PopCulturalist

Celebrities In the (White) House

Can you name all the famous people in this picture?

So far I’ve got Tracee Ellis Ross (love the shoes), Phylicia Rashad, WH Social Secy. Desiree Rogers and the First Lady, Michelle Obama, in this picture. And I *think* that might be Phylicia’s sister Debbie Allen in those awful orange pants, white blouse and hat in the corner there next to Ellis Ross. But I could be wrong.

Oh, and for no reason at all …

(More after the jump)

Michelle Obama addressing Women’s History Month (that’s what month this is?) in the East Room, Thursday, March 19.

And actress Kerry Washington. I forgive you for being near unwatchable “Lakeview Terrace.” That must have been director Neil Labute’s fault. It must’ve. I hope. Even Sam Jackson was kind of meh in that thing. Ruined what should have been an interesting premise.

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46 thoughts on “Celebrities In the (White) House

  1. Danielle Belton says:

    Side note: Tracee actually looks like she’s on a job interview at the White House. Auditioning to be Rogers’ assistant? To be the White House Fashion Secretary? The Fashionista-In-Residence? First daughter’s babysitter? Lord knows she hasn’t worked in a while. Times is hard out there for a blacktress. Even if Diana Ross is your mama.Her only acting role of note is a spot in a destined to go direct-to-video Lindsay Lohan film called "Labor Pains." Eh, it might come out in theaters … as counter-programming against Wolverine or something. It has a May release date. Other than that her imdb.com profile has her down as doin’ a whole lot of nothin’!

  2. The woman standing next to Desiree Rodgers is Google Vice President, Merissa Mayer. The women were there for a purpose other than to be judged for their choice of clothing. Let’s move beyond the superficial for a change, uplifting and inspiring girls and women is the goal.

  3. Tracee Ellis Ross always kills it with the fashion. That’s what happens when you have access to that fabulous vintage wardrobe that is Diana Ross’ closet. And yes that H.A.M. in the corner in the orange pants and baseball cap is Debbie Allen. Come on now girl. Show the White House some respect. As for ‘Lakeview Terrace", barely unwatchable nothing. Ridiculous. And Samuel L. Jackson was the main reason, in my humble opinion.

  4. Danielle Belton says:

    @ YvonneHey. My brain is still technically on vacation. I honestly had nothing to add to what was essentially a celebrity-filled photo op. But if you’ve got something substantial to add be my guest! :)

  5. Now yall know debbie has some clothes in her closet that are presentable at the white house. She ain’t like me suffering for funds…LOL she could have gotten her wig done too.

  6. Hey there Danielle!Thanks for the pic!! Tracee could NOT have gotten a job in the White House with a blouse THAT LOW cut!! The Monica Lewisky "hoochie wear at the White House" days are oooover. *LOL*I am still surprised that Desiree has not hired a stylist in Washington. They’re EVERYWHERE!You are correct…that looks like Debbie Allen…and I can’t believe she walked out of her house looking that way…I don’t understand why some one THAT old doesn’t understand the protocol of Washington.*shaking my head*

  7. Andrea says:

    I think Mrs. Allen was dressed that way to do the work she does. They were supposed to be donating their utilitarian talents–not their Photoshop talents or Auto-Tune talents to visiting schools to uplift young women. From what I know of Debbie Allen from taking workshops in theatre and having worked at one–a historical Black one, she came dressed to take her audience through her as the workshop. That is how you dress and she came as a craftsman. She is not just a dancer, she is an artistic director–The Visionary.I’ve never had the luck of meeting her or her sister so I am jealous of the little children who were so lucky to having the living history of the Ayers-Allen sisters in their company. They are true artists and for that, we can’t judge them on our superficial standards of today. Once on my first day of an acting workshop, we learned a complete dance and also went through this heritage training. We had to learn how to introduce ourselves and tell the person at the door who we were as in explaining that we were the daughter of so and so and the granddaughter or son of so and so and so and so. It was an exercise on seeing if we knew our roots and it was an exercise to see if we had pride for our legacy. It was also an exercise in our older culture diminished and removed. It was also a vocal exercise in performance. Debbie comes from that type of theatrical stock in training. She and her sister trained with people I know that taught more than just performance. They weaved heritage into it. So considering her dress in that photo, she was coming real as a proprietor of a theatrical business, an artist dressed, and she probably was coming to improv with all of her audiences if need be at the White House and the schools. She just had a run at the Kennedy Center. It was a children’s musical. I saw one of the past shows she produced with James Ingram as the musical director in the 90’s, I think it was. It was amazing. She is really a great visionary director of making a million things happen at once on a stage and keeping the story moving non-stop. I was so impressed because it was a Black woman doing what we hardly get to do.I love her to death. She gives back and she contributes. That is not what younger entertainers do. They have no ideas or creative capital that is comparable and yet people placate them like they are artists. Debbie is the real deal.

