By NICKY CHAMP
Welcome to our world President Obama.
For decades, female politicians have been openly subjected to criticism of their wardrobe, hair and makeup choices, and on Thursday, President Obama found out exactly what it’s like to be a woman in politics.
The US president was giving a press conference about the situation in Ukraine and Iraq, but it was his tan suit that overshadowed his message.
The ‘fashion fail’ sparked the Twitter hashtag #YesWeTan – a pun on his 2008 Presidential campaign tagline Yes We Can.
“OK now that the suit is off the screen can someone tell us what Obama said,” @HuffPostMedia tweeted.
In what is possibly the first time (wait, do Tony Abbott’s budgie smugglers count?), a male politician’s outfit was held to the same ridiculous standards as a woman’s.
Which is something Hillary Clinton knows all about. The former US Secretary of State has endured 20 years of criticism over everything from the length of her hair, penchant for wearing scrunchies, and lack of makeup.
When asked about her appearance at the height of ‘Scrunchiegate’ in a CNN interview, Clinton refused to be drawn into a debate about something as unimportant as what she did with her hair.
“If I want to wear my glasses, I’m wearing my glasses. If I want to wear my hair back I’m pulling my hair back. You know at some point it’s just not something that deserves a lot of time and attention,” Clinton said.
Locally, former PM Julia Gillard was subjected to criticism from both sexes (Germaine Greer and Tony Abbott) about her body image, in particular her behind.
“What I want her to do is get rid of those bloody jackets!” Greer said on ABC’s Q&A problem.
“They don’t fit.”
“You’ve got a big arse, Julia. Get over it.”
But perhaps this reverse outfit criticism is a sign of the times. If you are out of sync with the public in 2014, the social media backlash is swift and scathing.
Or maybe it’s because President Obama was previously thought to be much cooler than his other political counterpart – so, it was a departure from this that had everyone talking.
Since President Obama is a man he doesn’t often have to endure interview questions about his wardrobe, but he has previously spoken about his decision to only ever wear blue or grey suits.
“I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make,” he told Vanity Fair in 2012.
Something tells us he won’t ever depart from wearing blue and grey suits again.
For the record, we didn’t think the tan suit was so bad. You?