First Lady’s Arms Inspire Envy, Suspicion (And Fear?)

Michelle Obama Goes Sleeveless, Again” is the annoyed-sounding headline on Jodi Kantor’s post on The Caucus Blog at, observing that the First Lady, as she is wont to do, wore a sleeveless dress during last night’s presidential address. From the post itself:

It is February and Washington is freezing, but in appearance after appearance, the first lady displays her long, muscular arms…

…[T]hose arms have become Mrs. Obama’s most constant accessory, whether she is wearing a Gap sundress or a designer ballgown. On the Vogue cover…[i]t’s her arms that pop out, rippled and gleaming.

“Rippled and gleaming?”

And, more:

[T]hose bare arms seem like a reminder of everything about her we can’t see.

In two years, she has shown us a great deal of herself, more than most of us would share, and yet right now, we actually don’t know that much about her. What does she think of the White House, and what does she do all day?

“What does she do all day?” (Subtext: Bicep curls? Tricep dips?)

Another What-Michelle-Wore-Last Night headline, courtesy of

“First Lady ‘Armed’ to Make a Statement”

(When I’m told someone is “armed,” the words that next come to my mind are, “and dangerous.” Is Fox News still frightened by Mrs. Obama? First she makes that “terrorist fist jab” and now she’s “showing off her toned arms” all menacing-like?)

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.