Several news outlets covered attire worn by new Members of Congress on Swearing In Day. Newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - and her shining white suit paying homage to the suffrage movement, Shirley Chisholm and Hillary Clinton - along with Nancy Pelosi, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley were among the electeds most covered.
While many readers lauded this coverage, sighting the historic number of women being sworn in, others took offense to the fact that journalists were covering what our nation's leaders put on. I don’t mean to preach to the choir but: Give me a break!
Commenting on what these women - and men for that matter, though a little boring, they were discussed too - wore doesn't reduce them to their clothing. The articles don't belittle their importance. In my opinion, it does the exact opposite.
The beginning of a Congress is one of the most historic days one can experience as an elected official. I worked for a Member of Congress, I know.
I imagine that what these elected officials wore was carefully selected. As they took they oath of office, many used fashion as a weapon, a canvas, a threaded platform.
Many women chose colors to advance their issues, traditional garb to shed light on their heritage, and/or pins and prints to bring awareness to topics we don't always talk about. They weren't reduced to clothes - they used them - and news coverage only amplifies their actions.
We all need to get used to a conversation change as we head into this new Congress - one of the diverse ever. Because having MORE women involved CHANGES THINGS - for the better. Policy is less cut and dry, solutions to problems are thought about holistically, more compassion is offered, and a listening ear is always available.
If we can cover what stars wear on the red carpet, we can certainly discuss what Senators wear in the Capitol. Yes, a change in happening across America, there is no reason that fashion can't lead the way.