Binders Full of Women and Other Thoughts While Watching "Mitt"

Netflix released "Mitt" last week, a documentary chronicling six years and two election cycles in the life of Willard "Mitt" Romney. I don't know about you, but sometimes I spend more time browsing the options on Netflix than the time it takes to finish one stellar episode of Parks and Recreation. Since Season 2 of House of Cards isn't up until this Friday, I found myself repeatedly drawn to the documentary. What could filmmaker Greg Whiteley have to say that could somehow shade my perception of the former Governor? Turns out not much. There has been a LOT written about this documentary in the last week, and you can read about it here, here and here.

 

Romney's political standpoints and his blatant disconnect from the experiences and belief systems of nearly all the members of my personal life and community don't resonate with me as a feminist and woman of color. I won't go into depth about how much I disagree with his positions or perspectives on queer rights, reproductive justice, immigration, the military, gun control, class stratification or people of color in this country, but I will say that I was curious as to the lived experience of this man, so different from any that I have ever known in my entire life, that let a camera follow him around for SIX years.

 

Here are 8 thoughts  I had while watching this documentary:

1) Ouch. The film opens with Romney on the night of the 2012 election asking his family, "So what do you think you say in a concession speech?" He is met with blank stares and silence from the five Romney boys, their wives, his wife Ann, and their several grandkids.

2) Dang, he really is a family man and his family is HUGE. In "Mitt," we get to meet the ragtag (if you can describe the impossibly privileged in that way) group of boys now men, raised by Ann and Mitt. Tagg is the eldest, Matt doesn't say much or I can't tell him apart from Tagg when he does, Josh seems really interested in politics, Ben is blonde for some reason, and Craig, the youngest, smiles a lot. Wait, I missed one. Wait, no. I didn't.

3) Wow! Mitt did this all with ONLY the support and guidance of his family. In running a political campaign, you have dozens of people helping you every step of the way: training you, educating you, strategizing with you. This is all but exempt in the narrative woven by the filmmaker. Mitt's campaign manager barely makes a cameo except in the scenes bookending the 2012 election scenes, and there is no true insight into the types of conversations he was having or preparation it took for the man to announce his bid for President, not once, but twice.

4) Mitt Romney has a creepy voice. This one speaks for itself.

5) I'm impressed. There are so many people of color and women in this film! Just kidding. That is FALSE. There are 3-5 people of color that I counted in this film, excluding Barack Obama, (please correct me if I'm wrong), and one is a photographer that Mitt solicits help from in finding a bathroom. Said photographer is nonplussed but does point him in the right direction. As far as women go, aside from those that are directly in his family - mainly his wife (who in one scene, grabs a hold of a horse's tongue for an awkward amount of time) - they are few and far between. Where are those binders now, Mitty??

6) Uh Oh, I know how this goes... I had this thought several times throughout the documentary, but especially in the those leading up to each of the two first presidential debates in 2012. I remember how tired President Obama seemed at the first debate, and how Romney appeared fresh and eager. The film portrays it similarly. I remember how the second debate in the town hall format was less flattering for Romney, how he was subjected to a fact check by moderator Candy Crowley about Obama's response to the Benghazi attacks. His family is also less flattering when he walks out of this one, and Mitt knows he screwed up. Interestingly absent from the film is the part of the debate when he blamed gun violence on single parents.

7) I miss the word gaffe. There was a time, when every other day, there was an outcry over a Romney Gaffe. The proof is in the pudding, and the pudding is the clip below. Who could forget, "I like being able to fire people." You cannot make this stuff up!

 

8) I can't tell if you love or hate yourself, Mitty. Ever the flip-flopper, a title he disparages throughout the film with fear of it defining his legacy (a la Dan Quayle being a dummy), Mitt fluctuates between playing down his successes and expressing astonishing arrogance as to his noble sacrifice in pursuing the presidency of the United States. Sad that your "Queen for a Day" comment ended up being true, as the film closes with the Secret Service bidding you adieu, and you and Ann returning to life as usual in the Romney mansion.

Sorry, not sorry you were spared the title of 45th President of the United States, but I'm glad I didn't opt to watch an old episode of Law and Order: SVU like I usually do when I can't find anything else to watch on Netflix. Thanks for the laughs!

A Day in the Life of an Accidental Fashionista

A dear friend gifted me with a front row seat to yesterday's Noon By Noor Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week show. As the sartorially uninformed half of the Hi Wildflower team (my fashion sense is more instinctual than educated), I thought it might be a fun experience to push myself into a world completely outside of my comfort zone and revel in the luxe isolation of the Salon at Lincoln Center, where fashionistas, by trade and by accident, mix and mingle. Take a look to see a day in the life of an accidental fashionista! FW coverAfter fretting and fussing all morning over what to wear, I finally settled on my Rose Satin November Culture Bomber Jacket by Yuna Zarai. Matched with a black minidress, off-black tights and lace-up black booties, I was on my way!

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The closest I've ever been to this tent is from watching Project Runway for the past decade or so!

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Instagram mounted an enormous, 6 foot by 27 foot screen featuring dozens of pictures in rotation. All you had to do to make a cameo, was use the hashtag: #mbfw! Not only did the images feature the happenings inside the tent, but lots of exciting streetstyle and fashion on the fringes!

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Noon by Noor is a womenswear label started by cousins and friends Shaikha Noor Al Khalifa and Shaikha Haya Al Khalifa, based in Bahrain and educated in the U.S., resulting in a blend of Eastern and Western influenced looks. A combination of effortless tailored pieces, strong prints and exquisite embellishment, Noon by Noor has a little of something for everyone! I somehow finagled a seat in the front row.

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The Fall 2014 collection is heavily inspired by crystals and minerals, in their magical coloration and breathtaking patterns occurring in our natural environment. Li Wei wears an Agate print sheer shoulder dress.

1st look

Building from an oversized silhouette the designers experimented with in Pre-Fall, the Fall collection is full of exciting coats with volume. Sharita wears a grey turtleneck jumper, yellow slim-fit pants, and mauve felt and beige faux fur oversized coat.

look2Making her second appearance, Li Wei modeled a beautifully tailored look with touches of drama in a black and purple turtleneck jumper matched with black felt relaxed pants and an embellished black oversized coat.

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The final look, worn by Andrea was a show stopping cream cascading gown with gold sequined work that made it really hard to look away. A strong finish!

final look

After the show, DJ Sumie (J.D by day/D.J by night, look her up!) and I made our way over to enjoy some midday Margs and examine our MBFW SWAG! Included was a bottle of [easyazon_link asin="B004ARM5RU" locale="US" new_window="default" tag="hiwild-20" add_to_cart="default" cloaking="default" localization="default" nofollow="default" popups="default"]Zoya Nail Polish .5 oz Riley #453[/easyazon_link], "the ultimate sumptuous nail color to compliment the Noon by Noor aesthetic."

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Included in the special front-row swag was a set of custom-made Smythson cards, featuring the sketches of popular Noon by Noor designs. The accidental fashionista lives on, via correspondence...

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