By Sarah Fielding
On September 6th, New York Fashion Week unofficially kicked off two days early with a show that put all others to shame. Made For History was no ordinary fashion show. It not only involved a multitude of designers, such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Tory Burch, Marchesa and Jason Wu, but included Anna Wintour as a host for the night.Huma Abedin, vice chairwoman of Clinton’s campaign, was the other host. Select models dancing or skateboarding down the runway. Even with fashion as the focus, it was an event to support Hillary Clinton.
Two days later, Clinton was spotlighted in a very different, but just as culturally relevant, form: The incredibly popular blog Humans of New York. In her two posts, with a collective almost 1.4 million reactions, Clinton, admitting where her traits come from and her understanding of how she can be perceived, steers into the skid. She doesn’t pretend to be something other than who she is and all she hopes to leave the readers with is a little bit of the why behind it all. She recounts the confusion she can feel when described as “cold or unemotional” because Clinton and her inner circle do not view her that way at all.
As part of her explanation into the why, she talks about the group of men who yelled at her for taking the law school entry exam. These men tried to force her into backing out by stating how they’d have to be drafted for Vietnam if she is admitted over them. In order to succeed she had to tune them out and keep to herself. She was, after all, in what was considered a man’s world (the year Clinton entered law school women made up only 7.2% of first year enrollment in the United States) and an intruder who yelled back would be even less welcome.
Clinton shines a bright light on the truth when, talking about learning how to present herself as a politician, she explains, “…that can be more difficult for a woman. Because who are your models? If you want to run for the Senate, or run for the Presidency, most of your role models are going to be men. And what works for them won’t work for you.”
There are two comments among the legions that stand out on the struggle of a woman, especially one breaking the barriers that Clinton has and hopes to:
“To me, there is nothing more symbolic than our first major-party female Presidential candidate being forced to go head-to-head with a man who isn’t an intellectual or rational challenge, but merely a hateful threat to her accomplishments as a woman.”
“Hillary Clinton was criticized yesterday for looking ‘angry’ and ‘not smiling’ at a national security forum. Apparently you’re supposed to look chipper when you’re talking about ISIS. It just proves what an insane double standard there is between her and the other candidate.”
Flashback to two days earlier, Wintour, standing on stage in a dress covered in blue states, thanks everyone for being present, then welcomes Chelsea Clinton. The sole Clinton child takes the stage at Made For History wearing a Diane Von Furstenberg t-shirt created for the event. In her lifetime she must have gone to countless events in support of either of her parents, however she genuinely looks in awe of the crowd.
A crowd filled with women of all ages, backgrounds and histories, patiently waiting for their role model, her mother, to become president. The young girls in attendance won’t have to invent a way to hold themselves in a position of power or carve out a new spot to stand, Hillary Clinton will have, and has, already done that for them.
America Ferrera said it best while being interviewed by Glamour magazine at the Democratic National Convention: “None of us have to be the first again. Now our daughters will never know or have to know why that’s a special thing.”
All photos Fielding’s own.