Month: January 2009

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm931USqQ8k&hl=en&fs=1%5D

Last year Italian Vogue produced an “all black” issue featuring primarily models with African heritage. It was one of those love it/hate it things where I loved seeing so many of my favorite models highlighted so beautifully, but hated that there needed to be a “black issue” in the first place when nearly all of these models could easily be put in regular rotation in any fashion magazine, rendering their appearance less novel and simply another aspect of beauty within the fashion industry.

In this latest report by CNN, what some of us have already suspected seems to be true: Obama-look-a-likes are in demand by Madison Avenue.

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Snob reader Nonny posted an interesting question and observation about First Lady Michelle Obama and her first appearance since the Inauguration where she hosting the reception for the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter law Thursday.

During the signing, I couldn’t help but wonder how Michelle Obama felt to be sitting in the audience while all these power women – Clinton, Pelosi, and others – were up front and center around her husband as he signed the Ledbetter document into law and passed out the signing pens.

Michelle Obama is as intelligent and accomplished as any of them, and yet here she was, sitting politely and quietly in the front row, America’s first ‘hostess.’ It really made me uncomfortable that she may be relegated to the background no matter what she does. It was nice that she got up to speak later, but that was an introduction of Lilly L. mostly.

I hope there’s an important active role for her in the future because while I love her first mom shtick and her fashion sense etc, I don’t want to see all that intelligence and power sidelined for 4-8 years.

And I thought she looked tired, too, not so vibrant.

Nonny asked me what I thought of this and as I started to write a book for an answer I realized I could sum up Michelle’s “damned if she does/damned if she doesn’t” situation as the wife of the president in one sentence:

First Ladies lose (if they’re interesting).

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The floral corsage is the new flag pin, bitches! She’s making “fetch happen!” Believe it!Try as I might, I can never truly hate the woman. (I hate her views though.) I just have to admire her in the same vein I admired Hillary Clinton’s Eva Peron act towards the end of the Democratic Primary. I mean, I enjoy a woman who just WON’T GO AWAY. Even if you’re begging her to leave. Even if it’s probably in her best interest. SCREW THAT! Effie Whites don’t back down! They hold on to fame and rock it til the wheels fall off.

That said, The Huffington Post is reporting that Palin will attend the Alfalfa Club Dinner this weekend in Washington, D.C. to get in on that fresh, New President smell.

Mmm. Smells like “hope,” methols and C&H, pure cane sugar. That’s the one! (From Hawaii! Sweetened by the sun!)

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For those of you not familiar with the Lilly Ledbetter case, she worked for years for Goodyear Tires and upon her retirement learned there were serious pay disparities between herself and her male counterparts. Sensing some gender discrimination, she took the company all the way to the Supreme Court for back wages, but a divided court sided with the corporation, saying Ledbetter didn’t bring up the complaint soon enough, setting a short time window for when individuals can bring up discrimination cases in the workplace.

The ruling was considered a travesty for equal work/equal pay proponents, women and minorities and many said the newly Democratically-controlled Congress and President Barack Obama would make quick business of writing a law to make sure no one else would find themselves in this situation.

Now we have the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, signed into law Thursday by President Obama, and you don’t have to be a feminist to appreciate this. This helps all sorts of individuals who face workplace discrimination.

But this also gave us a chance to see the First Lady again, engaging in some of her first formal duties as America’s no. 1 hostess.

More after the jump!

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President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk after arriving at Sidwell Friends School, where their seven-year-old daughter Sasha is enrolled, in Bethesda, Md., Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

I don’t think I’m in the minority in saying this, but my parents are not super affectionate.

Sure. They love each other intensely. They’ve been married for more than thirty years. They are, as my sisters and I once joked, “Black: United As A Force.” They take care of each other. But they don’t hold hands. I’ve only seen them kiss twice (once on the Super 8 footage of the wedding, the second when I was an adult and my father was leaving to catch a flight to Texas). My father is more of a “doer.” He shows his love by setting up all the accounts and debts so if he meets an untimely demise my mother won’t have to worry about the money. Or he drives her to her doctor appointments faithfully and fusses over what makes my otherwise “Steel Magnolia” mom quite delicate.

But they’re not lovey-dovey. Never have been. My mom saves up all her displays of affection for my sisters and myself, who have been showered in hugs, praise and kisses from day one. Just the other day, at age 31, I found myself walking around Macy’s holding my mother’s hand just beacuse.

The Obamas, who are openly affectionate in front of apparently everyone, are outwardly tender and kind towards each other and their children. Scenes of this public adoration have become a regular topic of discussion between my mother and me. About how we crave it. About how we can’t look away. About how much we love it.

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Serena Williams of the United States reacts after winning a point against Russia’s Elena Dementieva during their Women’s singles semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Mark Baker) Serena fans, rejoice! She’s going to the Australian Open Final to face Russian Dinara Safina. She looks fierce, per usual and Safina is the only thing in the way of Williams’ 10th Grand Slam title.

There has always been some debate about the Williams Sisters. Do they play too little? Are they too preoccupied with fashion and other interests? Are they out of shape?

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