Coverage of Park’s fashion is excessive

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Coverage of Park’s fashion is excessive


One of the changes in the administration of a female president is the growing interest in what she wears. A friend told me, “Frankly, I don’t know much about fashion, but all the media spotlight on her fashion makes me believe that she is fashionable.”

Lately, we have gotten to know what President Park Geun-hye was wearing every day without even trying - thanks to the real-time reports by the media. Though readers and viewers may not know what the president did during her overseas tour, we know what she wore. When she visited a museum in Russia, she wore a long skirt instead of a pantsuit. In Vietnam, she wore a golden yellow skirt and walked the runway of a hanbok fashion show. An article on cultural diplomacy only discussed what she wore, so I am almost confused that fashion can be diplomacy.

Of course, President Park certainly has her signature style, although it is quite far from the latest fashion trend. She likes to wear a jacket that is one size too big - and too short - as a coat but too long as a blazer, paired with long, wide trousers or a long, flared skirt. The designs are inspired by the 70s, but she stands by the rule that older people should wear brighter colors. She is not as trendy and fashionable as U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, who creates a synergy in the fashion industry, so Park is not likely to become a trendsetter. Nevertheless, she knows what she looks good in, and that’s as much fashion sense as we can expect from a president.

I am not trying to judge her fashion here, but it is about time we think about the coverage of the president’s fashion. The outfits of the president have been highlighted on newspapers’ main pages throughout her trips abroad, and a major newspaper had a fashion expert analyze Park’s fashion from page 1 to 4. Whenever the color of the outfit changed, the media competed to interpret her intention. Readers are generally interested in the fashion of female politicians, as politics has been monopolized by men in the past.

While male counterparts always wear suits, female politicians get to display their sense of fashion with various colors and designs.

But still, the latest media coverage of Park’s fashion is rather excessive. We know what she’s wearing but have no clue what her insight may be. I suspect that the reporters didn’t have a “news” story and the lack of content is being covered up with fashion. Just like the “fandom journalism” on celebrity fashion, media coverage on Park’s fashion is uncomfortable. Personally, I feel sorry for the reporters who are trying to write about the uninspiring fashion of news figures.

*The author is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

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