  8. Andrea says:

    Tracee Ross is one person that does not abuse her luck of nepotism and I adore her that. She really seemed to try to pay her dues and it shows in the soulfulness of her work. I’m happy to see her surface here but I would rather see her have more chances to abuse nepotism to make more art. I feel you, Danielle.

  9. mattie says:

    What’s wrong with showing respect for the WHITE HOUSE !! their is no way in this world if BUSH was still PRESIDENT, and he invited DEBBIE ALLEN to the WHITE HOUSE she would dress like that! this is all going to come back to haunt the OBAMA’S, those WHITE REPUBLICAN WOMEN are keeping up with everything MICHELLE doe’s, and it’s just a matter of time before they pounce on MICHELLE when it come’s to WHITE HOUSE PROTOCOL.MICHELLE need’s to learn how to stand, I love the FIRST LADY, but, she need’s to be more graceful, she is the FIRST LADY, and she is representing AMERICA, her HUSBAND and her PEOPLE, and she has to learn to make sure that, no one is allowed to make the PRESIDENT look COMMON! this was on the FIRST LADY’S watch, she need’s to get it together!

  10. Danielle Belton says:

    While Debbie’s outfit was "uncute" I don’t really think it’s that serious. I can remember there being a big kerfluffle a year or two ago over members of a champion women’s college sports team of some kind wearing flip flops to the White House. There has been a general overall casualing (if that’s even a word) of dress in America even in the most formal of settings. I don’t particularly care for it because I think there are some things you should still attempt to dress up for, but it really shouldn’t be surprising. As for Michelle’s standing, they take those photos at random. Unless you’re among the professional pretty class who make their livins’ trying to stay in the best light and look good even when being accosted by the papparazzi, it’s hard to think about what your body is doing at every minute of every second. For all we know she might have been super elegant two seconds before the photographer went with this shot of her chatting with the famous folk. I’m sure she’ll get more body conscious over time because of the awareness you develop when your photographed all the time (and the random criticism when you look less than elegant from all around). Or maybe she won’t. She is an adult. Old habits are hard to break.

  11. M says:

    Snob, I know this is your blog and I have mad respect for your writing but has there been ONE picture of Mrs Obama where she doesn’t look like she’s straddling a fence. Yes, Michelle has more important priorities. I could just do the unnecessary obscene jokes that are sure to follow. You know they are out there. I’m from the country and I use to hate the vulgar things that would be said about women and girls who were bow-legged. I don’t care for them to go mainstream (if you know what I mean).

  12. Kiye says:

    Okay. Some of these comments are bit harsh, some valid and others taken too seriously I believe. I would add my five cents to the comment on Debbie Allen’s attire (whom I have always loved) and say that whether it was Debbie or anyone else, there is a certain level of decorum associated with the White House that was obviously disregarded by Ms Allen.@ MI do believe that First Lady Obama is bowlegged hence the positioning of her legs in the pic. To reiterate what the Snob says, old habits are hard to break and of course she was never in the spotlight as such or perhaps never criticized about how she stands, so it may take some time for her to consciously adjust her leg positioning when doing so. Believe me though, I see where you are coming from because its not a "pretty" pic but hey thank goodness she had on pants…

  13. BluTopaz says:

    @ MAre there any pics of Michelle where she does not look like a big ol bowlegged country gal? How about the one posted underneath, or any of the countless photos from this blog alone? Or maybe even the pic you are referring to, where she is just standing with her feet about a foot apart…I’m still trying to see where the inevitable obscene comments may be coming from but I’m not from the country so maybe that’s why it escapes me.Anyway i still wonder if Desiree Rogers needs an assistant, and i never watched Girlfriends but i know enough about Tracee to still be jealous of her hair, vintage-y wardrobe and tiny waist. There have been more dynamic, beautiful Black women in the WH in the past 2 months than, well, never.

