Being the First Lady can’t be that bad of a gig: you have a personal chef, travel all over the world, and Beyoncé loves you. But as Michelle Obama explained last night on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the complete lack of privacy and anonymity warps your life … so much so that you actually start wanting to go to CVS and wait in line for three-quarters of an hour while the one employee rings everyone up.
Mrs. Obama, I go to CVS several times a month for toiletries and prescriptions. Do not even get me started on the CVS pharmacy. You are MORE than welcome to take my place in that badly managed hellhole. When can you start?!?!
It does my heart good to see women of all races embrace Michelle Obama. It is too rare indeed for a brown-skinned woman, a descendant of slaves, a product of Chicago’s South Side to be lauded on an international stage. Considering the heavy burden of stereotype still faced by black women, I cheer a little each time the First Lady gets some shine for her strength and smarts. But I note that in their eagerness to identify with Obama and make her emblematic of modern woman, some mainstream feminists unwittingly erase a key part of her identity–her blackness–and deny the experiences and histories of many African American women in the process. Keep reading »
Plenty of absurd things are “artsy,” like crafting Jesus on the cross out of elephant feces or giving birth inside an art gallery as a live action installation. But a drawing of Michelle Obama topless on the cover of Spain’s Magazine de Fuera de Serie is plain old tasteless. In my opinion, they have every right to depict her artistically, even in poor taste. But that doesn’t mean they should do it. Keep reading »
Carla Bruni certainly made her mark as one of the more, uh, contentious first ladies ever to hit French office: the longtime singer and model, not to mention the heiress to an industrial dynasty, made ceaseless waves with her swank wardrobe, party-girl past, and dubious intentions when she wed recently divorced French president Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007. Sarkozy vacated office earlier this year (in favor of François Hollande, whose own live-in girlfriend has stirred up quite a bit of national strife herself), but his disheartening political demise was far and away from the last we’ve seen of the couple — Mr. and Mrs. Sarkozy have recently found themselves mired in allegations of corruption over illegal cash donations the former president may or may not have received from Liliane Bettencourt, the heiress to L’Oreal and France’s richest woman. And if you thought the disgraced couple’s public humiliation saturation point had maxed out (one would assume, after their mansion and offices were raided by police last month), well, it’s time to reconsider. Keep reading »
Michelle Obama kept it classy on “The View” this morning, as always. The First Lady gamely fielded questions about the president tucking her into bed at night and whether she would ever consider running for office. (Answer: hell no!) She also discussed the continued prevalence of racism in this country. But I was most interested in hearing her discuss how the Obamas raise their daughters and make sure Malia and Sasha are happy, even with all the craziness swirling around them. “The thing I always want my girls to know is their life is good either way,” she said. “They understand their world is secure no matter what. They’ve grown to understand home is wherever we are. … Dad is always going to be Dad.” Well said. [Mediaite]
It grieves me to see Nicolas Sarkozy leave French office, and why? Because I am positively enraptured by his wife (okay, fine, I’m also really worried about what this means for anti-Semitism in France). Her life (and Wikipedia page) reads like a dramatic novel: a nine-year-old heiress to a tire fortune moves to Paris to flee a wave of kidnappings by a revolutionary group active in Italy and later leaves her prestigious art school at age 19 to become a model. I’m sorry, is that a bit of an understatement? In the ’90s, Bruni earned an average of $7.5 million a year working for houses such as Christian Dior, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, and Chanel, which landed her well among the ranks of the highest-paid fashion models. She dated both Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger at varying points during her career before quitting fashion in 1997 to become an incredibly successful pop singer in France.
Carla Bruni has always been influential, to say the least, but her worthy presence in the gossip pages was all but solidified in 2007 by her marriage to the newly divorced Sarkozy after a four-month courtship. The star underwent a sort of moral metamorphosis (before meeting Sarkozy, she had proclaimed herself as “forever left wing”) and has been tabloid fodder since, yielding criticism from every direction. Her luxe wardrobe sparked controversy as the nation succumbed to a recession, not to mention the publication of compromisingly risqué photographs from her modeling days. As far as First Ladies go, I daresay Bruni is — was — as scandalous as they come. She’s also the most chic, with a predisposition to innately glamorous, infinitely expensive dressing. Keep reading »
Apropos of … nothing, apparently? … Beyoncé penned an open letter to Michelle Obama on her website in which she lauds the First Lady as “a caring mother, a loving wife” and “the FIRST LADY!!!!” By golly, it’s just the cutest thing ever. Read it, after the jump! Keep reading »
“It’s more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here and a strong woman and — you know? But that’s been an image that people have tried to paint of me since the day Barack announced, that I’m some angry black woman. … You know, I just try to be me. And my hope is that over time people get to know me. And they get to judge me for me.”
– First Lady Michelle Obama reacts to portrayals of her as an “angry black woman.” Michelle has been dogged by this stereotype from the beginning of her husband’s campaign when rumors abounded that she ranted about “whitey”; more recently, New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor’s new book, The Obamas, alleges Michelle sparred with her husband’s staff. It is sad in our culture that a woman — who just happens to be black, and may or may not have reasons to be angry (ahem, ahem) — gets dismissively painted with a wide brush as an “angry black woman,” as if she is just behaving the way stereotypes say she is expected her to behave. The new book by MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes and Black Women In America, is sadly quite timely. [Bossip]