|Egyptian anti-Muslim film protester dodges tear gas, Voice of America photo|
President Obama won't need to launch an "October surprise" to boost his leadership profile; he's placed in that position presently and so far has yet to impress. We hope and pray that the coming days will bring strong denunciation of the violence rather than placating apologies for offense. Ours is a land with freedom to speak, even if the content insults another. The world stage is not so generous.
Meanwhile, my daughter who lives in New York City can no longer purchase a 16-ounce soft drink, lest her petite frame become obese. Mayor Bloomberg proudly touted his city's restriction on large-sized sugary drinks as "“the single biggest step any city has ever taken to curb obesity,” adding, "we believe that it will help save lives.”
373 calories). I don't get many of them, but when I do, it's because I'm really thirsty and probably didn't have breakfast. The Starbucks frappuccino, by the way, is in controversy since drinks with more than 50% milk are exempt from the ban. If the ice-to-milk ratio is dropped, my venti could be safe. Sound silly to you?
If not, perhaps this news item will. A New York Times "Front Row" column in the Style section a week ago discussed the virtues of Michelle Obama's sparkly dress as a prop with a message for her address to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Eric Wilson approved of the Tracy Reese design, noting that Ms. Reese "who happens to be black," designed a creation that "from a distance...had a shimmering effect...but in closeups, viewers could practically study the pattern of the gold brocade."
OK, Mrs. Romney wore a readily-available Oscar de la Renta red taffeta belted dress for her boffo speech to Republican conventioners (from the pre-fall collection). Ms. Obama's dress, one-of-a-kind and designed specifically for the first lady, is not available. Of course, it's being rushed into production, and according to reports will sell for "less than $500."
Now, no middle class woman I know--and certainly not I--would pay $500 for a dress. Nor $400. Nor $300, or $200 or, I will admit, in my own case even $100. Middle class women shop at Nordstrom Rack or Target, and like bargains more than labels. At least that's true for everyone in my sphere. If they do wear a label--maybe on a pair of good denim jeans--they want to get it on sale. I often wear hand-me-ups from my daughters from Forever 21.
I sometimes wonder: who are the women who buy from designer shops? There must be enough of them to support the fashion industry, but if they're not the wealthiest 1%, they're definitely in the richest 5%. You don't need to buy a $500 replica of Michelle Obama's dress to announce you're in the middle class. And you don't need to diss Ann Romney for her (expensive) choice.
My take-away message: Democrats want to demonize success. Rather than cheering those who achieve, and making way for more to follow, the tack is to channel last year's Occupiers and chastise the Romneys for making it to the top.
The suggestion that wearing a custom-made dress from a mid-priced designer shows some fidelity to the middle class is here just another rap from the very biased press.