Is “Michelle Obama” a new brand?

Is Michelle Obama a new brand marking every well-spoken woman in the world? Maybe those who are creating this brand assume Obama is an original Adidas, and these other women her Chinese copies.
Nowadays, news agencies – mostly American- are trying to enforce a new feminine ideal.

“The deafening cheers were not for presidential hopeful Mir Hossein Mousavi, but rather for his wife — a woman some are calling Iran’s Michelle Obama.

The comparisons to the first lady of the United States stem from the role Zahra Rahnavard is playing in her husband’s quest for the presidency.

Never in the history of Iranian presidential elections has a candidate put his wife in the forefront of his campaign.”

Is Michelle Obama a new brand marking every well-spoken woman in the world? Maybe they assume she’s an original Adidas, and these other women her Chinese copies.

There are actually no parallels between Zahra Rahnavard and Michelle Obama. They’re two different people with two different identities.

If Barack Obama wasn’t president, nobody would notice the fashionable, well-spoken, and smart Michelle Obama. Despite all her smartness and style, she would remain in the world of unknowns. Her fame is attributable entirely to her husband’s success.

Compare: many in Iran knew Zahra Rahnavard before they know Mir Hussein Mussavi. Her husband is using her fame to further his campaign. There are many Iranians who vote for Mir Hussain Mussavi just because of his wife, Iran’s first female university chancellor after the Iranian Revolution, with over 30 books to her credit.

Rahnavard is also famous for being a political adviser to a former Iranian president and for her sculptures in several of Tehran’s famous squares.

She is not famous for fashion, because she wears the black chador, though she has never practiced the Mantou dress-code. She wears a long sleeve shirt and pants under her black chador. And, in keeping with Iranian law, she has not changed her surname after marriage – probably the one thing she does have in common with Michelle Obama.

That’s what writers who compare these two women fail to comprehend. Every nation has its special identity. An Iranian remains Iranian. A Muslim woman represents the ideal of her own people.

An intelligent and well-spoken Muslim woman does not need an American brand, because she is her own unique brand — an independent woman with her own identity, culture and beliefs. Queen Rania of Jordan is, similarly, a brand of her own, just like Shaikha Muzah, Queen of Qatar. None of them are American and certainly none of them can and want to be compared with an American ideal.

Maybe it’s Michelle Obama who is America’s Zahra Rahnavard.

2 Comments

  • Saadia says:

    Lol, this is kind of funny. It is a question of who is what brand, which isn’t so simple when many of us are immigrants. When we go overseas, people in our own countries say that we are Americans. Also, I believe some of the royalty in the Middle East don’t always represent their “brands”. I like Queen Noor, but if I remember correctly, she was considered too extravagant at one point.

    I don’t know if I entirely agree with this article. Michelle has achieved quite a bit in her own rite, even if it is not 30 books. Benazir Bhutto also achieved quite a bit, and she was also smart, well-spoken, and fashionable. Yet Michelle has a more loyal following where Bhutto’s was mixed.

    The question of who has legitimacy among their people also becomes distorted by non-native influences.

  • mars.a.nuy says:

    Well, in my country Mrs. Obama is more familiar than Mrs. Rahnavard, but as a muslima, I believe that Mrs. Rahnavard is a super-great woman, although I just knew her from your article. I’d love to read more articles about her.

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