  14. Andrea says:

    Danielle…I noticed the way she stands since the campaign but I never commented on it because I thought it was physiological…like of issue because of something because of her hips or the entire structure of the bottom half of her body. I thought it was mean-spirited to comment on it but it does look freakishly out-of-place with what probably a lot of the posters were taught. I do know that my grandmother, great-grandma, and mother had to break me out of poor posture and leaning while for other cousins sway-back or rocking to on one hip. I saw teachers nag girls who claimed they were bow-legged to stop standing that way. And of course, we were trained to stop dragging our feet or walking hard or walking on hard on our heels. But I do notice that some people walk with a wobble who have wide hips but even a bow-legged woman can stand with their feet positioned more structurally feminine. The comments are not just mean because she is the First Lady. They are mean to anyone who are physiologically challenged like that. Michelle though seems to be able to control her stances but when she speaks, she falls into strandling. It is noticeable that she does not know what to do with her body and unfortunately because of her size, it is just more noticeable. I realize that maybe she is trying to shorten herself by lowering her trunk. If you notice in lots of pictures, her posture is poor. Her shoulders are relaxed. She is trying to shorten herself and that is most definitely what is voluntarily projecting her body to involuntarily recoil to these stances.I think the posters just sound like Old-School women and I actually like it because it shows that these young women had the fortunate luck of having elders teach them properly how to present with their bodies as women. The students I had from inner-cities were so thuggish and uncultivated that they exhibited that they were missing that social structure of having the social training of their bodies. That is what dance teachers also do as well as Girl Scoout troop leaders as well. It does seem odd that a professional woman can’t control that one proclivity of her gait and her carriage. But in this case, I think she has a habit of trying to shorten herself that produces this affliction for our eyes to notice.Your readers show a level of human capital that younger generations don’t have in simply knowing the value of intergenerational/interpersonal social engineering that our elders gave us girls and boys to notice these things in etiquette training.

  15. jazzypom says:

    Wow. Michelle Obama is bow legged one, so I can understand why she stands like that and two, I don’t think she did ballet or else it would be what, forth position all the time?I like the fact that the women are there to do their thing. Honestly, it would be easy for Michelle Obama to stay in the house, and not put herself out there. But she does so, and I am grateful to her for doing so.

  16. Christina says:

    Wow. I never knew that merely being bowlegged was such an "affliction" and a magnet for obscene comments until I started reading other people who call themselves Michelle Obama fans, talking about her. Interesting how the comments are usually couched in "what will other people (white?) say about her!" when really, I hear just as much criticism from people who claim to appreciate her.We are so hard on our own. She can’t stand right, can’t dress right, can’t do anything right, it seems. It’s amazing that she managed to go to Princeton and Harvard, bear two beautiful children and be the most important helpmeet to the most powerful man on the planet without all of us "helping" her and giving her hysterical, badly-punctuated advice with exclamation points and capital letters. How did she manage all that AND be bowlegged? Thank god we’re all here to offer our critiques.

  17. heather n says:

    Apart from her hands, Michelle isn’t standing any differently than Traci Ross. All this judgemental harshness? Get over yourselves!

  18. Nona says:

    Christina,I couldn’t have said it better myself. Who are all these people? What have they done? What have they contributed to life? Sheesh!!!

  19. Bianca says:

    The First Lady looks fine and the natural shape of her legs wouldn’t qualify her as bowlegged. It certainly is amazing the type stuff people throw out there…@ Christina…Oh, you didn’t know? Michelle can’t do anything right and if she keeps up she will ruin the chances of many brown-skinned Black women forever, as I’ve heard way too many times. I guess the only thing Ms. Michelle gets right is managing to keep her man, the President, grinning from ear to ear. Ugh!

