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First Ladies have been prized and scrutinized for fashion choices all the way back to Dolley Madison’s gorgeous butterfly embroidered inaugural gown in 1809 –and Mary Todd Lincoln’s critiques who found her love of bold fashion was a little too much for the Civil War-era. All First Lady wardrobe choices have undergone public examination– from Nancy Reagan’s fiery red outfits to Jacqueline Kennedy’s pink Chanel suit to Michelle Obama’s red and black election night victory dress– as if a garment could ignite a war.

However, at a point when women are at the top of their game in the work force and in their personal lives, should we really be focusing so much attention on what our First Ladies look like?

Most of us can note that Mrs. Obama was involved with childhood obesity and military families for the past four years–even though it is way more fun to talk about her insane biceps and totally fierce inauguration ball gown she wore while dancing in the arms of her super handsome husband to Beyonce’s rendition of “At Last.” For many of the presidents’ wives throughout American history, they took their husbands’ election and created extraordinary breakthroughs for women, minorities, children, addicts, the sick, soldiers, the working class and more.

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