This Week In Women: A Moment For Michelle Obama (& Monica Lewinsky)
Post-White House life is often a time for revelations and reflection as former administration figures move on from Pennsylvania Avenue to public life. This week we get a double-whammy. First, with the release of Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s highly anticipated new book Becoming that hit stands on Tuesday (and the headline-making press and book tours that have accompanied it). Second, Monica Lewinsky is also getting her turn as The Clinton Affair airs on Sunday night on A&E.
Ready for more details? It’s time for This Week in Women!
Michelle Obama’s Becoming Is All The Conversations
Former First Lady Michelle Obama has fired up an all-star tour for her new book, Becoming. Becoming shares the “experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address.”
Obama is not holding back either. She’s including all of the details and stories that she was unable to share in her role as First Lady, and she’s also calling out Trump for his damaging and dangerous rhetoric. “What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? What if that person went looking for our girls?” she wrote. “Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this, I’d never forgive him.”
Obama is also being praised for her openness to talk about tough topics, such as fertility, miscarriages, parenting, marriage counseling and more. What is as evident as ever is that Obama continues to pave the way in showing leadership through authenticity, honesty, and vulnerability.
“Truly, our stories are not in our DNA or in something that happened with our great-great-great-great grandfathers,” she said to Oprah during a book tour stop in Chicago. “The truth of our stories are in the memories that we hold in our heads. What I wish for people is that they understand the value in their day-to-day stories and help to use that to figure out how you got to where you are.”
It’s Monica Lewinsky’s Moment
Monica Lewinsky has been fighting public perception for almost two decades, being labeled and categorized and discredited. And she’s had enough. In a three-night docuseries, The Clinton Affair, that will debut on A&E on Sunday night, Lewinsky opens up about that tumultuous time period and the subsequent fall-out both publicly and privately.
“Why did I choose to participate in this docuseries? One main reason: because I could. Throughout history, women have been traduced and silenced. Now, it’s our time to tell our own stories in our own words,” she wrote in an op-ed published on Vanity Fair’s website.
“History literally being written by men. In contrast, the docuseries not only includes more women’s voices, but embodies a woman’s gaze: two of the three main editors and four of the five executive producers are women.”
Victoria’s Secret Is In The Dumps
Victoria’s Secret taped their annual holiday runway show earlier this month, which will be shown on ABC on December 2, but the glittery collections are not stealing the headlines as much as the recent drama from Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands CMO Ed Razek’s comments about casting.
“I think we address the way the market is shifting on a constant basis. If you’re asking if we’ve considered putting a transgender model in the show or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show, we have,” he said to Vogue Runway director Nicole Phelps. “We invented the plus-size model show in what was our sister division, Lane Bryant. Lane Bryant still sells plus-size lingerie, but it sells a specific range, just like every specialty retailer in the world sells a range of clothing. As do we. We market to who we sell to, and we don’t market to the whole world.”
“We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t,” he continued in his debacle of an interview.
Razek’s interview shows just how out of step Victoria’s Secret is with what women want. The lack of representation in the casting process is galling, and a 39 percent drop in yearly earnings show consumers are ditching the outdated-thinking brand.
Following the deluge of bad press and steady decline for Victoria’s Secret, Bloomberg also reported this week that L Brands CEO Jan Singer is out after two years in the role.
Featured image via The Today Show
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.