Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday book blogging

Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of StyleNot a lot of reading happening these days for whatever reason, so I'm glad for a book with lots of pretty pictures.   Namely, Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style, written by the former editor of Harpar's Bazaar.

I'm actually reading it thoroughly, however. The text is insightful. As a severely fashion-impaired person, I find the argument that "style" does not negate "substance" very compelling.

Here's a teaser:
The fact that Michelle Obama does not see style and substance as an either/or choice is a powerful indication that the underlying assumptions about women's roles and images have changed. Embodying the confluence of substance and style, she has reconciled the long-standing antagonism between them. She has, in some sense, made them one and the same.
A bit over the top, I know, but it is making me rethink my own assumptions. It's also a fascinating look at the peculiar role of the First Lady, and the kind of messages that fashion conveys.

It seems silly to post this without another picture. The caption, in case you can't read it, says:

The right to bare arms: When Michelle Obama revealed her sculpted biceps in Congress in February 2009, she prompted New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks to write, "Put away Thunder and Lightning." But when Jackie Kennedy wore a similar sleeveless shift to her husband's State of the Union address in January 1963 (above) it was no big deal--perhaps because her arms didn't convey the same message of strength and power.

You can see Jackie seated on the aisle in the lower right corner of the top picture.

(Teaser Tuesday is sponsored by MizB at Should Be Reading where you can find the details of this weekly event.)


In other book news, Ta-Nehisi Coates, whom I cannot go a week without referencing, had a kick-ass response to the Esquire list of 75 books men should read--a list that includes only one book by a woman author.

Put bluntly, if you call yourself a reading man, but don't read books by women, you are actually neither. Such a person implicitly dismisses whole swaths of literature, and then flees the challenge to see himself through other eyes.

This is not a favor to feminists. This is not about how to pick up chicks. This is about hunger, greed and acquisition. Do not read books by women to murder your inner sexist pig. Do it because Edith Wharton can fucking write. It's that simple.

What he said.


Cecelia said...

Interesting teaser. Not sure it's my kind of book, but I am intrigued by the photos. Hope you're enjoying it!

If you'd like, you can visit mine here.

it's margaret said...


A Fly On The Wall said...

Love that!
My Teaser is from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making:

Keisha said...

Oh, great teaser! I've been rethinking my style as well (I can't live in frumpy college clothes forever), this looks like a good read.

My teaser is from Furies Of Calderon