Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mass. Backwards

So yesterday, Massachusetts voted for a Republican for U.S. Senate (more on that later).

And today, I find myself politically in agreement with Glenn Beck and Cindy McCain.

Certainly, one of the (many, many) low points in the campaign was during Scott Brown's victory speech (around the 8:30 mark) when he essentially offered up his two twenty-something daughters as "available" to the national audience of potential suitors.  It felt like a reality show gone bad.  And Glen Beck agreed with me:

GLENN: But I don't understand the thinking of Scott Brown last night with his two daughters and national TV audience when he says this.
BROWN: And just in case anybody who's watching throughout the country, they're both available.
GLENN: And did you see me naked in Cosmo? Okay. Stop. Stop. Listen, listen, listen. Listen. I want to chastity belt on this man. I want his every move watched in Washington. I don't trust this guy. I'm just telling ya.
Pictured left is a photo of Cindy McCain who contacted the NOH8 campaign offering to lend her public support for marriage equality.  As explained on their website:

Aligning yourself with the platform of gay marriage as a Republican still tends to be very stigmatic, but Cindy McCain wanted to participate in the campaign to show people that party doesn't matter - marriage equality isn't a Republican issue any more than it is a Democratic issue. It's about human rights, and everybody being treated equally in the eyes of the law that runs and protects this country.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tough as Nails*

This week’s New Yorker features a profile of Justice Sonia Sotomayor – well worth the read. (The illustration at the left is mentioned in the profile, as a framed item that sits on Justice Sotomayor's desk.)

As usual, Sotomayor impresses me with her ability to thread the oh-so-impossible needle of showing personality and feistiness, yet offering a professional and respected perspective.

In other Sotomayor news, this month she granted her first magazine photo cover as a Supreme Court justice to Latina magazine.  In this photo, Sotomayor is wearing her judge's robe, with her hand over her heart - beautifully showcasing her signature, bright red nails.  Nails that she had been advised not to paint for her confirmation hearing.  It's a fantastic photo. I love that she is challenging the staid fashion standards for female judges, even choosing not to wear a judicial collar during court.

Some great insight on the set up for the shot (click here to see the cover yourself):
Everything was going great, but there was one thing that we remained curious about. Latina writer Sandra Guzmán provides some background:

“While President Obama's staff was preparing Sotomayor for the confirmation hearings, the team covered all of the potentially explosive questions and briefed her on every minute detail, including how to dress for the cameras. They even advised her to keep her nails a neutral shade, which she did. But on the day of the White House reception celebrating her appointment, Sotomayor asked the president to look at her freshly manicured nails, holding up her hands to show off her favorite color: a fire-engine red. The president chuckled, saying that she had been warned against that color.”

My editor, Mimi Valdés, tells me that in many Latino families, red is a very important and symbolic color. It's seen as an "adult" color, and it's even considered inappropriate to dress a little girl in red. For many, the color is very much a point of pride.

We knew about the judge's love for the color red, so we made sure to tell the manicurist for our shoot to bring lots of red nail polish. But we weren't sure if it would end up in any of the photos. During the shoot, there was a moment the judge made a gesture, and Mimi and I looked at each other. Platon saw it, of course, and captured her hand on her heart--and we had our cover.

I love this photo. To me, it looks like she's taking a pledge. It looks like she understands how historic this is. What this means not just for her, but for millions of other people. And, I like to think, it looks like she's now able to proudly show off... that beautiful color red.

*Huffington Post, June 10, 2009