Of course, the first thing the press looks at is whether a potential first lady is scary. Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, whoever, it is the first question everyone wants to ask. Right? Well, probably not unless you are a feminist with an agenda (and we know who that was) or you have unprocessed black hair. The hair problem is the message in this article:
[According to] Rose Weitz, a professor of women and gender studies at Arizona State University,”Part of being a first lady is projecting an image that will best help their husbands succeed.”
Obama, who sometimes wears her dark shoulder-length hair flipped at the ends, often is compared to Jacqueline Kennedy, considered by many to be the most stylish first lady in history.
Her youthful look is a stark contrast to Laura Bush, whose traditional side-parted hairstyle, similar to that of Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford and Rosalynn Carter, reflects her image as a supportive mother, teacher and librarian, hair experts said.
While Obama’s hairstyle gives her a polished, professional look, she faces a unique challenge as an African-American. She must project an image that is non-threatening to whites.
“She has to deal with white people’s stereotypes of a black woman,” Weitz said. “She has to project an image the public will find acceptable, comfortable and appropriate.”
What is the most depressing thought here?
A first lady’s image must be constructed to help her husband succeed. (Another reason to wait with baited breath for a first gentleman.)
So constructed, the image must not be challenging.
Unprocessed black hair on a first lady would be too challenging.
Thanks to Womanist Musings via feministing.