The "Obama Effect" In Pop Culture

Malia Obama walks with new dog Bo, followed by President Barack Obama, Sasha Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 14, 2009. (AP Photo./Charles Dharapak AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

President Barack Obama has spent his first 100 days in office making an impact on the American people, but not only in his policies and proposals. The nation's 44th president, along with his family, has also been setting pop culture trends.

Even before the election was called, Michelle Obama was watched, and commended, for her fashion choices. Now, as first lady, all eyes are still on her and what she's wearing.

TV style correspondent Katrina Szish describes the first lady's style as "modern classic," adding that while many of her trademarks (the sleeveless shifts, the kitten heels) will never go out of style, it's her accessories that make her so trendy.

"She's definitely a jewelry person and she has a love of pins," Szish noted. "It's those unique bigger accessories that really push the trend envelope."

She added that the first lady's color choices, like chartreuse and purple, make her style relevant, and that while many of the pieces in her wardrobe cost a lot more than what's on the rack at J. Crew, the mix of those practical pieces with the ones from edgy, high-fashion designers has created a look that she wears in a "classy, elegant way."

And it hasn't gone unnoticed. Her chic, practical, fashionable-but-not-uncomfortable look is now both admired and emulated. The J. Crew outfit that Mrs. Obama wore in London sold out on the brand's Web site shortly after photos surfaced of her wearing it.

Another classic trend the first lady is hoping to revive - the backyard garden. Victory gardens were popular in American homes during World War II, but the first lady planted hers for a different reason. She decided to start the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn of the White House in March as part of her initiative to bring healthy, locally-grown food into her home and encourage other Americans to do the same. Her efforts on the 1,100-square-foot plot, where vegetables like tomatoes and spinach will go from the ground into the White House kitchen, will hopefully convert those that aren't already turned on to locally grown trend, and generally encourage Americans to eat healthier.

Also, the Obama's choice in canines has started a new trend - the Portuguese water dog. The newest addition to the Obama family, their puppy Bo, has brought his breed into the spotlight.

After 6-month-old Bo was introduced, the breed sold out in Germany, according to German newspaper Bild. Stateside, breeders prepped for an increase in demand for the pups, while animal advocates warned that the new interest in the dog could spike their appearance in puppy mills as more and more people want to own their own Bo.

But while the puppy, the garden and the fashions catch on, there's one other Obama trend - having your mother-in-law move in with you. First grandmother Marain Robinson, Michelle's mother, came along with the Obamas when they moved into the White House back in January and has been there ever since. However, depending on the mother-in-law, that might be one trend that Americans won't want to adopt so quickly.
  • Jessica Derschowitz

Comments