Fashion and the New Order

Laura Wood posts this photograph of Michelle Obama appearing at the latest decadent show biz celebrity event:


I sent her this comment:

Concerning Michelle Obama’s wild outfit (which, as I said to you in an e-mail, seems to be deliberately designed to make it look as though she is exposing her crotch area), you write:

“She’s more the First Bratty Teenager who needs a mother to tell her to go home and get changed.”

I think the observation somewhat trivializes what is happening here. At the most primary level, Michelle is not disobeying the code of socety; she is positively asserting the code of the NEW society that liberals have constructed on the ruins they have made of the old. Far from being a rebellious adolescent, she is the leader, the observed of all observers, the acme and exemplar of what we now are.

Laura replied:

I disagree that it is designed to make her look like she is exposing her crotch. That stupid skirt is a way of getting around the fact that her hips are too wide for jeans.

I replied:

It sure looks that way to me.

Kidist thought the same.

Laura replied:

Yes, it does look like she is exposing her crotch. But, I think the aim was to put her in dress-up jeans.

I replied:

Hah. This is like Jim Kalb’s reply in the “Trayvianity” thread to my comment that liberals seek to destroy the good: exposing her crotch was not the intention, but it was the effect.

You’ve heard of a high-class problem? This is what I’d call a high-class disagreement.

- end of initial entry -

Irv P. writes:



LA replies:

I personally would not call it an embarrassment. Would one call Madonna an embarrassment? No. Madonna is a cultural radical deliberately seeking to trash and overturn all standards and create a new, nihilist order. Therefore she is not an embarrassment, since she is not of us. She is a conscious enemy of our culture.

Michelle in this outfit is manifesting herself as a Madonna-type icon. Therefore she also is not an embarrassment, but a deliberate trasher of our culture, an enemy.

N. writes:

Michelle Obama does not look much like the wife of a President. She looks more like the consort of an Oriental potentate, or some sort of emperor.

Perhaps that is an accident. Or perhaps not.

Debra C. writes:

I must disagree with Laura Wood for once. If the intent of the flaps was merely to disguise her wide hips, then she—in modest fashion—could have chosen to have the flaps connect across the front, thus concealing what has become her overexposed, and vulgarly-displayed, crotch area. This is not an outfit befitting a First Lady. More and more the President’s wife reveals her contempt for decorum and lack of respect for the office her husband holds. And yes, Larry, she is a role model and exemplar of the New Order, the New Order that revels in sticking it to the “prudes.”

I’m feeling a bit catty today. I don’t usually comment on Michelle Obama’s appearance, but this outfit is particularly nauseating.

Paul K. writes:

The outfit Michelle Obama wore to the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards was designed by Wes Gordon as part of his 2012 line. Attached is a photograph of the outfit on a slim-hipped model. On her, it looks entirely respectable; on Michelle, not so much.


I found the photo on a fashion site, Tom & Lorenzo, which had the following catty observation:

That is entirely too much FLOTUS crotch.

Hey, we didn’t enjoy writing anymore than you enjoyed reading it, okay?

We think it’s great we have a First Lady who attempts getups like these; really we do. But we also think it’s great when we have a First Lady in possession of a full-length mirror. Come on now, FLOTUS. How could you not see what this thing was doing on you?

LA replies:

The commenter quoted by Paul thinks that Michelle, in this spectacularly carefully done outfit, was not aware of how it looked on her. I don’t think that’s true. The other exculpatory possibility is that the designer and Michelle did see that the jacket was too tight on Michelle, because of her wider hips, but were unable to have it enlarged. Along with Debra C., I think that’s unlikely.

James M. writes:

The pattern on Michelle’s shirt-skirt thing looks to me like an enlarged version of the type of woven pattern you often see in Muslim men’s scarfs, or “shemaghs.” Google image search “shemagh” or check out this photo.

What do you think? Is this on purpose? Am I reading too much into it?

LA replies:

There is a definite similarity between the two patterns.

Gilda A. writes:

Laura Wood has closed comments on her post, so I’ll comment here.

She writes:

“Below is Michelle further demonstrating the dignity of her office while presenting an award to Taylor Swift, who displays the stiffness characteristic of a woman trying to keep her dress from slipping.”

No, what we see is Swift resisting Obama’s grasp. Note how Obama has wrapped her arm around Swift; you can see Obama’s steely fingers. Her other hand is obscured, but probably gripping Swift’s waist. Swift is backing away as best she can. Kidist Paulos Asrat notes, of a second photograph, that Swift “seems to be running away from a stalking Michelle.” There are lots of photos showing the Obamas using touch to dominate.

