On ABC’s hit show Scandal, actress Kerry Washington is a top Washington crisis manager. Lawyer, publicist, image maker, problem fixer, she rolls at a level few women will ever know, comfortable with power brokers, criminals, governments and presidents. VERY comfortable with presidents.
Ms. Washington plays a character based on real life D.C. crisis manager Judy Smith, a woman with a resume so impressive it’s hard to imagine. NBC-TV exec, attorney, White House staffer. When Monica Lewinsky looked for rescue from the media hordes in 1998, it was Judy Smith who stepped in and took charge. Yeah.
To embody the spirit of Ms. Smith as the fictional Olivia Pope, Ms. Washington shares that first, and most importantly, she walks in the other person’s shoes. Literally. This post, believe it or not, is about fashion.
It matters not at all that Ms. Smith is the mother of two adult children and Ms. Washington has said she’s not thinking about babies yet. I’m guessing Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes, an adoptive mom, never even thought twice about the distinction.
It also doesn’t matter that most of us can’t afford Olivia Pope’s Armani tailoring. Judy Smith says even she “probably doesn’t look as good as Olivia.” Uh-huh. I’ll bet she comes darned close. In the photo above, Ms. Smith (right) appears with Ms. Rhimes (left) and Ms. Washington.
The lesson here is that it’s not about the Movado watch or the dress that costs as much as a mortgage payment. At every price point, what we wear has the power to shape what people think of us. If you’re thinking, “Well, that’s their problem!”, you’re wrong. It’s yours. Every woman walks straighter, acts stronger, when she looks good and knows it. And that rarely happens in flip-flops.
(Photo Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)