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美国媒体解开米歇尔5大神话

2014-01-20    来源:chinadaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Five myths about Michelle Obama

美国第一夫人米歇尔•奥巴马17日将迎来五十岁生日。这位白宫传奇女主人向来引人瞩目,有人称她为时尚教主,认为她完美地诠释了非裔美国女性的自我实现之 路;有人批判她是种族仇恨和保姆政府的代言人。人们对于她的评价褒贬不一,然而其中却存在着诸多误解。在其五十岁生日之际,美国《华盛顿邮报》列举人们对 米歇尔常见的五大误读,试图向读者展示一个真实的第一夫人。

Michelle Obama entered the White House as a chimera. To some, she was emblematic of fully realized African American womanhood and an incomparable fashion icon. To others, she was the voice of racial grievance, the nanny state and Seventh Avenue vanity. She has proved herself to be neither vengeful nor the patron saint of activist feminism. Yet misperceptions linger. So as she celebrates her 50th birthday, here are a few facts in the face of persistent fictions.

1. Michelle Obama is the most fashion-friendly first lady.
Obama has been a pronounced and polished advocate for American style, seamlessly moving from custom-made evening gowns to mass-market fare. She has made the fashion industry swoon with her willingness to embrace the work of some of its most eccentric players, such as Thom Browne , and its lesser-known talents, such as Isabel Toledo and Duro Olowu. One 2010 study in the Harvard Business Review estimated she could boost a company’s stock 16 percent by wearing its clothes.

Yet other first ladies have had more personal relationships with designers — and opened the White House doors to them in a way Obama has not. Jacqueline Kennedy designated Oleg Cassini her official dressmaker, and the style they created inspired generations of women and designers. Lady Bird Johnson in 1968 hosted a formal fashion show that involved models parading through the State Dining Room as the wives of visiting governors looked on. Nancy Reagan had let’s-meet-for-lunch friendships with several designers, and she received the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s lifetime achievement award — which she accepted in person. In 2005, Laura Bush’s presence at New York’s Fashion Week rippled through the industry like the Second Coming.

Obama has celebrated creativity through the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt Design Awards, but she has maintained distance from the industry. Jason Wu , designer of her two inaugural gowns, didn’t meet her until the first was installed in the Smithsonian a year after she wore it. She doesn’t attend fashion industry events. When Seventh Avenue honored her in 2009, she sent her thanks via video message.

2. She is a food tyrant of Bloombergian intolerance.

The first lady is renowned for her Let’s Move campaign to fight childhood obesity through healthy eating and exercise. One of her first projects upon settling into the East Wing was sowing the White House Kitchen Garden. She even gave out dried fruit on Halloween — President Obama joked that it would get the White House egged.

Her focus on the nation’s eating habits has led to complaints that she wants to deprive Americans of dessert. But Obama repeatedly expresses her belief in moderation, talks about her affection for French fries and unapologetically went in for a 1,700-calorie splurge at Shake Shack in 2011.

As for sweets, the first family’s Thanksgiving last year featured nine types of pie, as righteous a display of dessert democracy as one can get.

3. Her legacy will be Let’s Move or Joining Forces.

Fighting childhood obesity and supporting military families have been the first lady’s most formal and most publicized campaigns. But the guiding principle of her tenure has been a belief in youth mentoring and “paying it forward.”

She introduced mentoring as an institutional commitment at a 2009 lunchtime meeting, pairing 13 Washington area high school girls with top female White House staff members. A similar program for boys came later. In addition to getting personal time with the first lady, the students sat down with Supreme Court justices, met with a curator from the African American history museum and sampled a state dinner menu while learning about diplomacy.

The same ethos has guided how Obama has positioned herself abroad. At a London school, she described seeing herself in the faces of the students, who were overwhelmingly from disadvantaged backgrounds. The centerpiece of a Mexico City trip was a speech at a Jesuit university, where she said: “We have seen time and again that potential can be found in some of the most unlikely places. My husband and I are living proof of that.”

White House arts workshops, visits to underserved schools and the inclusion of young people at state events are now standard practice and may be her most lasting legacy.

4. She hates Princeton.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama’s senior thesis, “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community,” was exhumed from the archives of the university and fueled the perception that she detested it. “My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my ‘Blackness’ than ever before,” she wrote. “I have found that at Princeton no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my White professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don’t belong.
Regardless of the circumstances under which I interact with Whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be Black first and a student second.”

After she declined invitations to return for special events and skipped her 25-year reunion with a reference to a scheduling conflict, speculation about her animosity intensified. Princeton alumni — I’m one — celebrate reunions with ferocity. Skipping one’s 25th? That’s heresy.

Still, there’s no active vitriol. The conclusions of her thesis are nuanced and measured. More than a reprimand of a school struggling with diversity, they explain her determination to stay connected to the black community.

Obama also has not been wholly disengaged from Princeton. She accepted a position on the sociology department’s advisory board in 2005, though the presidential campaign soon kept her from going to meetings. In 2012, she did a fundraiser in the town of Princeton that included university students, alumni and faculty.

Obama has reserved most of her campus speaking for historically black colleges and universities, and schools serving disadvantaged students or military families. She hasn’t delivered an address at her alma mater, but she has upheld its informal motto: “Princeton in the nation’s service and in the service of all nations.”


