The 1998 film Sliding Doors showed Gwyneth Paltrow two versions of her life, one in which she caught a train and one in which she missed it, causing Americans everywhere to wonder about all of their roads not taken. Today, President Barack Obama's campaign released a website called Life of Julia, which depicts a woman throughout her life under either Obama or Mitt Romney's policies.
The Life of Julia website begins with a three-year-old girl, Julia, enrolled in Head Start... or is she? With budget cuts removing slots for the program in one reality and support for Head Start in the other one, the site's goal is to show viewers how small decisions add up to make a big impact on a woman's life.
Buttons at the bottom of the site age Julia, allowing viewers to move back and forth in time. We see her at 18 and going to college, 27 and in the work world dealing with health insurance, 31 and pregnant, and 42 and starting her own business. Each stage of life contrasts issues and policies that both parties have been talking about on the campaign trail.
And I’ve heard some of them say, look, this is all just a big misunderstanding; they need to get their message out better when it comes to women. I don’t think that’s the problem. I think they're getting their message out just fine. We don’t need to read between the lines in terms of what they're saying.
Julia is meant to be an everywoman, a middle-class girl who is just trying to get an education, raise a family, work, and retire. She wants what all of us want: safety, health, and happiness. Which makes this website the 2012 Sliding Doors -- instead of Gwyneth, we can see ourselves, and instead of a fictional romance, we have Obama's take on how the policies discussed in both campaigns affect us.
What issues highlighted on the website matter the most to you in this upcoming election? Health care? Education? Money and work? And do you like this campaign move -- or do you consider it a "fictional romance" in itself?
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