Chelsea Clinton: From Awkward Teenager to Glam Bride

Why we can't help but root for the former first daughter

On the Today Show this morning, Natalie Morales called  Former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton’s upcoming nuptials "The closest thing we have to an American royal wedding." Perhaps that explains the fact that every news outlet, from People magazine to EXTRA to my five-year-old cousin’s style blog, has been covering the event with such extraordinary fervor.

Earlier this week, bride-to-be Chelsea was spotted sneaking into Vera Wang wearing a massive floppy straw hat (an unsuccessful attempt to have her dress fitted incognito.) She was apparently engulfed by Secret Service agents while she tried on her gown, and her wedding along the Hudson River has just been declared a no-fly zone.

When Jenna Bush got hitched, people paid attention, but not this kind of attention. The same went for Al Gore’s daughters Karenna and Sarah. So what’s with all the fuss over Chelsea?

I think it’s the fact that Chelsea survived one of the world’s more awkward duckling-to-swan transitions that makes us want to root for her. She entered the White House at age 12 with braces, unruly brows and a mop of rowdy curls. People hurled cruel taunts at her, and her pre-teen gawkiness was the butt of late night talk show jokes. I remember feeling so badly for her: She didn’t ask to tackle orthodontia and menarche in the White House.  (She's not the only First Daughter to suffer this fate. Remember when, in a 2008 interview with Parents magazine, Michelle Obama revealed that "a couple of years ago -- you'd never know it by looking at her now -- Malia was getting a little chubby."?) True, I recently posted one of my most humiliating childhood photos (my fifth grade school portrait) on a website called for the whole world to see, but not everyone is as shameless and wildly extroverted as I am.

By 2000, our nation’s First Redhead had blossomed into a self-confident Stanford student, and her look had morphed into a wavy bob, defined brows and glossy burgundy lips. Two years later, at 22, she was parked in a front row seat at the Versace Haute Couture Show in Paris alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna.

When you go from having Sen. John McCain publicly crack the repugnant joke, "Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno," to rocking front row seats at the most exclusive catwalk in the universe -- and looking just as glamorous as the Queen of Pop -- you have officially arrived. And because nearly all of us mere mortals have endured the humiliation of acne, headgear, permed bangs and Hypercolor, we can’t help but cheer on a Cinderella story like Chelsea’s.

Mazel tov! 

Are you rooting for Chelsea? Chime in below.

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