing with style…you got a problem with that?!!
Can women in power have great fashion style? You bet! Look at Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF for inspiration. Ok, she’s French, so maybe it comes easier to her, but she sets a great example.
While we pat ourselves on the back for nominating a woman, let’s not forget that we are by no means the first country to do so, and there have been several women heads of state already in the history books.
Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, the President of Malta looks at ease with feminine detailing on her clothing.
So come on Hillary, send the message, we can be powerful, rule, the world, and look great, and like women, while doing it!