Tuesday, January 06, 2009

coates on michelle obama

American Girl - The Atlantic (January/February 2009)

it will be be fascinating to watch how our popular culture relates to michelle obama - and how she reacts to it. (or reacts against it or plays complicitly with it.)

expecting our First Ladies to radically step away from their stubbornly retro image (an image we impose on them, btw) is too much but there is something worth watching as we observe how this First Lady inhabits her new role.

from that first Schakowsky Power lunch in chicago two years or so ago, i've always admired michelle obama. i've liked her style, her smarts, and i've liked how she forced our media to be aware of what an accomplished black woman looked like.

(hear that, Real Housewives of Atlanta? i know some folks may go for that show but they are tacky as hell. frankly, that whole Real Housewives franchise gives me a problematic, feminist rash.)

3 comments:

Orange said...

Nice outsider's look at Chicago and the South Side's role in cultivating the Obamas.

Have you seen the not-aired clip of Barack on WTTW'S "Check, Please"? Dreamboat.

SiddityintheCity said...

*small voice* But the tackiness is what makes all the real housewives so amusing? No?

Okaythen. I'll hide my evil amusement henceforth. Heh.

ding said...

ugh. i tried once to watch the orange county series. maybe it's because i'm from LA and grew up with a natural aversion to all things Orange County, but it drove me nuts.

i just didn't see the point!

and atlanta...ugh! at a time when we might have a chance to shift the public imagery of black womanhood (via Michelle Obama and the other accomplished black women surrounding the Obamas - and yes i'm perfectly aware of how bougie and classist i sound) this show just reifies all the negative stereotypes about black womanhood: 'jezebel'/'sapphire,' over the top, tacky, hyper-materialistic and ig'nant, to boot.

wow. i totally channeled bill cosby, didn't i?