It was only a matter of time, but the moment has arrived: 2016 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has officially joined Instagram. The Democratic presidential hopeful arrived on the Instagram scene Wednesday and has already shared a photo. What fun it will be to follow Clinton's campaign in such a visual way! Voters, of course, want to know as much as possible about presidential candidates, so it will be interesting to what sort of image-based material Clinton will offer up on this platform.
BUT THAT FIRST INSTA, THO! Seriously, what an interesting choice of a first photo to share with the world via Instagram. At first I thought: "Clothes... what...?" but after a couple of seconds the genius of the photo hit me and I was reminded of how brilliant Clinton be, and how funny.
If a regular old picture is worth a thousand words, then an Instagram picture from a presidential candidate has to be at worth at least double as many. The 'gram is already being discussed far and wide, but I'm interested in interpreting what Clinton is trying to get across to us with this picture. So let's talk about what Clinton is trying to convey in her very first Instagram share, and prepare to get a little deep at times, because no matter what she is doing, Clinton is whip-smart and very intentional in all her public messaging.
Yep, I'm a woman. And?
One of the reasons Clinton's campaign is so significant to her support base, is that a presidential win for a female candidate would be a historic moment for the women's rights movement in the U.S. Clinton has been vocal about her women's rights agenda, and has made it clear this would be a priority for her presidency. Clinton's clothing and fashion choices have long been a part of the media conversation about her politics, so I think she's trying to tell us: "Yeah, I'm a woman and I happen to care about my clothes. Next!"
Her choice of caption for this image could not be cleverer. "Hard choices" refers to Clinton's autobiography by the same name, but paired with this photo, the phrase speaks volumes. Not only is it an hilarious poke at anyone who has come down on her for her clothing choices, it also tells us: "I'm like you, I sometimes have trouble picking out my outfit in the morning."
Ahem, can we move on from the pantsuit talk?
More about the "hard choices" caption (this thing has layers!): The red, white, and blue exclusive wardrobe seems to tell us: "Hush about my clothes, we're talking about the future of our country, here. The betterment of the nation is where my head is at, so catch up." Yasssss, Hillary!
I'm experienced and ready for the White House
I can't let go of "hard choices." I just can't. The next level of meaning behind this caption is somewhat ironic. Clinton is acknowledging, with tongue-in-cheek humor, that there are really difficult decisions to be made by our next president. At first blush, we might think, "Good grief... your OUTFIT is a hard choice...?" But alas, the joke is on us. Clinton is of course aware that picking out clothes pales in comparison to the policies she would be a part of as the leader of the U.S.
I am one patriotic person
In the past, Clinton was accused of lacking in patriotism because she was critical of the Bush administration. In response, she told her critics: "I'm sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we're Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration."
This photo seems to say: "Would an unpatriotic person have this many red, white, and blue outfits?!" And, more importantly: "Would an unpatriotic person run for president...?" I think not.
I mean business...
There's a reason Clinton didn't post a photo of her Levi's collection and her bathing suits (did you know she loves to swim?). She's giving us a particular taste of her wardrobe to signal that she is ready to get down to business, and represent our interests well in the White House.
...but I'm also hilarious
Like I said: this picture is in itself a wonderfully layered, highly intelligent and self-aware joke of sorts. Clinton takes herself seriously, but not so seriously that she can't quip now and again.
I am invested in connecting with young voters
41 percent of Instagram users are between the ages of 16 and 24. That's a heck of a lot of young people both in and outside the U.S. that Clinton can reach with her new Instagram account. Creating this account in the first place signals that she wants to be connected with constituents, and wants to communicate with younger voters on their home turf.
Images: Hillary Clinton/Instagram; Getty Images (8)