(Part 2 of a 2-Part Article)
The vice-president was elected on January 20, 2021, alongside President Joe Biden. However, we have not seen much of her since.
Kamala Harris won the votes—and hearts— of many Americans with her passion and charisma throughout her campaign with the Democratic Party. She was placed on a very high pedestal and became the Golden Girl of growth and promise amongst hopeful individuals. While she may not have lived up to the expectations of her position thus far, her lack of fulfillment should not disregard her as a prominent leader, spokeswoman and, above all, human.
Aside from the ridicule, it is common knowledge that women are assigned lower value than their male counterparts, especially relating to positions of power. Women are deemed weak and inept, which remains remarkably consistent with the representation of Kamala Harris. Unfortunately, this issue of misogyny has become harshly intertwined with overt racism. To say the least, the new age regime embodied by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has not come fast enough. After binge-watching the latest season of “The Crown” and immediately following with Harry & Meg, I was left with a vast sense of betrayal and discomfort. I could not fathom how the very people who work endlessly to uphold such a dignified country, are the ones wreaking the most havoc. Using their advantage to inflict pain on close relatives and respected members of the monarchy, but to what avail?
I grappled with the fact that the very premise of abuse inflicted upon the adorned couple is based on race, misogyny and classism. Once the relationship between the two had gone public, a wave of fury was unleashed across the United Kingdom. Prior to their romance, Prince Harry had been the nation’s most eligible bachelor, securing the adoration of practically any sensible citizen. However, it appears as if they had not predicted or prepared for a Duchess who was of African descent. It clearly did not sit well with the majority, and still has not since.
To put it mildly, Meghan Markle did not win the popular vote. In like manner, neither did Kamala Harris. It is important to acknowledge that this is not on account of Harris’s lackadaisical approach to her political responsibilities. In fact, it is another great consequence of the picture the media is relentlessly trying to embellish. The cases with both humanitarians are very similar, with a majority of publications, broadcasts and mentions portraying Markle and Harris in a negative light, no matter the circumstance. It is apparent that the underlying tones of these reports allude to the assumption that they will both fall short, and this assumption is predicated upon their gender and race.
After conducting further research, I noticed that Kamala Harris is often compared to the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. Although the vice president is actively calling for a change in police practices across the United States and the urgent need to dismantle systemic racism, her efforts are constantly eclipsed. Media outlets even go as far as criticizing Harris’s appearance and deeming her formal attire as not as worthy or presidential as Michelle Obama’s. On the subject of Kamala’s wardrobe, a respected blog by the name of “Kamala’s Closet” keeps track of the past and present style of the VP. As it happens, the first female vice president was recently seen wearing a $995 Akris Punto Zip-Front Seamed Dress, a Lafayette 148 NY Luxe Blouse ($328) and Prada Ankle Boots ($790). Harris’s deliberate sense of fashion comes with a liberal approach to power and beauty, by reminding others that you can be both formal and comfortable, which is perfect for long working days. The vice president has been made known to keep a very busy schedule, with her busiest days consisting of as many as 10 events. On the other hand, her slowest days are typically on the weekends, which includes a much lighter itinerary. Unsurprisingly, Kamala Harris is vilified for her self-expression and frequent pairing of sneakers with pantsuits. Harris’s approach seems to be more concerned with adapting to the climate and enacting plans rather than standing out as the main figure. Considering Harris’s successes, I can understand the intrigue with her clothing as her attire tends to make a clear statement as a strategist and trailblazer.
Granted that they are often contrasted with each other, Harris & Obama maintain a different state of affairs and have specific duties to execute for their roles. The former first lady upheld her position gracefully for two consecutive terms and was undeniably a fan favorite. Be that as it may, Michelle Obama has spoken openly about a number of racial attacks and encounters with prejudice during her time in the White House. Both women have played an important part in their efforts towards not being overshadowed by men and making further strides in the fight for equality. Despite their many accomplishments, luminaries such as Harris, Markle and Obama are repeat victims of persecution due to their gender and ethnicities. For that reason, society’s lack of acceptance for people of color, especially those in authoritative positions, remains a prevalent concern. Hopefully someday in the nearby future, the general public will come to terms with equal opportunities and grow towards truly embracing the melting pot of the world at large.
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