Posted by Alia Haddad on February 25, 2013 at 10:55 am
So just what exactly was the First Lady of the United States doing at last night’s 85th Academy Awards Ceremony? No, no I got that she was presenting this year’s Best Picture award (my attention deficit isn’t THAT severe, guys). I mean, what was she really doing there? Can you sense my skeptical tone? Allow me to explain.
The Academy Awards, while important (and also, let’s be real, not so important) in the business of Hollywood, I think most people can agree the show is about spectacle. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a show that I love. And who wouldn’t?! The ceremony boasts hosts that enter the room suspended from the ceiling (Whoopi Goldberg), actors who team up for a surprise music and dance performance (Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway), actresses who cry while accepting their awards (Halle Berry), actors who decide this is the perfect time to be political (Sean Penn), and as far back as I can remember, Meryl Streep (she’s always there!). What’s not to love?
But to deny that this show isn’t a spectacle (about all the popular spectacles that year–how meta) would mean that we are giving the Oscars that much credit. After all, the Awards don’t really mean anything, right? When Sandra Bullock (I love her, but come on) wins best actress for The Blindside, we can all agree that the Awards don’t always–or even many times–get it right.
And so, just what was Michelle Obama doing partaking in this spectacle? Sure, I loved when my president Bill Clinton presented at the Golden Globes; I ate it right up. But he’s not president anymore. He can afford to frolic around Hollywood and schmooze with the richest, prettiest people around town. But Michelle Obama? Was this really the most important thing going on last night?
Yes, she looked great. Yes, her presentation was totally fine. Yes, I’d like to be her one day. But she was at the Oscars. What exactly does this say about us? That our love of pop culture and entertainment is so strong now that we almost require our President and First Lady to partake as much in these spectacles as in activities that are actually helping us?
Or am I overreacting? I’m not going to lie to you, I have been known to do that. Is it possible that Mrs. Obama just jumped at the chance to have a little fun and support the arts at the same time? You tell me. Leave your comments below.