CRUSHING ON MRS. O (by Laura Castoro)
I admit it. I've got a crush. It's not an actor, a singer, or a pop celebrity. It's our new First Lady: Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama.
Mrs. O, Michelle, Shelle, however the public speaks affectionately of her, one thing is certain: Michelle Obama is the most talked about and photographed First Lady in years. That talk is often breathless with happy surprise, admiration, and, yes, awe.
I admire her intellect, her business acumen, her social grace, her passion for work and life. I identify with her as a working woman, a hands-on mother, and wife with a husband whose career makes all three of those roles more demanding. These complications of the modern woman's life are the subject of my latest novel LOVE ON THE LINE, Avon A.
My crush, too, has a lot to do with those photographs. I'm in love with that at-ease-with-herself attractive woman on magazine covers who knows what looks good on her. Flaunting trends and fashion rules, she dares to wear what she likes, and women everywhere are mostly delighted. Why? Because she's one of us, with a toned but genuine body of the mother of two, and the confidence to wear what works for her.
What a "Oh, that's how I can look" sense of pleasure and relief for a generation of working women stuck in the no-woman's land between Carrie Bradshaw's waif look and the sometimes grim traveling pantsuit set. No wonder there are reams being written about her. Avon's soon-to-be released volume, MICHELLE STYLE: CELEBRATING THE FIRST LADY OF FASHION by Mandi Norwood is sure to be a hit.
Call it recycling or multi-tasking, her wardrobe is easily dressed up or down to fit the many demands of her day. The sweater that added a chic layer of warmth on Inauguration Day recently showed up paired with its matching shell over a pair of cropped gray trousers and turquoise (yes!) work boots as she visited a muddy D. C. construction site to talk community service with students from YouthBuild. Now that's breath-taking, and inspiring, and practical!
Her casual clothes are just that, casual, relatively inexpensive, and off the rack. Best of all, she doesn't take fashion so seriously that she's not willing to be different. Don't like everything she wears? Truthfully, I don't like everything I wear. What a relief to look in the mirror and feel you've gotten it right, right? Michelle's batting average with public opinion seems to be .950. I’d settle for .500.
Jackie Kennedy created a style that was feminine, confident, and classy. Michelle Obama's style has all those things plus a level of modern working-woman simplicity that prompts the adjectives "smart", "relaxed", "multi-tasking", with the right to bare arms. That's knock-out style at its finest.
If you, like me, need a daily fix, go here: www.Mrs-O.org. What do you think of our new role model?