Picture two politicians, shaking hands at a press conference. Oh? You pictured two men? Maybe you thought of Trump’s awkward exchange with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe two weeks ago.
Perhaps due to the extreme awkwardness of the situation, or society’s expectations for male fashion in political contexts, you didn’t notice they were both wearing navy suits, pins on their left lapels, dark dress shoes, and ties in primary colors.
Let’s try another one! This week Mauricio Macri and First Lady Julianna Awada are in Spain, visiting the Royal Family and talking foreign investment.
What do you think of this picture, taken of Awada and Queen of Spain, Letizia Ortiz?
I like to imagine they are talking about foreign relations and the state of unemployment. However, if you are like some media outlets, you might be talking about the similarities between Awada and Ortiz’s outfits.
Yes, they are wearing similar hues, but their outfits are significantly different than Trump and Abe’s. Awada is wearing a belted (fur-trimmed) coat, Ortiz a sleek skirt suit. Awada has studded stilettos with ankle straps, Ortiz has pointed pumps. Awada has a intricate up-do, and Ortiz is rocking a french twist.
So yeah, haha, their outfits were sort-of similar. If matching was purely a political plunder, though, why haven’t there been articles about nearly every male-dominated press conference, where most politicians match each other? Better yet, why are we reporting on the appearance of female political leaders before their political messages?
What we count as news matters, and sends a message to women about their value in the political process. Call me crazy, but politics should be politics. Fashion should be fashion. Reporting political fashion should be limited to special circumstances, like this gem: