President Obama held a serious talk from the White House briefing room about crucial issues regarding Syria, Iraq and Ukraine… but made the apparent mistake of doing so while wearing a tan suit.
Obama’s statement in regards to Syria included the fact that an American strategy to defeat ISIL in Syria has not been formed as of yet. On top of that, he touched upon the relations between Ukraine and Russia, as well as the current child migrant crisis. But none of that held up next to his suit. The world chose to focus on Obama’s style rather than the substance of his speech.
Some of the more serious critiques included the belief that while addressing such somber and serious issues as Syria, Iraq, and Ukraine, President Obama’s attire should have been a reflection of that. Or that the president’s tan suit was a distraction when worn by a man who has been quoted as saying:
“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits… I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”
Obama has backed that claim up ever since then, never appearing in any suit colors other than a shade of what he mentioned, and so, critics say seeing the President appear in a tan suit was tantamount to seeing a character out of uniform.
According to Los Angeles image consultant Patsy Cisneros, Obama’s tan suit was a major no-no. “The power persona? Gone in that suit,” she said. “Everything below his neck was blah. That’s not conducive to him being listened to.”
Although it does seem a stretch that people couldn’t somehow simultaneously process the fact that Obama was wearing a tan suit while talking about serious subjects, the president’s suit choice captured Twitter and Twitter does what it does best — taking something seemingly inconsequential and making it huge… and humorous.
“Taupe and change” read one tweet.
“The audacity of taupe!” read another.
“YES WE TAN!” added another Twitter user, as well as, “This is what happens when Obama bypasses Congress to purchase a suit.”
Interestingly, Jay Newton-Small of Time penned an opinion piece likening the flurry of critiques and jokes about Obama’s suit choice to what female politicians have had to endure on an almost daily basis. From Hillary Clinton and her power suits to Sarah Palin and her big hair, to whether they wear too much make-up or not enough, whether black boots are appropriate or “too sexy” — women politicians have faced this type of scrutiny for a long time, and so Newton-Small pens cheerily, “Welcome to the women’s world, President Obama. Isn’t it fun?”
Fun or not, the fact is that it will probably be a good long time before the president gets adventurous with his choice of suit again, even if it’s just to avoid such hash tags as #beigegazi.
[Image via Time]