Carol Platt Liebau: Robin Givhan's Mash Note to Nancy

Friday, November 10, 2006

Robin Givhan's Mash Note to Nancy

At last, we have the pleasure of reading that Nancy Pelosi's outfits have pleased the Washington Post's style guru, Robin Givhan.

She's the one who criticized the utterly appropriate clothes worn by the Roberts children for the announcement of their dad's nomination as Chief Justice, turned the Secretary of State into a sex object and compared her to a dominatrix (before conceding that her clothes were "not inappropriate"), and most famously characterized Katherine Harris as someone who "can't even use restraint when she wields a mascara wand."

Of course, it's not the first time that Givhan has been accused of bias. But it is one of the clearest examples. Compare the slams of Katherine Harris above to this love-sick paen:

[S]he wore it well. She looked polished and tasteful in front of the cameras. It is tempting to even go so far as to say that she looked chic . . .

Pelosi cuts a distinctive figure. She gives the impression that she cares about the way she looks, but gives no indication that she obsesses about it. Such pride is an admirable quality . . . (except, presumably, when Katherine Harris manifests it).

Pelosi appears consciously, comfortably and authoritatively female.

Pelosi had to decide how a woman who will be second in line of succession to the presidency should look. And what she came up with is someone who wears a neutral-colored, softly tailored power suit. One that is accessorized with style rather than rote references to love of country. She looks dignified and serious. And in this case, she also happens to look quite good.

Note Givhan's evident relief that Pelosi sports none of the emblems of patriotism -- in her view, how irredeemably vulgar would that be? It's so much more sophisticated just to downplay one's allegiance, apparently. What's more, if Givhan's liberal bias were operating consistently, she would have to note just how much the ability to buy expensive clothes -- she names brands like Chanel, St. John, Akris, (and Ellen Tracy, one for "the people") -- helps the women wearing them look "dignified" and "serious" and "good." Because the truth is that it helps a lot.

But none of that today, as Givhan basks in the glow of a new clothes-crush. And if you think Givhan likes Nancy Pelosi, imagine the raptures a President Hillary would elicit!


Blogger COPioneer said...

Thanks Carol, I just lost my breakfast...

8:19 AM  

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