  20. Danielle Belton says:

    I think there’s a lot of pressure and expectations for Michelle to be "perfect" 100 percent of the time. Which isn’t surprising because we are often told that we can’t be good, but great. Personally, I don’t know how much more "great" Michelle could be considering all her accomplishments. Which is why I think focusing on how she stands or her eyebrows or her other physical attributes are a little petty. All First Ladies were regular ol’ citizens before they became First Ladies. This isn’t like the British Royal family where they start grooming you to look and act regal, diplomatic and graciously entitled from the minute you squirm out of the royal womb. (And even then it sometimes doesn’t take. *cough* Prince Harry *cough!*)While people, including myself, make a big to-do over Michelle’s style and clothes, I think it’s obvious that Michelle has always been a brains-goals-life first person for whom fashion was an acquired skill she picked up to function in the world. It’s not a big goal of hers to focus her precious brain matter on what one would obsess over if they were a member of the Professionally Pretty Class or a former beauty pageant contestant or if they were raised by a strict, Southern grandmother who insisted that you ooze feminine grace at all times. And even if you are those things, there’s still no guarantee that it will take as there’s always a good chance your daughter will rebel against it as the archaic trappings of gender stereotyping. (Both myself and my oldest sister completely disappointed my prim and proper, "Southern Lady" mother when we chopped off all our hair, grew naturals and stopped wearing anything with a floral print or made of Rayon.)I honestly don’t think any of these superficial things are THAT big of a deal. I mean, it’s just clothes and standing. I could get all the "QUELLE HORROR!" if she was drunk at the inauguration or gave a speech littered with swears, but … I honestly just didn’t notice her body posture, other than she’s really tall so maybe she has to be mindful to not look imposing, which any tall woman or man can be. Other than that, I honestly don’t care. She’s thoughtful and smart and has gone above and beyond excellence professionally and personally. If she stands with her feet apart that seems like a pretty small thing in the sum of her whole being. But, as I said and others have mentioned, we are hard on our own and women are especially hard on other women. If you don’t exude grace and look flawless at all times, some people will interpret that to be a sin in itself. That you don’t deserve to be there. And even if you do look "perfect" people will still find some flaw in you because, unfortunately, you are human.There is also some remnants of the mindset among black Americans that if one of us looks out of place or is embarrassing it damns us all. I’d argue that this notion is pretty archaic as it doesn’t seem to matter whether black people are excelling or failing miserably, racial stereotypes still exist. One shouldn’t live their life feeling they have the responsibility to represent an entire race simply because the ignorant might use one individual as an excuse to base all their backwards views on black people.It’s just an awful, mind-numbing way to live.

  21. BluTopaz says:

    To Andrea:"Your readers show a level of human capital that younger generations don’t have in simply knowing the value of intergenerational/interpersonal social engineering that our elders gave us girls and boys to notice these things in etiquette training."All that to say, us young’uns need to obsess over our body posture at every waking moment of the day, or else we just don’t know how to present ourselves properly? And the etiquette training that you are referring to, was it the same process Jesse Jackson learned when he claimed he wanted to cut off Barack’s testicles? Or so many of the Old School women who, during the primaries, supported Hillary Clinton because of a myriad of reasons, did not want to see a Black man in the White House? On a personal note I will admit I understand somewhat of what you are saying: I’m not Michelle’s height but I am a tall woman who developed very early (not a good combo for a young, shy girl). I did not even realize that I had bad posture until an elderly Black women I never saw before snapped at me ‘girl walk with your head up, what’s wrong with you?!’ I was startled but did not pay atttention until it happened several more times, by relatives and other strangers. Now for whatever reason, I have been told that I have a darn near military posture. Guess my point is, ,how do we know that Michelle did not receive this same type of instruction from Mrs. Robinson, or other people who care about her? And why does it even matter? She has accomplished so much and inspires so many of all generartions, races etc. but you are focusing on her gait? And implying that with her level of education she should be walking otherwise? I am really glad younger generations are focusing on more relevant issues, and not this old fashioned criticism.

  22. M says:

    1. With the navel grazing plunge of her blouse, her killer stilettos and her "Hooker at the Point" stance, I really honestly don’t know what Tracey is selling or pursuing.2. I don’t understand the idea that accomplishment somehow eliminates the need for good posture. Normally I guess it wouldn’t. Standing up straight isn’t a job skill. But those of us who work in a cube, aren’t being billed as this generation’s answer to Jackie O. We are not being sold as the style icon of this generation. Can we have it both ways? I don’t know.I see good posture like I see good grooming. Would I consider a woman a style icon with hairy pits and calves? I don’t know. If she was consistently beautifully dressed with a full on mustache or goatee? I don’t know.

