Michelle Obama’s right to bare arms

In today’s age of political dissonance, it’s reassuring that we can all agree on one thing, our First Lady looks good. Regardless of political leaning or personal feeling toward the Obama administration, it’s hard to argue against Mrs. Obama’s expertly chiseled triceps. They’ve even made it on the cover of Vogue.


Courtesy of francesdinkelspiel.blogspot.com

Beginning with Lou Hoover in 1929 (and excluding poor Bess Truman) every first lady of the United States has been featured in the high-fashion magazine. Mrs. Obama is only the second to grace its glossy cover, following Hillary Clinton in 1998. (Rumor has it that a second Vogue cover is in the works.)

That same pair of perfectly toned arms has been sparking controversy since the beginning of her husband’s presidency. Her decision to wear sleeveless dresses four times in seven days in March of 2009 warranted national headlines.

So really it’s not surprising that not only did Mrs. Obama’s Oscars appearance Sunday send tweets flying, but her choice of dress had viewers, ahem, up in arms.


Courtesy of usmagazine.com

It’s cool. Let’s just ignore honoring the servicemen and women grinning from ear to ear in the background and focus on the scandal that is bare forearms.

Iran’s Fars News added sleeves to picture of the First Lady’s gown in order to conform to Iranian sensibilities, which, according to the U.S. States Department, isn’t that unusual.

The Iranian news incident has inspired articles from a number of national news sources, including Fox News and The Huffington Post .

During the 2012 election season, the First Lady’s penchant for showing off those biceps again caused controversy. In a memorable NPR incident involving reporter Ari Shapiro during Mitt Romney’s address at the American Legion Conference in Indianapolis, wordsmith Bobbie Lussier of Virginia had this to say about President and Mrs. Obama, “I just – I don’t like him, can’t stand to look at him. I don’t like his wife. She’s far from the first lady. It’s about time we get a first lady in there that acts like a first lady and looks like a first lady.”

The comment caused about as much of an uproar as the normally docile NPR listeners are capable of. Many thought the comment was racist, and Shapiro received a solid amount of backlash for airing the quote without further explanation.

Miraculously, Shapiro bumped into Mrs. Lussier at another Romney event, where she clarified her statement, saying, “Can you imagine, you know, Kennedys or the Bushes or anybody doing pushups on the floor? I mean, you know, that’s just not a first lady…I don’t care what color she is. It’s just she doesn’t act and look like a first lady. I mean, she’s more about looking – showing her arms off and, you know, I think that’s very inappropriate for a lot of functions that she goes to…I mean, you see her walking around in shorts and, you know, just real casual wear. And, to me, that’s – I mean, when I go to functions, I kind of dress up other than, you know, today. But you just got to look the part.”

You’ve got to watch out for those shorts and pushups.

Funny how we love to hate Mrs. Obama’s sleeveless style, but are offended by another country’s altering of images to conform to cultural standards of modesty. Regardless, the First Lady will certainly keep fighting for her right to bare arms.


Courtesy of the gloss.com



1 Comment

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One response to “Michelle Obama’s right to bare arms

  1. dan hatton

    Beautiful writing, Reebok.

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