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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE Atlantic Highlands Front Porch Club Celebrates 10 Years of Chilifest
Wednesday, 01 October 2014
Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. The Atlantic Highlands Front Porch Club hosted its 10th Annual Chilifest on Saturday, September 27 at the historic... Read More...
Lecture/Art Demonstration October 15 at Monmouth Beach Cultural Center
Wednesday, 01 October 2014
MONMOUTH BEACH, NJ - The Art Society of Monmouth County presents an art demonstration/lecture on Wednesday, 10/15, 11am at the Monmouth Beach... Read More...
March of Dimes Hosts Annual Signature Chefs Auction
Wednesday, 01 October 2014
SAYREVILLE, NJ –One of Central Jersey’s most popular annual food and wine charity events, the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction, will return... Read More...
Volunteers Needed for 2014 Middletown Township Police Department Domestic Violence Response Team
Wednesday, 01 October 2014
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The Middletown Township Police Department is currently recruiting volunteers to serve on the Middletown Domestic Violence Response... Read More...
26 Home Improvement Contractors Cited For $251,000 in Penalties and Consumer Restitution
Wednesday, 01 October 2014
NEWARK, NJ – The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs today continued its crackdown on noncompliant home improvement contractors with the... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE What’s Living in Raritan-Sandy Hook Bays?
by Joe Reynolds
Sunday, 28 September 2014
On Sunday, September 28, volunteers with the Bayshore Regional Watershed Council, an all-volunteer environmental group dedicated to restoring Raritan... Read More...
IMAGE Wakefield Gets SA Chapters Running
by Daniel J. Vance
Saturday, 27 September 2014
My featured person this week, Margery Wakefield, of Lansing, Michigan, has had lifelong struggles with schizophrenia, a mental health disability. For... Read More...
IMAGE Life in the Tidelines near NY Harbor
by Joe Reynolds
Thursday, 25 September 2014
There’s a nor’easter heading our way, but the other day it was sunny, calm, and lovely out. Trying to take advantage of the pleasant weather... Read More...
IMAGE Climate-change Campaign’s Dark Side
by Woody Zimmerman
Wednesday, 24 September 2014
Global Warming is a “new kind of morality,” said British Channel 4’s 2007 documentary, “The Great Global Warming Swindle.” The dark side of... Read More...
IMAGE Steinbach Tackles Paranoid Schizophrenia
by Daniel J. Vance
Sunday, 21 September 2014
He began hearing voices in his head at age 15. Said Charles Steinbach, of Grand Junction, Colorado, in a telephone interview: “It started with... Read More...

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anne_mikolay_2012_120“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still,” said President Obama in his second inaugural address.

Apparently, the real “star” of the 57th Presidential Inauguration was Michelle Obama. The American public, forever enamored with pomp and circumstance and “all the pretty people,” were predictably focused on Mrs. Obama's attire and new hairstyle. Just this once I'm going to step outside my comfort zone and jump on the bandwagon in praise of Michelle Obama.

It must be extremely difficult to live life in a fish bowl, but Mrs. Obama consistently handles it well, and the festivities of the 57th Presidential Inauguration were no exception. Our First Lady and her daughters were well dressed, stylish, composed. In her red inaugural gown (created by young designer Jason Wu), Mrs. Obama personified grace and represented the United States with dignity. And for the record, 74% of those polled by essence.com voted in favor of Michelle Obama's bangs.

That being said, I do not comprehend society's “beautiful people” preoccupation, that same fascination that once transformed Jacqueline Kennedy into the Queen of Camelot or Lady Diana Spencer into the Peoples' Princess. While I admired Princess Diana (Mrs.Kennedy was before my time), and detect similar poise in Michelle Obama, I never once forgot that Princess Diana was human - as is Mrs. Obama - not a paper doll or stiff fashion mannequin. If Mrs. Obama wants to sport bright purple gloves, wear bangs, or roll her eyes at House Speaker John Boehner, she should be free to do so without setting the internet on fire. (Quite interesting that Mrs. Obama was unfavorably criticized for her reaction to Boehner without the benefit of audio of Boehner's comments.) Reaction to fashion and celebrity is commonplace, but no matter how blurred the line between celebrity and politics, we still should not judge a book by its cover. Nobody is perfect. Nobody. We've placed the presidential fish bowl on a mighty high pedestal indeed.

We move forward now into President Obama's second term. Mrs. Obama's red inaugural gown will be retired to the Smithsonian. She'll rise tomorrow, comb out her bangs, pull on her J.Crew gloves and put one foot in front of the other - like the rest of us.