5. She represents an unusual success story.

Her story — as a successful wife, mother and professional who happens to be black — is not unique. The Labor Department estimates that by age 46, almost 70 percent of black men and women have, at some point, been married. According to the last census, 45 percent of black children are raised in two-parent households. More than one-third of employed black women work in professional fields.

But popular culture hasn’t normalized women like Obama. Columbia law professor Patricia Williams laments: “The jurisprudence of the entire 20th century was about black people trying to get into school.” Popular culture, she said, renders the results of that striving “invisible.”

Women like Obama were thriving long before the 2008 election, but a lot of people hadn’t noticed.

相关内容

1. 她是史上最爱时尚的第一夫人?

从私人定制晚礼服逐渐转向大众服饰,米歇尔被外界公认为是美国平民风的践行者。她对桑姆•布郎尼、伊莎贝尔•托莱多、奥罗武等平民设计师和小众品牌的偏爱更是使美国时尚界为之心醉神迷。据2010年《哈佛商业评论》的一项调查估计,米歇尔能够为其所穿服装的公司带来16%的股票涨幅。

尽管如此,与其他第一夫人不同的是,米歇尔从不与设计师们保持过多的私人联系,更不会为他们敞开白宫的大门。杰奎琳•肯尼迪曾封奥莱格•卡西尼为其御用设计师,约翰逊夫人曾于1968年在白宫国宴大厅举办时尚走秀;南希•里根经常与设计师共进午餐,在荣获美国时尚设计师协会终身成就奖后,她还亲自前去领奖;劳拉•布什曾现身2005年纽约时尚周,在时尚界掀起轩然大波。

事实上,米歇尔始终与时尚界保持着一定的距离,也不参加时尚活动。2009年,被称为美国时尚界中心的第七大道授予奖项给她时,她也仅仅是通过视频致谢。

2. 她完全无法忍受不健康食品?

为降低儿童肥胖率,米歇尔发起“让我们动起来”活动,号召国民健康饮食,加强锻炼。她邀请儿童到白宫厨房菜园参加蔬菜种植活动,她在万圣节期间向孩子们分发干果。她对国民饮食习惯的关注引起部分人的不满,认为如果按照她的号召,人们将无法享受美味的甜点。

然而事实上,米歇尔并非彻底否定所谓的“不健康食品”,她曾反复强调,她真正倡导的是适度饮食。她曾坦诚自己对薯条的钟爱,至于甜点,第一家庭去年的感恩节晚宴上共准备了9种馅饼,完全足以供客人大快朵颐。

3.她的主要成就是“让我们动起来”或“支持军属”活动?

“让我们动起来”与“支持军属”一直是第一夫人最广为人知的活动。然而这背后反映的是她对青少年辅导的重视和“把爱传出去”的教育理念。

2009年,在与13名华盛顿中学女生共进午餐时,她将青少年辅导作为一项制度性承诺提出,随后又发起了一项旨在帮助男生的类似项目。在这些活动中,除了可以与第一夫人共处外,学生们还将有机会与最高法院的法官、非裔美国历史博物馆馆长交流。

即使在国外,她仍然践行着同样的理念。在访问伦敦一所学校时,她说可以从那些来自贫困家庭的孩子身上看到当年的自己。在墨西哥城一所基督会大学的演讲中她说:“事实证明,奇迹总发生在最不可能的地方,我和我的丈夫就是鲜明的例子。”

4. 她厌恶母校普林斯顿大学?

在2008年总统选举期间,米歇尔的毕业论文《普林斯顿教育的黑人和黑人社区》被挖出来,在论文中她写道:“在普林斯顿的经历让我比以往更加意识到自己的‘黑人特征’……不管我的一些白人教授与同学如何试图向我展现思想开明的一面,我有时仍会感觉自己像是校园中的一个游客,就好像我真的不属于这里。”人们就此猜测她厌恶自己的母校,尤其是在她拒绝了学校很多活动的邀请以及她的毕业25年周年聚会后,这种猜测进一步加剧。

然而如果对她的论文进行细致入微的研究就会发现,这篇文章更多的显示了她心系黑人社区的决心,而非对母校的谴责。事实上,米歇尔从未完全脱离普林斯顿大学,2005年,她接受了母校社会学系咨询委员会提供的职位(尽管总统选举使她无暇顾及这边的工作),2012年,她还在普林斯顿举行过一场募捐活动。

米歇尔绝大多数的校园演讲都是在黑人或贫困生聚集的学校举行,她从未在母校发表过任何演讲,但她非常认同母校的非正式校训:为国家服务,为世界服务。

5. 她呈现了一个非凡的成功故事?

作为一个成功的黑人妻子、母亲和专业人士,她的故事其实并不独特——据美国劳工部估计,70%的黑人在46岁时已经结婚,45%的黑人儿童在双亲家庭中长大,超过1/3的黑人女性在专业领域工作,只不过流行文化淹没了米歇尔们。哥伦比亚法学教授Patricia Williams哀叹道:“整个20世纪的法理学都是关于黑人女性如何努力接受教育。”然而流行文化掩盖了她们奋斗的成果。

事实上,在2008年米歇尔名声大噪之前,像她这样的成功黑人女性早已比比皆是,只是没有人注意到她们而已。


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