Michelle Obama and the right to bare arms

BlogHer Original Post

Michelle Obama Vogue CoverOkay, let me just come out and say MICHELLE OBAMA, ARGHHH! You're making us all look bad.

Not only does she manage to balance an incredibly taxing, high-profile role while she raise two incredible, well-adjusted kids, but she evidently has time to work her triceps too. So not right. 

We've seen her sporting the sleeveless on the cover of Vogue, on the cover of People, at the inaugural ball (with one full shoulder exposed no less), and most recently, at the State of the Union address. I had the same reaction as Cindi Leive, the editor of Glamour magazine, who noted that this was not just sleeveless - but sleeveless in Congress. In Washington. In February!

(And yes Washington, I know you think you're a southern state what with all of your "we don't have any snow plows and are shocked every time it drops below freezing even though it does every single year" but no. You're not.)



At minimum, some eyebrows are being raised. At worst, it's erupted into a full-on debate in fashion and political circles about the appropriateness of bare arms on the First Lady.

Me, I'm all for it. I mean, hello old farty people who think the First Lady should be in pearls and peter pan collars at every event? Your time has passed. For goodness sake, the First Lady of Italy has been photographed full-on nude. You'd think we can handle a mere pair of triceps.

Indeed Michelle Obama represents the generation that didn't have to wear skirts and (eep) pantyhose to the office, but I see the bare arms as more than just a contemporary style statement. It removes any pretention or affect - like you could just walk right up and start a conversation with her. In other words it perfectly mirrors the new, more accessible administration that the President is working towards. It's also a stellar demonstration of confidence and power, of athleticism and healthy living and results achieved from hard work. That's my kind of First Lady.

But what I really love is that those triceps set a beautiful example at a time when young girls can use more female role models who looks incredible because they take care of themselves, not because they've ralphed their way down to size zeros.

So I say, show off those arms any chance you get Michelle. I sure would if I had been to a gym any time in the last [mumblemumble] years.

But how about you? Do you give the bare arms a thumbs up or thumbs down? Do you think it sets the right tone for a woman of her position? Does it in any way demean her role or show that she doesn't take her position seriously? Do you think there are right and wrong times to flex your toned triceps for the world? And would anyone like to donate say, ten personal training sessions to the Liz Gumbinner charity fitness fund?

 [photos: doug mills/nytimes, annie liebowitz/vogue]

 Liz Gumbinner is a contributing editor to Blogher Beautyhacks, is the co-founder and editor of Cool Mom Picks and when she can fidn the time, she's the voice of parenting blog Mom-101.


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