  23. Andrea says:

    Blu Topaz,What relevant issues are you focusing on? You can’t even comprehend reading passages. Don’t try to imagine I am criticizing her stance as a knock to her personality. Nothing I said about her slumped shoulders or sunken trunk affects in criticism of her personality or intellect. I never even criticized her. I MADE OBSERVATIONS. Read it again. Observations are not always criticisms. I made the point of mentioning that I was not certain if it was physiological. I noticed it way back in 2007 and never said anything. And I did think her carriage was "uneasy on the eyes". That is still my observation. There is no crime to having bad poster as a First Lady. There is no crime to anyone having bad poster but it looks bad when you can stand up straight and tall. And if you can’t like so many can’t that have physical disabilities that prevent them from walking tall and erect and standing tall and erect, it’s those things that are conditional that explain why people don’t and are understood as reason. Do you know what an observation is and the difference in which is a criticism? Don’t get mad at me Americans used to have etiquette training for all classes and color of people because it was a respected standard. And because of that and Michelle’s professionalism, one would think she knows and abides. And if she is not abiding, one would think it is an affliction of involuntary circumstance–not perrogative.And I never said young people had to worry about their posture all moments of the day–you did. Because you are trained to be mindful the exercise of diligence becomes second-hand that it becomes rote practicums. Do you know how to read? Do you know anything about anything or do you just start spouting without reading the nuance? I started talking about my value system and the common value system of our old-school heritage that shaped us to know how to present our body in public. Your body is special and it has a language it speaks for you whether you like it or not. Young people deserve the same rites of passage a lot of us got to understand these things because they count for you or against you. You also just need to appreciate your body and take pride in it as God/divinity shaped it. That is what older people will tell you when they say for you to stand up tall. They see something you can’t see and you need to see and feel and project with your body. People actually know who to rob by looking at body presence. It’s been studied. Are you angry you did not get this? That is understandable and you should be pissed but not at me. I just brought it to your attention. I’m just a messenger reminding us of what mattered and shaped us with value. And this issue is not whether or not Mrs. Robinson taught her or not. How did you reach that point in deduction that she did not? Or, are you putting words in my mouth that you think I am blaming her mother? Get the fuck outta’ here. I think if anything her mother taught her but she either had a physiological condition or she is just standing that way because of her perrogative to do for the same reason Danielle pointed out. I just wasn’t going to go there because people have already exalted this woman as impervious that they might not see her worried about her height, when clearly the evidence shows she is. She wears flats now most of the time but when started campaigning at first, she was wearing more heels. That also was when she was saying things people didn’t like. The heels then dissipated and flats came along more right along with the bad posture.Michelle is old enough to be cognizant of her own body and especially with such a statuesque frame, how could she not be aware or cavalier about it? That is why I said I suspected it could be a physiological challenge because I didn’t want to go there about her assistance to engineer a minimization for the public eventhough I do believe it so as a strategy plan put into place to make her more likable and less imposing. I did not say she had a social deformity. I said she had an affliction of maybe a physiological challenge because those are things you have no control of dictating. And if that is the case, there is nothing she can do even if she wanted to overcome it by standing tall with her feet balanced in positions within the length of her shoulder width. Noticing a physiological challenge is not a criticism. But maybe you just rather me remain blind, deaf, and dumb to not notice some peculiarities others too noticed? You would rather me basterdize the situation and all things Michelle and not notice what others too noticed because it was not cheerleading and fawning. Yeah. You obviously can’t read. I am talking about reading comprehension. Because of what I disclosed that I learned does not in any way say she did not get it too. And because many people who are older cherish and appreciate cultural heritage in etiquette training, we are not to be shamed because we take pride and are cautiously cognizant of space and our space. That is education. And as much as I said I never said anything public before that I already noticed of her carriage before since noticing it in 2007, I never said anything because it did not matter that much. It still does not matter as much until and except now photos rendering who she is presenting of herself is the focus of the lens. The lens is letting us know a profile of narrative. Photographers are only but focusing on the subject in power of the action. Her power of her action speaks in her body. Danielle read something else in the language I also suspected but could not prove in that she might be minimizing her presence from being so intimidating because of her height. You want us to not see what the lens is showing us that is speaking a parallel narrative in real-time from Michelle Obama. Your body speaks. The lens is not forgiving and the photographer is not making her stand or present a certain way. It’s not a set-up. It is archival history of real-time execution. I noticed it on stage several times. I noticed it Inauguration night with her drooping shoulders and I noticed it recently even in Stevie Wonders wife, Kai’s dress. All times I did not say anything. I mentioned now because I realized others noticed it too.Maybe you just don’t like me and you would rather find something to nitpick about and since Michelle is exalted, my observations are too close to what you see of a criticism. I did the wrong thing, naw. "No body betta not say nuthin bout Ms. Jankins. I luv me some Ms. Jankins!" No one (meaning me) is pushing that Michelle be a debutante nor any young Black children. You are reaching and are far off-base. You don’t even understand what I am talking about nor are you even warm. Our young people though are absent etiquette training and it shows. It shows up at my job with Blacks not getting the job because of it and us, Blacks at the job, noticing that the Black HR person asked the scouts and agencies to send Black candidates. And when the only Black Managing Director asks for Black candidates but they are coming lacking a lot, we, the Blacks at the job see our own not getting it that it had nothing with them being Black. It had to do with them just not knowing universal etiquette about a lot of different things that count more than just your resume. One may think that body presentation does not matter; well think again. People are sizing up how you will represent the company and confidence matters as well knowing how to be a good actor to lobby the organization is best because they sent the best to represent them. The way you walk or stand could clip you up because it tells a different story than what the company is selling. If you distract, you are marked. Your confidence is read in your body language but also people size you up on other idiocycracies. I rather see people master it rather than let something like their lack of knowing not give them the chance. Maybe Michelle still does not know what she is projecting like people that say "Uhm" when they publically s
    peak but "uhm" is not a part of their normal vocabulary. They are not used to the public sole focus and their bodies betray them by showing it in public.As for Michelle’s carriage being of observation to measure whether she would get a job or not is not the issue. I said all of that because the average person is not Michelle as she is now and Michelle probably was more watchful of her presentation when she was scouting jobs in the beginning of her career. She knows that game but this First Lady thing is OJT. Still, she is going through something similar in needing to present herself in ways that is understandable and universal. To a young person that doesn’t get it, they will think we are blowing it out of porportion. But even as First Lady there can be consequences called "film"…visual record you can’t photoshop. If people are lobbying that she innovate pushing women to start to stand like that and forget etiquette and decorum, then we are licensing a new way of life because Michelle Obama does it. We are giving her that much authority? well, that won’t fly in the real world. So my observation should become null because all that has and still is being universally taught around the world should be disregared. (The girls at Oprah’s school stand properly) I’m going to go work Monday and strandle my legs and if someone says anything, in which I know they will, I will say Michelle Obama is doing it.Michelle is not exempt from universal standards and I agree that the fashion criticism and whatever else is subjective. Somethings are just universal about decorum and you get all defensive for Michelle about something any of our co-workers would pull each other up on as well as they all are not raised in the South by old Black women pushing us to be acceptable for Whites. I work with a lot of New Englander schooled and Southern White elites that still are custodians of etiquette by proxy of the formulation of who wrote the standards in this country and universally. They have all had the same common cultural heritage shared in etiquette and rites of passage that most civilized races within society extend to their progeny so that their children can present themselves as civilized in universal understandings. In so many ways this issue of posture and carriage has more importance on those that know no better and will never know they need to know what could paint them fairly but fairly. Not knowing is not an acceptable excuse in a competitive world of universal standards as presets.Now…like I said before, maybe it is something physiological. Learn how to read. I don’t know what the hell you are inferring about Jesse Jackson and Hillary Clinton. What does that have to do with anything said? What?

