In defense of ugly jackets

(Or, if I were Hillary Clinton’s speechwriter.)

Do you see this jacket? It’s an Armani jacket. [beat]

I got this at the Goodwill for $12.50.What do you think it retails for? $5,000? $7,000? That’s what Donald Trump pays for his designer suits. [beat] [audience boos]

$10,000? No. It retails for $12,495.00. [beat] [audience boos]

But I paid $12.50 for it. Why? Because it’s ugly. I went to Goodwill and I had so much to choose from, an abundance of jackets, but I chose this one. Why? Because it was the most attractive one there. [beat] [audience laughs]

Would you wear this jacket outside the house? No. Nobody with good taste would. It’s warm, I’ll give you that. And roomy. Look how roomy it is. It’s well made. It is an Armani, after all. But it’s ugly. Not only wouldn’t you wear this outside the house, you wouldn’t wear it to a job interview.

Yet that’s what most of you, our working women today, have to choose from: ugly, uglier, and ugliest. [beat] [audience laughs]

You work hard to feed your families, to keep a roof over your heads. You sacrifice your needs for your children the best you can. You might go without eating because you gave the last of it to your children, without sleeping because you’re working two jobs to make what a man would make with one job, without love because you’re too tired to invest yourself in a relationship with a person who loves you. But no matter what you sacrifice, it’s never enough, is it? [beat] [audience shouts NO]

The light bill has to be paid. You’re living paycheck-to-paycheck because you aren’t being paid the same as the men and you look for a future where you fight to be paid what you deserve. You’re more qualified. You’re being overlooked and overworked. You decide—because you are a powerful woman who can set her own path [beat] [audience cheers]

—to find a new job. A better job. A job you deserve where you will be valued and paid what a man would be paid for the same job. You have an interview and now you have a dilemma: You don’t have appropriate interview clothes. You spent the last you had to feed your children and your next paycheck isn’t until next Friday.

So you borrow a few dollars and head to the thrift store to find an interview outfit. You look and look and look and you realize that your best option is … this.

This well-made designer jacket that retails for $12,500 but was given to Goodwill because it’s ugly and does not project the image of the powerful women you really are. It doesn’t say, “I deserve this job because I’m the best qualified.” It says, “I’m a schlub.” It doesn’t say, “I deserve this job because I’m calm, cool, and collected and can manage crises extraordinarily well.” It says, “I’m useless.”

You know the value of a dollar. You have to because you aren’t making as much as men do for the same job, and minimum wage just isn’t enough to feed your family anymore. I have dedicated my life to ensuring that all hardworking Americans have the chance to succeed, no matter their circumstances.

I have led the charge for equal pay for equal work. [beat]

I have expanded access to early childhood education and healthcare. [beat]

I have worked tirelessly to raise the minimum wage and advocate for out-of-work Americans because I believe that every American should have the right to achieve economic security and income opportunity. [beat]

You’ve been in this ugly jacket for too long. You deserve better than this jacket. You deserve to be paid what men are paid for the same job and you deserve better than minimum wage!