Even though I have responded the Iman “insert-foot-in-mouth” extravaganza on Twitter (reason #3 that I have not updated my blog lately) and on blacksnob.com, I need to address this in depth. In full disclosure, I must state that I am an Obama(s) stan.
According to this week’s Parade magazine, Iman stated: “Mrs. Obama is not a great beauty…But she is so interesting looking and so bright. That will always take you farther. When you’re a great beauty, it’s always downhill for you. If you’re someone like Mrs. Obama, you just get better with age.”
First, let me address those “Iman was not trying to be mean or an ass or a bitch” commentators. Are you familiar with a little concept called “intention”? To put it in a nutshell, your true feelings will come across in a conversation regardless of the actual words you spoken. Humans are extremely complex and women, in particular, are especially gifted in recognizing and processing such non-verbal cues. So upon hearing, “she’s no great beauty” even after reading the entire article, her intention “speaks” clearly: it’s a sad mix of envy and cattiness, maybe even jealousy.
There was absolutely no reason to utter those words. There were a variety of ways to say that the First Lady’s most valuable attribute is her brain and the fact that she is beautiful is second to her accomplishments. The problem is Iman wanted to say those very words…publicly. While many people have different opinions of beauty, to myself and many others, Michelle is a great beauty. For those who use European standards when deciding what is attractive or not, Michelle may not be considered beautiful. And for others, it may be just be an opinion (although, most opinions are based on set of beliefs and values, whether the “opininator” is aware of that fact or not).
What I find incredibly ironic and hilarious is that I am sure that Iman has been considered not beautiful or attractive by more that a few people, especially early in her career. Truthfully, if Iman was walking down the street sans makeup, hair, or designer clothes, even in her youth, she would be could have easily been considered ordinary.
The fact that designers and the fashion elite are tripping over themselves to be in the presence of the woman married to the most powerful man is the world is probaly the main reason that remark flew out of the former super model’s mouth. Between the numerous magazine covers and rock-starrish television/internet coverage, Iman, who I am sure has always felt she was one of the most beautiful and popular woman in the world, is probably feeling marginalized and pushed to the side by the first Black FLOTUS. And this has all been sensationalized because a former black “IT” girl is hating on the new one.
Many are shocked because Iman was/is considered “classy”. In the same way, I would not expect Cindy Crawford or Heidi Klum to say Laura Bush or Hillary Clinton aren’t “great beauties”, previous to last week, I would not expect that kind of comment from Iman. Now, Janice Dickinson, that’s another story…