Tim Gunn: Hillary Clinton Fashion Shows Gender Confusion
BY Julie Bolcer
July 28 2011 1:40 PM ET
Celebrity style expert Tim Gunn appeared on Lopez Tonight and issued a judgment against the “unflattering” pantsuits that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton wears, saying, “I think she’s confused about her gender.”
“Why must she dress that way? I think she’s confused about her gender,” said the Project Runway star, in a comment that caused audible discomfort among some Lopez Tonight audience members. “All these big, baggy menswear-tailored pantsuits. No, I’m really serious. She wears pantsuits that are really unflattering.”
Host George Lopez introduced the topic and encouraged the criticism of Clinton by asking at one point how any tailoring could hide “cankles.” He compared a recent “floral outfit” worn by Clinton to his memories of No Bugs M’Lady, a type of insecticidal shelf liner used by his grandmother.
Gunn commended the former first lady and U.S. senator from New York briefly for “her intellect and her tenacity” and service to country before adding, “I just wish she could send a stronger message about American fashion.”
The comments played poorly among feminists and transgender advocates, who saw the words as evidence of the double standard faced by women in public life and an oversimplified understanding of gender.
Jezebel excoriated Gunn for his remarks about Clinton’s “Jersey Shore style” and questioned why fashion should be part of her job description. Feministing said the comments illustrated the predicament of women who run for office, whether the candidate is Clinton, Sarah Palin, or Michele Bachmann.
“Spend too much money and energy making sure you conform to the strict beauty standards of being a ‘woman’ in this culture and you’ll risk not being taken seriously as a ‘politician.’ But spend too little and you’ll end up having your identity as a ‘woman’ questioned,” wrote a contributor to the blog. “In either case, your appearance will be scrutinized in a way that would be totally unthinkable for a male politician.”
Watch the video from Politico.
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