Her most recent crime against humanity, the donning of a bold red Alexander McQueen for a state dinner with China's President Hu Jintao earlier this month, prompted the Times' perpetually condescending Cathy Horyn to pen a recent column declaring her fear that Obama's "deeds are being overshadowed by what she wears." "I want her to be known for something other than her fashion," she wrote. "I want her to be a great first lady who truly cares about the lives of Americans at the time when many need help. I want her to be far more than 'prime placement' for a dress label." By wearing what, exactly? Sackcloth and ashes? Elastic-waist Mom jeans? Maybe sensible pantsuits, because God knows Hillary isn't still getting crap for that?
That's the price of being a woman. If you dress down, you're a slob. If you dress up, you're a snob. If you dress conservatively, you're just trying to act like a man. You're trying to be sexy. You're not sexy enough. And that dress makes you look fat, girlfriend. Whoever said clothes make the man was a goddamn liar. It's wardrobe that defines a woman, even if she's a lawyer, mother and health activist who's married to the president of the United States.
If the actress has decided that, for now, she'd like to take a walk on the smooth side, it doesn’t automatically represent a caving to pressure or oppression by the patriarchy. But shouldn't the option of nonconformity exist as well? And why should a little bit of body hair -- on the legs, under arms, or yes, even the Tajazzle zone -- be considered so radical, so appalling, so threatening? It's just hair, for God's sake. And a woman's right to experiment with it shouldn't end at her chin line.