I, like most Americans, am wowed by Michelle Obama’s arms.
They are sleek. They are smooth. They are strong.
When she puts on one of her sleeveless dresses, it immediately draws attentions to her triceps, which bulge slightly – and in a most captivating way – when she moves. Obama’s upper arms make a statement: I am a strong American woman who works out, takes pride in my appearance, and is not afraid to show off my assets.
But not everyone is pleased with Obama’s display of skin. In a recent column, Maureen Dowd revealed a conversation she had with fellow New York Times columnist David Brooks about the First Lady. He confessed he wanted her to cover up more. He was particularly critical of the fact that she wore a sleeveless dress to President Obama’s first speech to Congress. In the dead of winter, no less!
I just dismissed Brook’s disapproval as the ranting of a slightly right-wing, slightly overweight writer who hasn’t seen a treadmill in years.
But it turns out others share his point of view. In my exercise class this morning, four women said they thought Obama should be a bit more modest. She could wear a cap sleeve, for example, rather than a sleeveless shift.
A Daily Beast columnist who wrote a post titled “The History of Michelle’s Arms” also concluded that the First Lady should cover up more often. She actually said “mix it up,” as if to imply that a desire for variety, not modesty, drove the criticism.
A blogger on The Black Girl site points out that few people ever criticized the body parts of white First Ladies, so the criticism of Obama’s arms smacks of racism. (Her point is a good one, although no one ever asked me what I thought of Hilary Clinton’s calves. I do have a strong opinion.)
This isn’t an issue that will go away. As the economy continues to tank, and a focus on the trivial distracts grim realisty, this could become a major topic of conversation. And just yesterday Obama visited a
Obama is sounding strangely like a Californian.