  24. dukedraven says:

    I’ve been reading some negative comments about Michelle’s bow-legs. I think bow-legged women are sexy. Guys know that means.

  25. BluTopaz says:

    Andrea:Is this ignorant, hyper sensitive, profanity sprinkled rant more evidence of your generational etiquette training? And to be honest, I skimmed through it-not because I have problems reading, as your previous Miss Manners Race Woman Persona would like to believe. Sounds like you picked up a few thangs from the thugettes you like to talk about. It’s not about not wanting to hear negative comments about our First Lady, but I know that is difficult for some people to grasp.And re: reading comprehension, you can ignore the controversy surrounding the treatment of the Obamas by many of the Black old guard all you like. And I simply asked you if 1) was Jesse Jackson’s player hating remarks are an example of the special type of social instruction you feel younger Blacks should have and 2) if the large percentage of Black women who supported Clinton (and who said they would not vote for a Black man, for various reasons) were examples of the exalted group of sisterhood that received the high quality of social training that "the younger generations" don’t have the benefit of (you never said which age group this is btw: under 50? Under 60? -shrugs). But you have confirmed that whichever training you are referring to, you are sorely lacking in it your damn self. As far as not liking you: it’s hilarious that a grown woman would summarize one post and the sum of your response is: YOU DON”T LIKE ME! LEARN HOW TO READ! F- ALL Y’ALL, etc. And since you liked it so much the first time I’ll repeat it: if your hyper criticism of Michelle is an indication of this instruction, it’s a good thing there are Black people who don’t focus on the nonsense of Michelle’s walk, her stance, her hips, and how apart her feet are. It’s also lucky Obama did not have to depend on Black people to get in the WH, but that’s another topic. With MY social training I I don’t get into cyber cat fights with hysterical people; and I am not impressed with that old school ya’ll need book learnin’ bs. If you are unable to answer my questions without the meandering and irrelevant pop culture references, then simply say so, hon.

