Tim Gunn Said A Gender Normative Thing About Hillary Clinton

So George Lopez had Tim Gunn on his show earlier this week, and after a tiny bit of small talk, the two proceeded to hate on various women. First, he scolded women for showing too much skin (bet he hates New York’s topless law), then he poo pooed the fashion sense of the people on “The Jersey Shore” (no quarrels there, really). Lopez charmingly suggested women wear tight clothing because they think they’re thinner than they really are, and Gunn compared the process by which Snooki comes to feel comfortable in what she’s wearing to the process by which human noses get used to the smell of monkey feces. Ouch.

This is all fairly par for the course for someone whose job is literally to judge people’s fashion sense, but when he talked about Hillary Clinton, I began to see red. This is what he said:

She’s the secretary of state, she’s the former senator from New York, she’s the former first lady. Why must she dress that way? I think she’s confused about her gender. All these big baggy menswear tailored pantsuits. No, I’m really serious…If the pantsuit didn’t stop an inch above her ankle you could hide the cankle….I have great respect for her intellect and for her tenacity, and for what she does for our country in her governmental role. I just wish she could send a stronger message about American fashion.”

Um, isn’t that what we have Michelle Obama for? And why isn’t he criticizing any of Hillary’s male colleagues? I’m sure Hillary’s very sorry that in between flying all over the world trying to prevent global Armageddon from occurring, she doesn’t have time to solve the eternal paradox of how a politician can look pretty and feminine without being perceived as weak. You know what you can’t have after global Armageddon? Fashion. Or stores. Or eyes, if you’re really unlucky. If Hillary’s pantsuits help her appear more masculine and therefore more unfuckwithable to foreign leaders who hold retrograde beliefs equating femininity with weakness, we should all be begging her to keep wearing them.

Furthermore, as a gay and celibate man, Gunn’s exhibiting a disappointingly gender normative view of things. You cannot expect people to accept your non-normative sexuality, and then turn around and enforce rigid gender roles on others. That’s not how it works. It just goes to show you that just because someone’s a member of a sexual minority, doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t still hold many hetero- and/or gender normative viewpoints.

And the cankles thing was just a low blow. Not cool, Mr. Gunn. I thought you were classier than that.

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    • porkchop

      The Secretary of State is not asked to be fashionable.

    • Benita

      So it’s ok for him to fat shame Snookie because you don’t like her but it’s not ok for him to be critical of Hilary Clinton because you do like her? I think someone needs a refresher course in feminism.

      • sheherbano

        i think that..however harsh this may sound, i dont know, i havent..constructed the sentence in my head yet, erm..it was more of an issue with hilary clinton because she’s obviously a political figure, while jibes on snooki(?) are less grating because she’s from like..jersey shore. and while he may have fat-shamed snooki, the whole..gender-normative-ism of his feelings about hilary clinton were more of the issue. also, i didnt get the impression that she thought of the fat-shaming as okay, but that it took a backseat to this other thing, which is more important. or is deemed more important, because, yes. wow. i should sleep.

    • Jamie Peck

      There is a difference between fat shaming someone and criticizing someone’s style. Gunn criticized the Jersey Shore chicks’ taste. He’s allowed to do that. But when Lopez turned it into a discussion about weight, that wasn’t cool. And I said so. With sarcasm.

      • Benita

        That did not come through in your writing, which is another problem.

      • porkchop

        Also, re: Tim Gunn in the this video, any man wearing a shirt with contrasting white collar/cuffs is sending a signal that they are trying to be more of an a**hole. (mission accomplished)

    • Klee

      I love me some Tim Gunn, but the critique of Hillary Clinton was out of line. Snookie is fair game because she is seeking fame for doing nothing other than being ridiculous. Hillary Clinton is the Secretary of State. She has better things to do. A the pantsuits are her thing. I think she looks fine. And I don’t see any other (male)politicians getting the same treatment. Shame on you, Tim!

    • Lindsey

      Why he isn’t snarking on men: Men wear neutral-colored suits. At worst they’ll look average. When female politicians wear colored suits it usually looks really bad. Look at that horrible orange thing! Imagine it was cream colored, with the shirt being colored, or any other neutral color! Gray with a white shirt! OK, maybe some of this is how gross of a color I think orange is, but when do colorful suits ever look good?

      And, he wasn’t like, “Eww, haha, Hillary is soooo fat!” He said that she was wearing really, really unflattering clothing. He doesn’t like anything about the cut of the clothing she wears.

      The only thing that was really inappropriate about what he said was the gender thing. Which is, yeah, wrong and weird.

    • Sarah

      Remember cleavage-maggedon? Confusion, my ass, I think Tim has no clue what it’s like for a brilliant woman like Madam Secretary to keep the focus off her tits while swooping around the world from one problem spot to another. Nuff said. Good call, Jamie.

    • Zimmm

      Look, As someone in the public eye whose job it is represent our country and our countries interests, how she dresses does actually matter. He’s not asking her to start dressing like Kate Moss. And he is unfortunately correct that much of what she’s wearing is unflattering. The all orange suit she’s depicted in above is a perfect example of that. I would personally prefer if other countries not get the impression that we are electing Oompa-Loompas.

    • CityKid

      Sorry, but he’s 100% right. She wears clothes that don’t fit properly, in styles probably wouldn’t flatter her if they did fit properly. Longer pants WOULD hide her cankles! Hill, don’t be offended – give Tim Gunn a call and ask him to go shopping with you.

    • Deanna

      I like the orange suit

    • Abigail

      I’m confused. Why does the writer and all the commenters think that men would be getting the same treatment? They aren’t the ones who are dressed badly. Why would Tim Gunn insult their fashion?

    • Lydia

      I agree that Tim Gunn should not have said those things. If you’ve ever read about Hillary Clinton’s schedule, she is literally flying around the world on a weekly basis. Let’s applaud that she can even get dressed in the morning…. And has the ambition, brains, and perseverance to be a woman who lives outside of gender boundaries.

    • Janine Fowler – AlternativeHousewife.com

      He wasn’t taking issue with her gender, he was taking issue with her unflattering clothes. Men and women have different bodies that require different clothing in different cuts. She could look great in menswear if she made the effort.

    • Rachel

      Who cares?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002166668687 Ali Goria

        It’s tim gun.

    • ashmoth

      Male pols look ridiculous and schlumpy all the time, with bad hair and poorly fitting pants, and not a peep. WHo cares what she is wearing? Screw the fashion czars.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002166668687 Ali Goria

      Hillary is stubbornly egotistical (shock) by sticking to her pant suits. The ONLY REASON she started that was because of the endless cankle attack. Granted at the time, it was a distraction. But at this point in her life… NOBODY IN THE WORLD with a high profile job sticks to just casual wear 24/7 [except for a wedding]. And that’s Hillary. But now that she’s no longer travel agent in chief, we won’t have to care. It’s TIM GUNN talking about fashion and yes, who else wears freaking pants suits constantly for over 10 years? duh. Not even flattering to her,. He’s a gay man, he talks easily about gender and snark.