In a new interview with Norah O’Donnell for CBS Sunday Morning, Hillary Clinton shares that she switched her sartorial style after visiting Brazil on a state visit in 1995. At one of the events Clinton wore a cream skirt suit during her visit, in which photographers shot her from below.
“I was sitting on a couch, and the press was let in. There were a bunch of them shooting up,” the former presidential candidate shared. Some of the photos — in which Clinton’s underwear appeared to be visible — were later used in ads for Brazil’s Duloren lingerie.
“All of a sudden the White House gets alerted to these billboards that show me sitting down — I thought my legs were together — but the way it’s shot, it’s sort of suggestive,” Clinton, 74, added. “And then I also began to have the experience of having photographers all the time. I’d be on a stage; I’d be climbing stairs — and they’d be below me. I just couldn’t deal with it, so I started wearing pants.”
Chelsea, 42, sitting next to her mother, stated, “So creepy. That’s so creepy.”
This may not be the only reason that Hillary switched from wearing dresses to pants. Clinton also addressed her love of pantsuits in her 2017 memoir, What Happened. Along with citing her upskirting concerns, Clinton shared that the suits “make me feel professional and ready to go.”
Having a simple uniform was also seen as being helpful on the campaign trail, she wrote. “I also thought it would be good to do what male politicians do and wear more or less the same thing every day,” she noted. “A uniform was also an anti-distraction technique: since there wasn’t much to say or report on what I wore, maybe people would focus on what I was saying instead.”
All these reasons for wearing pants sound perfectly sensible and plausible. However, there is one that perhaps Ms. Clinton did not mention, the press’s obsession with her “cankles”. Ms. Clinton has not been blessed with slim ankles and being a public figure gives denigrators and petty opponents an opportunity to ridicule her for it.
In fact, during the toxic presidential campaign of 2016 there was even a T-shirt being marketed with Hillary’s image and the large word “Cankles” on the front. This became a byword referring to her in the media. Katie Couric, at the height of this fixation in 2016, reported on “some uptick in our collective concern with chubby ankles” noting that the cankles “concept has really taken off,” to the point, apparently, of an “anti-cankle craze”. Incredibly, there is even a Facebook page with the name of “Hillary Clinton’s Left Cankle.”
In Hillary’s place many women would have done the same to simply stop the cruel mockery: switch to pants.
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