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With Amal Clooney, We Finally Have the Consummate Feminist Superhero. Let’s Not Ruin It.

posted on: May 18, 2015

Every time we glimpse her, Amal Alamuddin Clooney is bored. Flanked by tittering, self-congratulatory figures at the Met’s Costume Institute Gala, Amal alone is not impressed. She’s at the hottest event in town, standing next to the Sexiest Man Alive, but wears the pained grimace of a city councilwoman enduring a hearing or a tired parent indulging a deluded little child. We saw the same look at the Golden Globes, one halfhearted, disinterested smile amid a sea of thrilled, smug faces, and we’ll probably see it again at every award show George Clooney drags his wife to. Amal Clooney was born to bestride the narrow world (or at least Hollywood) like an over-it colossus. That’s exactly what’s so mesmerizing about her.

It’s no secret that Americans have been looking for their own version of royalty to swoon over for years now. We tried to shove a glass slipper on Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s foot, but she was too sophisticated for all of that taffeta, plus she kept squabbling with her prince, whose struggling vanity projects never matched the aristocratic flair of his patriarch. We tried pushing Beyoncé and Jay Z into a castle on the hill, but we turned on them. For a while, we grudgingly accepted Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes — Tom even called his bride “Kate,” as if that would erase her penchant for bad bangs and suede demi-boots. Yet as Tom grew creepier and Katie’s style read more Chico’s than chic, it became clear that Suri was the only member of the family with the proper bearing for the throne.