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CONSTANCE FOSTER writes:

I saw this photo of Mrs. Reagan and Mrs. Obama at a White House luncheon and was struck by the difference in their style of dress. Mrs. Reagan’s formal blouse, jacket, and earrings look elegant and authoritative. Mrs. Obama’s choice of two different patterns for a T-shirt and cardigan look far too casual for the event and would be more appropriate on a middle school teacher than the First Lady! I thought you would find this portrait of contrasts interesting given your previous attention to the decline of formality among public officials.

 Laura writes:

It’s striking that Michelle Obama chose to dominate a little old woman by standing next to her and  clasping her in this chummy way. They should have been photographed in chairs turned toward each other and the camera. And the expression on Mrs. Obama’s face is, well, strange.

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Alissa writes:

Michelle Obama’s expression is a bit tough and her gaze is hardened but her clothing is quite feminine by the standards of today’s dress. It’s colorful, decorative and she’s not wearing pants. Many women today typically have the solution to the irrationality of feminism by having masculine mannerisms but having a femme outward appearance or clothing. Usually this is done by sex-positive feminists where they are more immodest to showcase their female physical attributes as an attempt to counterbalance their androgynous behaviour and liberal beliefs.

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