Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits"

I remember when I was little and first heard the song "I Am Woman" by Helen Reddy ... the whole concept of empowerment is understandable when you realize you aren't, but could be. You figure it out early because images, messages, themes can send little girls (or any other "group" for that matter) ideas about what they can or can't be ... which is exactly why images, message, themes are so powerful in their ability to deliver empowerment. Like the "I Am Woman" song.

So I am among the women who believe Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential race is a huge deal. She spoke at the Democratic Convention tonight and reminded that her mother was born before women had the right to vote, but her daughter could vote for her as president. And I loved Hillary's comment about the "sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits" because that image is part of my experience with a group of women association execs too.

And speaking of pantsuits .... there's a clothing store that likely appeals to a specific generation named Chico's (for those who have no clue what that it - their Travelers line doesn't wrinkle and 3 days worth of business clothes can fold up into a computer case - with the computer there too). I was on their site and saw the pictured ad. It's hard to read the text here, but this is it: "The Debbie Phelps Collection - You can spot a Chico's woman anywhere - you've seen this one in the stands at Beijing. Here's what a certain champion swimmer's mom has packed for her son's unprecedented gold medal run .. " And then: traveling pantsuits.

They clearly understood their customer was likely intrigued by Debbie Phelps, not just Michael Phelps. A high school principal, single mom, sports mom, advocate for channeling her son's energy into excellence.

Sometimes the message of empowerment is delivered to millions of voters, or millions of Olympics watchers. And sometimes it's enough if it's Chelsea Clinton and Michael Phelps. Or any other kid of the "sisterhood of traveling pantsuits".

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