Much ado has been made of the dress worn by First Lady Michelle Obama at the state dinner given on behalf of Francois Hollande last week. This criticism echoes similar charges levied against past First Ladies for what appeared to be profligacy in personal style. Laura Bush, for example, was lambasted for having a $700 haircut.
The nation has bigger problems to deal with than the personal fashion choices made by FLOTUS. Pseudo-controversies like these are usually partisan, gratuitous, or are often incited by those who seek to advance the critic’s own cause or political stance. Let’s get this straight: neither gossip nor grandstanding are a substitute for governance.
In order to head off such sniping in the future, we suggest six simple rules for FLOTUS (or her eventual male equivalent, First Gentleman of the US) to follow when making personal attire or style choices, and for the rest of us to use as a standard to eliminate gratuitous Fashion Policing:
1. The item (e.g., a dress) or service (e.g., a hairstyle) must not be paid for by the taxpayer;
2. The item or service must not be paid for with funds obtained illegally by the Presidential Family;
3. The item or service must not be used/worn as a means of granting a political favor to the provider, or in return for a donation or favors given.
4. The item or service should be provided by an American company or individual.
5. If the item or service is provide by an American company, it should be a small or start-up business rather than a large, established business.
6. The item or the service, whether in the matter of how it is used, obtained, or displayed, does denigrate either the United States, her people, or the office of the President of the United States.
Six simple principles.
Now, can we get back to the business of fixing the country?