Cindy McCain & The Lime-Green Dress
(photos above ©AP; below © Charles Rex Abrogast/AP)
I guess the Republican handlers hadn’t learned from their last color mistake, because there was Cindy McCain on Night 2 of the convention sporting a seriously retro-styled dress in the dreaded lime-green hue. It’s hard to tell from the various photos available, but the TV coverage captured the dress from all angles. No doubt about it, this was a 60s dress. Not a modern update, though, just a copy. Not even an early-60s-Jackie-sharp woman-of-the-world dress. For those of us old enough to have lived through the era, Cindy’s fashion statement—the lime-green dress, the bleached-blond, cotton-candy hair, big pearls, and little “diamond” broach—was a creepy echo of that special breed of mid-60s woman—the up-market suburban, stay-at-home, pool-lounging, “key partying,” trophy wife.
As Cindy McCain gazed rapturously from the box-seats, I thought a very scary message indeed beamed out across America. Cindy is accomplished in her own right. As candidate for “First Lady,” she could have made any number of statements about the important roles women will need to continue to play on the world stage. Instead, her choice of fashion allied her to the underutilized, disengaged and bored women of some 40 years ago. It’s an outdated icon we can’t afford to reference in a world that desperately needs every mind engaged. But perhaps understandable for a party with a 72-year-old white man at its summit. When Cindy cradled little baby Trig in her arms during the evening, the Republican message was complete—a good wife is a Stepford wife.
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