Iman, a woman whom I respect, recently said:
“Mrs. Obama is not a great beauty,” Iman told Parade. “But she is so interesting looking and so bright. That will always take you farther. When you’re a great beauty, it’s always downhill for you. If you’re someone like Mrs. Obama, you just get better with age.”
I agree with Rundeltat @ http://blogs.bet.com/entertainment/spotlight/author/Runteldat/
Now correct me if I’m wrong here, but Iman is essentially saying that while Michelle is no “great beauty,” she’s intelligent and that’s what matters most because beauty fades.
Why are people offended that a person who’s built a career on the superficial acknowledging that beauty fades and intelligence will get you much further?
A person who herself has acknowledged that she’s “average” in comparison to the woman from her home country of Somalia.
Obviously, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, people. To me the question of whether Michelle Obama is beautiful, cannot be settled. It depends on taste. And the hypocrisy of believing that beautiful women always get less attractive over time but men become distinguished and better looking has been hashed out elsewhere.
There is a bigger issue here.
Holding Other Women Up to Judgment!
Questioning their looks, style, shoes, age, sexuality while ignoring their thoughts and actions in ways. Reducing them to their make up, their color schemes and style. Never mind their legacies. Never mind their contributions.
We don’t do that to men. And we really need to stop doing it to other women.
Otherwise the drumbeat that promotes and underlines insecurity in women —
Are you fat/skinny enough, tall/short enough, sexy/sweet, smart/shy, experienced/naive enough?
— will never stop because it will be in us and not just around us.
The most effective oppression is internalized oppression.