Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Harry Wonders Whether Barack Is Cool



Well, actually, as any fool know, he is.
I don’t know where he gets his suits and shirts. And ties and shoes. It isn’t really relevant. They are not that interesting.
He’s playing the game of looking corporately solid.
( And , pragmatically, I’m glad he is). It appears that somewhere along the line we have colluded with an idea of what we want our father figures to look like. Because that’s what they are. They are the ones who tell us , metaphorically speaking, that everything is ok because they are reassuringly in control ( oh yeah?). And, not quite so fancifully, when we should go to war.
The fact is that female politicians don’t have the same universally acceptable corporate style to find refuge in. Thatcher did it by reflecting back a frightening combination of post war austerity and joylessness (dull clothes) combined with a folk memory of a fearful headmistress.
No-one else can now do that without looking like a pale imitation.
Palin is ghastly. ( As was Thatcher.) But that’s got nothing to do with her wardrobe. And I still don’t know what is the problem people have with Hillary. But please don’t tell me it’s her clothes.

Yes, in the public spotlight you can expect to be de-constructed. And derided. Particularly if you are female.
The fact is that there is an inhibition about ripping apart your average male politician about the way he presents himself. Why are we so deferential?
Perhaps we don’t want to incur daddy’s wrath by being so trivial. Or , even more worrying, provoke him into storming out and leaving us bereft of his oh so re-assuring masculinity.
But perhaps we are simply acknowledging the fact that men ,incompetent in so many ways , are particularly lacking in how they present themselves. Poor bunnies. We just accept that they don’t know how to do anything other than conform.
This time round, ( just like T Blair in the UK ten years ago) I don’t care if playing the conformity game means Barrack will win .
But I am still mildly curious why nobody has revealed where he gets his ties .