  26. Andrea Williams says:

    I am nearly speechless reading some of the comments. I never knew a woman who is photographed at times with her legs not closed tightly was such a danger to the race. I snarkily think we have had a whole tribe of AIG and other best and brightest types in all manners of positons who manage to steal or behave in less than honorable way and until the economy hit the skids the sheer moral wheeziness never brought forth a word. Yet, we dissect Michelle for being photographed in ways we think will I suppose bring hell on us as a people I suppose. No answers from me. But consider why black women whether it’s Rihanna, Michelle or just another not "important " sista girl have to lift up the sky. It would be nice if this same sense of care and perpetual concern of people’s behavior would extend ALWAYS to black men. Here we seem to accept a wide variety of behaviors and endless understanding. I don’t wish for Michlle to be treated like a doll but get a grip. Until I hear that there is a stripper pole in the midst of the White House I think some of us need to get a grip, a life and put forth as much energy on our own households vs. micromanaging others on "stuff" that’s barely worthy of a comment.

  27. Christina says:

    @Andrea who didn’t give a last name: your post was so long I didn’t read all of it. (So that means you don’t have to read this, of course.) I get the main point though, that you’re mad and you think all of us are wrong.What I resist is the idea that one particular perception of perfect posture and bearing is, is indeed "correct" or completely universal. Whatever faults anyone thinks Mrs. O may have, you can’t deny that things seem to have worked out well for her so far. A personal example: my mother wasn’t too happy when I started wearing locs, because she thought they weren’t professonal. She’s moved on, and so have I. I probably wear pants far more often than she does. I wear jeans to work on occasion. Styles change, times change. Not everything that our grandmothers drummed into our heads was gospel. I can tell just by the length of your post that this is something you feel passionately about. But my feeling is, Mrs. Obama has managed to be a pretty darn successful person without people on the sidelines judging her height, her posture, her legs, her eyebrows, her everything else. I don’t think she is presenting herself any worse than Laura Bush presented herself. So why are we so harsh? Maybe the next style icon of our generation can indeed stand with her legs apart on occasion, and wear flats.People seem to keep wanting to fit Michelle Obama into the box they think she should fit into. But maybe we’re the ones who need to work on adjusting ourselves to her.

