I'm getting quite a chuckle out of the discussion on numerous "respected" blogs about the buff-ness of Michelle Obama's "rippled and gleaming" arms (that's a quote from "The Caucus," The NYTimes's political blog).
The WaPost's Fashion guru Robin Givhan described them as “Post-Title IX arms." And Kate Holmquist of The Irish Times writes that Mrs. Obama's arms say 'I'm too serious a woman to show off my legs or my breasts,” which prompted NPR's Peter Sagal to jokingly note on this weekend's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me that not only are the First Lady's arm buff, but they can actually talk now.
The Michelle Arm Watch was already on high-alert following her husband's speech before the Joint Session of Congress, where she wore a sleeveless dress. "“Oh my god,” Cindi Leive, the editor of Glamour magazine, emailed The Caucus blog. "The First Lady has bare arms in Congress, in February, at night!” (Doesn't she ever get cold?).
Then two days later, the White House released The First Lady's official portrait -- which is stunningly beautiful and features Mrs. Obama in a sleeveless sheath dress by designer Michael Kors. The Wonkette blog calls the portrait "the latest proof that George W. Bush is gone and Barack Obama is president and we didn’t all just imagine this, on drugs." Among the colorful comments on Wonkette is the one from "Say It With Wookies," who comments that "Thomas Jefferson’s totally looking at her ass."
As I said, the Michelle Arm Watch is very entertaining.
But it wasn't until I was at the check-out stand at the grocery store last night that Michelle's arms just totally jumped out at me, from the cover of Vogue.
The four-pound March issue features numerous photos of the First Lady, taken by Annie Leibovitz (who had the good sense not to ask Michelle to pose luringly with just a blanket, as she did with Miley Cirus). "With her long, lean, athletic frame, she moves as if she could have danced with Alvin Ailey in another life," Vogue gushes. Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton she ain't!
But get a load of those guns, poking out from beneath her magenta dress. Michelle Obama has launched an arms race all her own. Just thumb through Vogue to the next "profile" in the issue, and you'll find Melinda Gates in a sleeveless red sheath. Better let Bill fix himself and the kids dinner and put some more time in the gym, there, Melinda.
Although the much-ado-about-arms frenzy is nothing more than a break from more serious business, it IS refreshing to see a fit and healthy mother/career gal in the White House. It makes me believe that the hours I spend at the gym weekly are not selfishly spent "me" time, but rather a reflection of the value I put on exercise to maintain physical and mental health.
And you can bet sleeveless dresses would be flying off the racks --- if anyone was actually spending any money on clothes these days. You're better off using the $$ for a gym membership -- and just waiting for summer to pull those tank tops out of the bottom of your drawers.
Besides, who da every thunk we'd be getting arm toning advice from CNN?