With the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Obama, the media has begun squawking away about the impending "return to glamour" and "re-emergence of Camelot" and similar nonsense. Female politicos are panicking. Suddenly there is tremendous pressure about not appearing their best in the new administration. During the Bush administration one could look like a billy goat and it did not hurt one's credibility. In fact, it helped.
But with the elegant Michelle Obama becoming First Lady, suddenly all of the Capitol Hill femmes, particularly those of high profile and dumpy blue suits, are terrified that they will be scrutinized as closely as celebrities. That could mean appearing in the pages of "US" magazine in the "Why Did She Wear That??" section. And then how could you get your appropropriations bill passed?
So, your faithful correspondent and an entourage of assistants were whisked off to Washington this past weekend with a truckload of designer fashions! We were booked into several suites in the fabulous Willard Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, a mere block or two away from the White House. My hand still aches from signing all of those confidentiality agreements!
Our floor had to be "Secret Service Cleared" so that all of the luminaries could be fitted in comfort and safety. Several lady Secret Service agents requested their uniforms be tailored in a more shapely cut. My seamstresses had their work cut out for them (pardon the pun), particularly because of the body armor and holsters.
The biggest obstacle to my work was not the figures of the women--I believe there is beauty in every shape and size, as you well know. It was the mindset: rigid conformity to outdated fashion norms, fear of change, fear of appearing "weak" if wearing anything too feminine. Since you, my faithful readers, know that I do not appear "weak" in the least, even wearing a wisp of chiffon and stiletto heels, you also know that these fears were simply too maddening! Several times I had to retire to the hotel's Round Robin Bar for a quick mojito to quell my rising temper.
Difficult clients are one thing; but difficult clients with immense legislative power must be handled with tact and delicacy, something I could only manage with some alcohol sloshing through my system.
If I may opine for a moment, I believe that suits are detrimental to women in politics. For one thing, female politicians have to wave all of the time. And we know that suits bunch up and pull over to one side when a woman waves--particularly if there are shoulder pads. Now, we are used to men looking that awkward, but women should be spared. Hillary Clinton, if you are reading this, please do stop wearing suits! You have such lovely curves, why not a dress now and then?
Oh, and the Inaugural Ball gowns...MTV is hosting the Inaugural Ball, which also wreaked emotional (and public relations) havoc amongst the women. High-neck? Low-neck? Contemporary look? Conservative? (You try getting a Republican who isn't Sarah Palin to wear a fitted, low-cut gown...a recipe for blinding migraines, mon chers.)
However, I was flown back from Washington, the trunks empty, my coffers bulging, and my wrist aching. If I have just a tiny bit of impact on how women in Washington look, that is all I ask.
That, and a hefty fee.
God Bless America.
Elisa & Bucky The Wonderdog