Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lady Power

I’ve spent the morning thinking about my favourite ladies in the public eye, and realized how little play they get on this site. Unfortunately, success and smarts aren't nearly as entertaining and easy to write about as Heidi Montag. Far too much column space is wasted on my hatred towards Paris Hilton and frankly, all that negativity makes me sleepy. Sure Paris Hilton knows she's a dirty skank and manipulates her image as such, but that's not the
kind of image-shaping I'm trying to appreciate here.

Today I'll honour female media manipulators – women with a keenly developed sense of self, who use their powers of influence for good.

Up first is Michelle Obama, who I be referring to as Mobama (thank you NYMag), because it sounds unreal.The reigning First Lady has a hawk-like grip on her public image, and likely wouldn’t appreciate plebians taking such wild liberties with her name, but a girl’s got to relinquish control somewhere.

This great NYTimes piece (read it) on Michelle Obama and her calculated public image reminds us how straight up badass she is. Ten months ago, Michelle Obama was viewed as a cold, overly passionate wife *shudder* and to some, “a liability to her husband.” She was too intellectuall-y, and not nearly as house wife-y as, say Laura Bush.

Now, with the help of a gifted communications team, Michelle is loved the world over. Her popularity rating surpasses her husband’s. That NYTimes article tells us how Mobama warps public opinion by selecting her own clothes for photo shoots, and always stands firm on how she appears in public. She is fully willing to sit for interviews with domestic publications, like O Magazine and People, but declines interviews with more respected papers, like the Times, for instance. She is working very hard to make sure we know she is a mother and wife first, and an ass kicking intellectual second.

This tactic is absolutely brilliant. We all know Mobama is a smarty pants (as opposed to a cranky pants), but it's important to know she's got her family's shit together. Cranky pants! God, I’ve been waiting a long time to use that photo.

Mobama is slowly getting the world to love and trust her. After a series of interviews and photo shoots with carefully selected publications, her image is downright soft and cuddly-- Well, mostly soft, as her arms are clearly made of steel beams.

Here's what I've read about Mobama lately: she tends a garden in the White House, she supports undiscovered American fashion designers, and in her free time, visits military families. She’s a good mother and wife and is generally a better human than you or I will ever be.

But you know she’s just getting started. The time will come when Mobama reminds us she was formerly an ass-kicking lawyer and is one of the smarter ladies in America. Mobama will garner our intense, unyielding support and ask the world to do something remarkable. I know it.

Hopefully, when she does call her adoring public to action, it will go something like this: Michelle holds a press conference in the White House garden. She stands in front of reporters, rake firmly in hand, Bo the Portugese Water Dog resting obediently at her feet, and announces a controversial, but brilliant plan that has the world reeling. And we will support her. Mobama’s approval ratings rival that of even Oprah, and you know people would do anything for Oprah.

Whatever Mobama has planned, you know it’s going to be stragetic and intelligent and she’s going to look fucking amazing while doing it. What a fantastic woman to look up to.

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