Dear readers, I bring you another gem of howlingly stupid “journalism.” Read on, so that we can all feel smart and accomplished and unanimously delight in the knowledge that we never would have written it ourselves. To wit: a mean girl body snark that takes me right back to the 8th-grade lunch room, courtesy of the Boston Herald’s columnist Lauren Beckham Falcone. The subject, not surprisingly, is everyone’s favorite gorgeously toned alpha female, Michelle Obama and the sleeveless outfits she favors.
“Welcome to the Pennsylvania Avenue gun show. No Smith & Wessons. Just dips and curls.
And really, who needs this kind of pressure? When we mentally tally our take of the economic stimulus package, who is salting away cash for health club fees and personal trainers? Anybody?
And not for nothing, Mrs. O – it’s February. Going sleeveless in sub-zero temperature is just showing off. All due respect.”
Oh Lauren, shut the fuck up. All due respect. Since when is Michelle Obama applying “pressure” on you? She likes to be healthy. Maybe the fact that both her father and her mother-in-law died young makes her take exercise seriously. Maybe she wants to burn off the stress of a major life transition and being in the spotlight 24-7. But whatever her reasons, I can guarantee that Michelle Obama’s is not exercising to show off, not for you or anyone else. That “pressure” you’re referring to is your own insecurities telling you to get off your fat ass and lift some weights so you can look as fit as Michelle.
But you really have to stick around for the end!
Probably realizing that she couldn’t run a column that was 100% girl-on-girl violence, Lauren tries to spin in some relevant facts about working out, just in case her readers might actually want to get fit, either to look like Michelle Obama, or, hopefully, because it’s good for their health. She even runs an intelligent quote from a personal trainer:
“A lot of women are afraid of strength training because they’re afraid they’ll bulk up, but I think Michelle Obama shows you can be toned and strong at the same time.”
But the following line–which is the conclusion of the column–is pure self-hating gold. In fact, it clearly reveals Lauren Beckham Falcone’s motivation for writing the entire piece:
Good for her. But for the rest of us, perfect pipes are just pipe dreams. Contrary to her husband’s message: We are quitters. At least when it comes to going sleeveless.
Ahhhhh….wasn’t that cathartic? Don’t y’all just wish you had a column like Lauren, so you could inflict all your self-loathing and body image issues on the reading public under the guise of “journalism” about the First Lady? There’s probably a bigger story here about female jealousy and self-hatred, and how women judge themselves based on the attention other women receive. But this column is just too petty, too small-minded and self-hating, to be the right launchpad for that kind of intelligent discussion. I don’t want to dignify it with thoughtful analysis.
Instead, just to stoke Lauren’s self-hating rage, I’m gonna throw in this fabulous Vogue cover of Michelle and her beautiful arms. Enjoy.