Leave it to the Washington Post's Robin Givhan to offer up what may be the most vapid analysis of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan to date. It was probably to be expected given Givhan's sordid history of boorishly melding fashion and politics (see here, here, here and here.)
In her latest act of pseudo-journalistic alchemy, Givhan rips Kagan calling her “dowdy” and obsessing over her own observation that Kagan “doesn't appear to ever cross her legs.”
Givhan writes (emphasis added):
But Kagan took the anti-style offensive several steps further. She put on rouge and lipstick for the formal White House announcement of her nomination, but mostly she embraced dowdy as a mark of brainpower. She walked with authority and stood up straight during her visits to the Hill, but once seated and settled during audiences with senators, she didn't bother maintaining an image of poised perfection. She sat hunched over. She sat with her legs ajar.
Kagan made her debut as a U.S. Supreme Court nominee dressed in a hip-length emerald-green jacket, black underpinnings, sheer black hosiery, sturdy black pumps, a strand of pearls and matching earrings. Her style was tidy and conservative but with a generous sprinkling of frumpiness of the sort that federal Washington can't resist -- at least when in front of a camera's intruding lens.
But Kagan is only 50 years old, which might be the equivalent of 100 in Hollywood years, but within the Washington establishment she would be classified as a young'un. Her style, however, makes her seem so much older. There's little that could be described as fun, impish or creative in her dress. It's a wholly middle-age approach to a wardrobe -- if one stubbornly and inaccurately defines that transitional period in life as the beginning-of-the-end of sex appeal, effervescence and sprightliness. Kagan's version of middle-age seems stuck in a time warp, back when 50-something did not mean Kim Cattrall or Sharon Stone, “Cougar Town” or “Sex and the City.”
In the photographs of Kagan sitting and chatting in various Capitol Hill offices, she doesn't appear to ever cross her legs. Her posture stands out because for so many women, when they sit, they cross. People tend to mimic each other's body language during a conversation, especially if they're trying to connect with one another. But even when Kagan sits across from Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who has her legs crossed at the knees, Kagan keeps both feet planted firmly on the ground. Her body language will not be bullied into conformity.