BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

The right to “bare” legs

Posted by egehl on August 19, 2009

I underestimate our culture’s celebrity obsession and critical eye that is constantly watching every move a famous person makes and clothing item they wear.  Normally you can laugh it off and think it’s just us being ridiculous and infatuated, but when I heard this morning on the Today Show about an “uproar” over Mrs. Obama’s shorts, it stopped me dead in my tracks. 

Did I hear that right?  Her what?  Her shorts?

Turns out our First Lady wore shorts to the Grand Canyon this week.  Well, what in the world was she supposed to wear? I don’t know about you but hiking in the hot, windy, rocky and treacherous Grand Canyon doesn’t call for a skirt, dress or even pants.     090818-obama-shorts-9a_standard

Hours upon hours have been spent talking about what a First Lady should or should not wear. First, it was whether or not she had the right to “bare arms,” and now, pictures of Michelle wearing “short” shorts while on holiday with her family are sparking a similar debate.

It’s 2009 people, and in case you hadn’t noticed we live in a country where women get to show their legs and arms.  Perhaps if she had come out with some “daisy dukes” we might have gasped, but she has better judgment than that and her shorts were tasteful.  It should be fine if our First Lady wants to dress relaxed like the rest of us and show that she’s casual and comfortable with her body. I think the days of offering a polished reserved example at all times is being challenged and it’s good to shake things up.

Scrutinizing and commenting on Mrs. Obama’s clothing has taken on a life of its own.  I just learned about “Mrs. O”, a website that is dedicated to following the fashion of the First Lady.  The front page has updated pictures of her various outfits with captions at the bottom denoting the writer’s reactions to her various choices and who are the fashion designers of the clothing.  The site’s goal is to be an evolving resource to chronicle our First Lady’s look, while providing fashion commentary and information.  It even encourages visitors to contribute tips, photos and commentary, and share enthusiasm for what they believe is a budding style icon.

Our country has not seen a First Lady as a fashion icon in a long time so it’s understandable that our curiosity wants to know and comment on her every move and clothing choice.  But sometimes it just goes too far and seems petty and unnecessary.  Lighten up folks!  How about we get back to that healthcare system we still need to fix.


4 Responses to “The right to “bare” legs”

  1. gansie said

    i’m right with you. i love the fact that MO is a real person and as real people do, make appropriate clothing choices for different occasions.

    and if i have those legs in my 40s, then i’ll be showing them off in shorts as well!

  2. Kimberly Bush said

    We can’t be wearing the sheath dress and heels and pearls all the time, can we? lol
    First black First Lady, taller than any before her.
    What’s not to admire?

  3. […] Her legs, […]

  4. […] 8. The Right to “Bare” Legs […]

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