Why Is Everyone So Obsessed With Michelle’s Arms?

Over the weekend, New York Times’ columnist Maureen Dowd wrote an Op-Ed piece in which she made the ridiculous claim: “Let’s face it: The only bracing symbol of American strength right now is the image of Michelle Obama’s sculpted biceps.” Her remark was mostly in response to the recent hoopla over our First Lady’s arms after she dared to bare ‘em at her husband’s address to Congress late last month. An article on The Daily Beast opined about Mrs. Obama’s trademark sleeveless style: “Someone should tell Michelle to mix up her wardrobe and cover up from time to time.” Echoing the sentiment, a friend of Maureen Dowd’s remarked: “She’s made her point. Now she should put away Thunder and Lightning.” Okay, look, the woman has great arms, I get it, but “thunder and lightning”? Really?! The “only bracing symbol of American strength”?

Come on, they’re arms, people, not angel wings. What’s with the obsession, the mythologizing, the objectifying? The woman works out and it shows — why shouldn’t she wear clothes that show off her assets? And why do those assets suddenly have to be some sort of symbol of American strength? “Her arms,” M.Do wrote in the Times, “and her complete confidence in her skin, are a reminder that Americans can do anything if they put their minds to it.” No, Maureen, her arms are a reminder that warm weather is coming and it’s time to do a few push-ups.