Miss Willoughby

Portrait of Miss Willoughby by George Romney (1734-1802)

This is the picture I am using as my avatar. Since it was painted by a Romney named George, the same name as Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romeny’s father, I feel I must explain.

My given middle name is Willoughby and my mother sometimes called me “Miss Willoughby,” especially when she wanted to give emphasis, such as when I did or said something I should not have. I discovered the painting at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. while on a trip as a high school student. I found a postcard of it and sent it to my mother.

In the lead-up to the U.S. War in Iraq, I aligned myself with CODEPINK: Women for Peace in protesting against the war. I still feel fondly aligned with them. I have chosen this painting as my avatar both for its name and for its pinkness, believing that peace, especially world peace, is so important and is pink in color.

I recently realized or remembered the name of the British painter, George Romney. Sunday’s Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader had an article, Obama’s taste in art is on view; Romney’s isn’t by Roger Catlin of The Washington Post, that included discussion of the painting and a picture of it. It seems that the painter is an ancestor of the Presidential candidate.

The girl Miss Willoughby of the painting, was, of course, a member of the upper echelon of British society. This seems fitting for the candidate Mitt Romney, a member of the upper 1% of the United States. I, of course, am not a member of that elite group. I guess, in this way, I may be using Miss Willoughby in a counter-cultural, maybe tongue-in-cheek, manner. I am for the 99%, not only of the United States or Britain, but of the world.

I would like to say that as Anne G. Woodhead, “Miss Willoughby,” I Declare World Peace.


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