I’ve long thought that Michelle Obama wears the clothes she dreamed about as a teenager, and no one is going to tell her what to do. God knows what she sees in the mirror.

Paul K. writes:

On a daily basis, I see obese black women wearing appallingly skin-tight, revealing outfits in public, and they seem to think they look fabulous. It seems to be “a black thing.” A recent article in the Washington Post stated: “[A]lthough black women are heavier than their white counterparts, they report having appreciably higher levels of self-esteem. Although 41 percent of average-sized or thin white women report having high self-esteem, that figure was 66 percent among black women considered by government standards to be overweight or obese.”

I think Michelle saw how nice that outfit looked on a slim model and figured it would look equally nice on her. Her “self-esteem” enabled her to believe it did, though with her large hips she appears to be busting out of it. I honestly don’t think she realized how unattractive she looked, because no woman would intentionally look unattractive.

LA replies:

I don’t agree with the idea that Michelle does not look attractive here. As someone who has criticized her looks and outfits probably more harshly than anyone, I think that within the trashy context, and looking at all the photos of her at this event taken from different angles, she looks spectacular. She has lost a bit of weight, she has a figure to be proud of, she has never looked better or more confident. She is in her glory. Of course it is a “glory” of trashiness and transgression and self-worship, but, again, within the terms of the adversarial culture she inhabits and represents, those are positive things. I think that people keep making the mistake of criticizing Michelle from the context of some normative or traditional code of what a First Lady should look like: “Oh, she’s not dressed correctly, this isn’t right for a First Lady.” They don’t understand that she is outside of and deliberately attacking that normative code.

It’s like when mainstream conservatives criticize Muslims for their failure to live up to our morality, not realizing that Muslims don’t believe in our morality, they believe in Muslim morality, which is utterly incompatible with ours. The conservatives can’t face this fact, because it would mean that the liberal idea of a single harmonious humanity, with all groups living under the same democratic capitalist system and getting along with each other and able to immigrate freely into each other’s countries, which the conservatives believe in, is unattainable. In the same way, conservatives don’t want to recognize that the problem is not that Michelle is failing to live up to our code; the problem is that she represents a different code which is opposed to ours, because recognizing that fact would mean recognizing that our code has been effectively overthrown.

LA continues:

Another reason Michelle looks good is that her outfit does not expose her arms and freakily muscular shoulders and neck, which at times has given her the aspect of a lumbering Frankenstein’s monster that could give a strong man nightmares.

Nicholas S. writes:

Upon seeing the photo my first thought was that somebody must be doing a remake of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

Oh! That’s right! — somebody is, of course. Only it’s in real life, not the movies.

April 3

Carol Iannone writes:

I’m glad someone sent that picture of the model wearing the outfit as it was originally intended to be worn—gracefully hanging and covering the hips, not open like a curtain showing crotch and belly in tight pants. My first thought on this was that it was meant to hang over the hips and close, not be stretched open.

Your argument continues to seem tortured to me.

Kidist Paulos Asrat writes:

Actually, I do think she’s exposing her crotch.

This is what I’ve noticed around these days. Women, and young girls, are going around in jeans and trousers with a deliberate focus on their crotch area, either by wearing pants that are too tight, or wearing jeans which gather around the crotch making it look bigger and more pronounced.

It is actually embarrassing to see this, and it I try hard to avoid looking “there.”

I think it is partly a lack of style, but I think it is the female version of the male crotch area. Men can’t help their pronounced crotch area, it is normal, and it not embarrassing, unless it is really too pronounced with pants that are just too small.

So, women think they can wear what they want, expose what they want, etc.

They are also in competition with men, showing that they also have “big ones.” In the end, it is aggressive and antagonistic. It is like the breast exposures that we will be getting now the weather is getting warmer. Once again, it may be a fashion statement, but it is also a “look at me, and my powerful femaleness” attitude, meant to disarm the people.

Jake F. writes:

Thanks for the comment that starts, “I don’t agree with the idea that Michelle does not look attractive here.” I agree completely, and we’ll all be better off if people recognize the truth of what you’re saying. Fighting the enemy means understanding them, and understanding them means empathizing with them. It ain’t pretty, but it has to happen.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 02, 2012 05:23 PM | Send

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