Dos and Don'ts in Photos
Don't wear shorts in Air Force One
In dealing with us Americans, a people without too many traditions, it is not advisable to break the few ones we have. One of these is the importance we give to the mission of the President of the United States. We made of this mandate a kind of ideal that helps to keep us together.
If this is true, as I believe it is, when a man assumes this public role, he represents the entire American people. In a certain way, he becomes a symbol of the nation. In keeping with this position, he and his family have to rise to the high standards of this symbol, instead of lowering the symbol to the level of his previous social status and lifestyle.
The symbolism of this role, which is intuitively understood by everyone, has been broken many times by our present day First Lady. The most characteristic outrage to the importance we bestow to the role of First Lady was the appearance of Michele Obama in shorts leaving the Air Force One, above and below, at the National Park Airport in Tusayan, Arizona, during her visit to the Grand Canyon on August 18.
The strong summer heat or the casual nature of the visit do not justify this break with our moral and social values. There have been many First Ladies before Mrs. Obama who found themselves in countless similar situations, but they always maintained their dignity - and ours as a people.
Therefore, we are not dealing just with a matter of Mrs. Obama's personal comfort or style; rather, we are dealing with a break with American standards of honor and dignity. I think that this outrage to the symbolism of our Presidency is an affront not much different from making an offense to our Flag.
If you are the First Lady of the United States, don't wear shorts when you are in Air Force One.
Elaine M. Jordan
Posted October 2, 2009
Related Topics of Interest
Dressing Well - Vanity or Virtue?
Catholic Norms on Fashions
Do Not Sit on the Steps
Do Protect the Ladies from the Rain
St. Isidore of Seville on Dignified Manners
Four Ways to Discern a Man by His Appearance
A Man's Bearing Reflects His Education and Virtue
The Duty to Dress according to One's State
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