Friday, January 23, 2009

When Adoration Turns Creepy

Danielle posted here about her frustration with the media focus on Michelle Obama's fashion choices, feeling that it negates the accomplishments of an intelligent, successful woman. While I agree with Danielle's post 100%, there's something else that troubles me even more.

It's this . Or maybe it's this .

Yes, I know it's exciting to have children in the White House, but the public frenzy over them is beginning to border on creepy. Wanting to know how tall they are? Who cares? Searching for information about them and the Jonas Brothers? Icky!!

I think the idea of them being turned into dolls upset me even more since this is less curiosity and more along the lines of theft. The Beanie Baby people have essentially stolen the images of two children with an eye towards their own profit. We're supposed to accept that two clearly African-American dolls are named Sasha and Malia by COINCIDENCE? Right! I know that all of this puts President and First Lady Obama (oh, how I love typing those words!) in a bit of a sticky situation -- their parental instinct to protect their children versus not wanting to seem like spoil sports. So perhaps it's up to us to let these little girls grow up in as much peace as their new life affords. They're already under a magnifying glass. Can we maybe make sure that the sun isn't shining too brightly on them while they're there?


Danielle Mari said...

Absolutely right, O Ginger One! Those beanie babies? EW!

It makes me remember, with shame and anger, how truly rotten people were to Chelsea Clinton. I am particularly referring to my beloved SNL-- they were so mean to her, making fun of her looks as she went through her awkward pre-teen/teen phase. (I guess she's had the last laugh, though, as she has blossomed into a beautiful young woman.)

And I think you're right. We cannot hope that the media will back off- it has to be the public's decision to echo the class and elegance modeled by the Obamas. We'll see. But come on people- leave the kids out of it!

Jen said...

I do hope that everyone will lighten up on those girls; now that the inauguration has passed I imagine they will be making only infrequent public appearances. However, as a parent I have to say there are worse things than kids trying to emulate the Obama girls. For example, what they wore to the inauguration was both lovely and age-appropriate. If having them in the White House has any influence against the Bratztization of American tweens, then that is for the good.

D.M., I totally agree with you about Chelsea. It was awful how she was regarded as fair game for jokes made by adults (cough--John McCain--cough cough).

NICKI said...