Michelle Obama is on the cover of the March issue of Vogue which, of course, generates its own coverage (in part, I guess, because Obama is only the second American First Lady to appear on Vogue’s cover; Hillary Clinton was the first, in 1998 ). André Leon Talley, who wrote the accompanying Vogue article, explains at one point that “being the focus of [Michelle Obama’s] reassuring gaze is akin to hearing a chord from John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. Or maybe Ralph Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending: All is well and right and real.”

Another Talley observation: “First Ladies have always been held like specimens under a media microscope.”

Related headline: “Michelle Obama Looks Awkward On Her Vogue Cover.”

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.