Michelle Obama’s scary hair?

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.

Victory in Fight Against Forced Marriage

Dr Humayra Abedin, a trainee GP in London, will be able to return to the UK. She was told that her mother was ill in Dhaka, and went to see her. Whereupon she was held captive by her family in an effort to force her into a marriage. She managed to get word to friends in the UK. The British authorities intervened under the new Forced Marriage Act, and the Dhaka High Court has now ordered that she must be freed and allowed to return to the UK. This is especially significant because Abedin is not a UK national. For more, see here. (Thanks, Jender-Parents!)