What fashion and clothing tell us about politics


Has women’s clothing in politics finally liberated itself from the yoke of the male gaze? Our columnist Sophie Brafman takes stock of progress in this area. Since the arrival of Cécile Duflot in a floral dress at the National Assembly in 2012, a long way has come. She talks about it in Bienfait pour vous.

So first of all I’m going to make a little summary and I wanted to clarify. Fashion is much less pointless than it seems, as the fashion and ready-to-wear sector accounts for more in total sales than aviation and the automobile. I think it’s important to say it because it’s still so much more fun working on a parade than it is on the Auto Show. So at some point we’re going to have to know it’s not so pointless. In addition, in 2016, two journalists were interested in the topic. They had released a book called “The Politicians’ Dressing Room” where they explained exactly how much we scrutinized men and women, politicians, and especially women. You will soon understand this.

Anyway, being a woman in politics is far from self-evident. Some even struggle with the feminization of terms. I want to come back to what happened last Thursday in the National Assembly. It was October 7. Deputy Julien Aubert kept saying “Madame Minister” to Barbara Pompili. “I ask very clearly to be called Mrs. the Minister. If the Commissioner does not respect this, he will be called Mr. Rapporteur”, replied the person concerned.

Being a woman is far from easy.

Of course, being a woman in politics is far from easy. So, of course, when I told you we’re looking at the outfits, we all remember Roselyne Bachelot’s fluorescent pink Crocs on the steps of the Elysée Palace, particularly ugly. But today the ugly is the new beautiful. Finally, Roselyne had an edge over everyone else. Jack Lang, with his famous Mao collar, there we were on a very clear expression of a popular leftist, even caviar.

Finally, Marine Le Pen, who takes it to heart to adopt the working class dress code to make people forget her bourgeois origin, with a strong appetite for the colors of the flag, navy blue, white and even red pumps. And at home, we’re a long way from some Louboutins. Nice, but that means that the message that is sent in the outfit is mainly political and the reactions are often sexist.

I also want to return to Cécile Duflot’s famous floral dress, which caused some booing. It was July 12, 2012 in the National Assembly. You’ll tell me, it was eight years ago. It is true that things have changed since then.

Even though the deputy RN Julien Odoul recently allowed himself in regards to Florence Portelli to say to him “I’m not a blonde, I am”. At the RN, we make super fun jokes that aren’t corny at all, old uncle jokes. I recommend he take a few lessons with Jean-Marie Bigard, who is currently in great shape. So, on the side of the sexist and old-fashioned jokes, it has improved and evolved after all.

At Bercy we have an eye for detail

I told you about the fashion industry. So I went to Bercy, to the office of Olivia Grégoire, Secretary of State in charge of the social and solidarity-based and responsible economy. At Bercy we have an eye for detail when it comes to style. “Bruno Le Maire is an extraordinary minister, but he is also an aesthete and he is a man with an eye for detail. Bruno, who is a great politician, is always the color of a nail polish, the color of a pair of pumps, the color of a matching tie. He is a very elegant man.”

A little elegance above all else, Olivia told us: this is what makes the salt of a political outfit. In addition, Olivia was born in fashion from a mother model at Cardin and a grandmother’s first workshop at Chanel. She likes to quote her grandmother who says that elegance is a kind of politeness. She cultivates this elegance in accessible outfits, because elegance does not necessarily require money.

She herself would dare to wear this famous floral dress by Cécile Duflot and think that today there would be no more topic. Of course, as we have seen, there will always be people with a low ceiling, as they say, for whom things still have not changed. But today we would have gone almost from one extreme to the other.

“Me, who was a Member of Parliament for over three and a half years. I have never had to deal with a macho, sexist or inappropriate reflection on a low-cut V-neck sweater or on a skirt above the knee. But we are almost gone to the opposite surplus.That is, when you are a woman who is a little dressed today, you put on a nice dress.Very well behaved men who just want to tell you “it suits you”, don’t even remember how I have to tell you. So we have gone from one extreme to the other and I hope that in the coming years politicians will be able to tell women or when they are beautiful and vice versa.”

Olivia Grégoire takes her message even further by suggesting to remain what we are, not necessarily masculine to affirm that we have power. One can perform very high functions in stilettos. “I think the real reflection today, both in terms of personality and in terms of appearance, is to remain a woman. And I always have this Nietzschean commandment in mind: ‘Be what you are’. Let’s become what we We are women, let’s stay who we are and stay who we are.”

Ultra sexy women in politics, girls, anyone?

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