Michelle Obama Is No Marie Antoinette
America's just upset that she looks so good
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2010 12:10 PM CDT
Sasha and Michelle Obama arrive at the Marivent Palace, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Sunday, Aug. 8, 2010.   (AP Photo/Manu Mielniezuk)
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(Newser) – Michelle Obama has taken some heat for hitting the beach and sporting a Gaultier dress in Spain over the weekend. One columnist even called her a “modern-day Marie Antoinette.” But they’re missing the point, according to Daily Beast fashion writer Kate Betts. “The real issue is not hotel room rates or whether the first lady is politically tone-deaf,” she argues. “The real issue is that Mrs. Obama is not playing the traditional White House hostess role.”

“She’s writing her own rules, doing things her way—all with a seemingly effortless sense of style,” Betts continues. Therein lies the rub. It’s that dress that’s bugging the public, which “wants their first lady to look good, but not too good.” But much of Obama’s wardrobe consists of off-the-rack finds from everyday department stores, and her expensive items largely come from up-and-coming designers who need her support. And by looking good, she’s sending a “powerful message of self-possession” to millions of young girls.