  28. Andrea says:

    Blu Topaz and Christina,The observations have nothing to do with judging Michelle’s accomplishments. You all are connoting that. An observation is observing something. I observed she has poor posture. When the election started she was standing tall…and in heels. By the time she started pissing off the niche groups, she starting slumping. Time is everything. I then thought that maybe because she was suddenly focused upon, my eyes were noticing she really had poor posture. Uhm…interesting. Now it does not take a rocket science to figure out something changed or it was something my eys decieved me from the beginning of the election to the last.Now pertaining to cussing…I’ll do more than cuss and if you are offended, so be it. You can’t shame me. I am typidied as a bitch and I accept that role but in this case of accessing Michelle in my first comment, I was feeling empathy for her. Now with all this safeguarding through bastardization, I am not anymore. People can’t say anything but herald this woman and these people and if your OBSERVATIONS sound like a criticism, then you are to be exiled, reprimanded, and flogged. Get the fuck outta here! By reading your post, I wanted to litter with several cuss words because it was insane in what you were insinuating about Jesse Jackson and Hillary Clinton. I still don’t get how it relates.Jill Scott has this seque on her libe album where she says sometime you have to get ugly. I see what you want is to find me imperfect. I never said I was and I am not aiming to be because a lot of the things I do gets really ugly and dirty with "nice" people like you. You know if you watch two television shows, 24 and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, you might leran a little about how good people have to be the Bad Guys. Somebody has to do it. Somebody has to piss off others and push envelopes. I am happy to have pissed you off this far because it forces you think, Blu Topaz.And as for Michelle fixing her stance, she should–if she can. Damnit, I said it! I spoke out against the illustrious Michelle Obama who can do no wrong in accessing from the observation that if she does not have a physical affliction, she should close her legs because she stands like a cowboy…a dude.I found it peculiar that Sasha and Malia stand with so much grace and ownership of presence of their body. That skill is not natural. You don’t come out the womb with those little girl’s grace and carriage. You are taught that. Those little girls were taught that probably from their mother, their grandmother, and their schools. And that is etiquette training. Now how about them apples. Learning how to present yourself can be done standing in the kitchen cutting veggies next to your grandma that notices you posture is atrocious or by ladies at church seeing you lean in your church clothes. It could be the teacher watching you in line at the water fountain noticing you can’t stand still ever and maybe she noticed it during parent-teacher conference. Now how is any of that Pretty Girl elitist training when everyone USED TO get it from COMMUNITY that cared. If her daughters are obviously exhibiting what she or some other elder influencer is teaching in placement of gait and carriage, then how is it bad if the Obama girls are obviously doing it? Those girls stand and move like little business people which I would not be surprised is also had been cultivated with support by their dad as well. It is love. It is pride. Stand tall. Stand erect. Stand proper. Don’t distract unnecessarily because you want to be taken seriously instead of pre-judged. Now how is that wrong?And not knowing is not an acceptable excuse when in the moment. Jobs don’t train you. They just don’t let you in and you could have the credentials. I am not talking about jobs like at like, Verizon, as a cubicle member, where you can just come like you came from a club. An executive knows differently. I am talking higher stakes and maybe that is not where the readers level of knowing is at. I didn’t make the rules. I learned them though right along with the Hispanics and the Asians at the job. Somehow we all know the basics that are not race discriminatory. But if we are talking about teaching, then I have to agree, it does not matter how you stand or present yourself. I saw it as a teacher. If you are talking about being a civil servant–it does not matter as much. I was writing the post from knowing what the top dictates and I would think that her white shoe background and her peers know this because this is where they are.Don’t hate the messenger. Hate the message and get over it! You all made this as extensive of an argument by thinking I was ATTACKING Michelle when I was saying I was not sure if it was physiological. Reread. At my job there is one guy with physical disabilities and he arrives to all meetings late but he meets the mark in everything else. He does this because he has to to prove he is just like everyone else. The Black Community gets so use to wanting concessions and excuses that if someone does not meet the mark, it is the always the systems problem. I guarantee you that at the white shoe law firm she worked at she was not laxed with her legs. My buddy at work has one leg longer than the other and she told us she has to adjust her posture to not drag her leg. She does because she is capable of doing it. She is not wallowing in just not trying. As much as we all have short-coming we are supposed to work on them and not just expect the word to not expect us to because we didn’t have it fair.I wasn’t harsh on her. I am harsh to the thin-skin readers that can’t accept anything other than cheerleading. And I have had locs and went through the same thing and I have a bald head and went through the same thing. It is different in something universal as body presentation. If you are old enough, you would understand that is is about things exempt of race. It’s about effort. Have you ever looked at older pictures of Americans and Blacks, especially. They had afflictions but they walked taller. I loved the photos of Michelle when her shoulders were back at the beginning of the election. She looked distinguished and certain. All of it is tied together. And I guarantee she knows all of this because her babies exude the confidence she is not exuding as much as she used to in that atature of hers. Get mad at Michelle–not me for noticing.And just because she is First Lady is not going to exempt others from the universal law. It may not matter to you but it matters. It is unspoken judgement. And if my 2 co-workers can put in more physical determination, then we who are perfectly healthy have to meet the bar of measure too. So no…I am not retracting or backing down about my observation that my eyes physically noticed. I cannnot not notice something because it is unfavorable to the narrative. That is what we Black People do to bastardize our realities. The reality is: something is going on and maybe it is just as deep as something like newness to not knowing how to present herself as center focus the entire time when cameras are archiving her every move or she has a physiological affliction. For that I understand both and said it. You want me to suffer for not overlooking, sugarcoating, or whitewashing what is.

  29. Andrea says:

    And Christina,I wasn’t mad. I was annoyed that Blu Topaz can’t comprehend the passage.This is a generational issue in itself because even Danielle assumed the commentators were pushing some prissy mandate when that is not what, at least I was not pushing. I hate, hate, hate elitism but I respect decorum, culture (class), and heritage. I didn’t read that the other women who said anything were pushing prissy mandates either. And I didn’t read the women were against Michelle when they said what they said. But there is this scary plac we are in with the thought police that intimidates you to feel bad for pressing your counter opinion. I had nothing to do this weekend so I have time to basically do some Serena Williams hits back and forth. If I was busy, I would have probably let it go. (I’m telling you my transparency so you can see)There was reading incomprehension there too of generational lapse in disconnect where there is no synapse connecting us to see the tone of the comments. I was annoyed–not mad and even when I cuss it usually is annoyance–not anger. It is a problem when younger people think people are angry when they are annoyed. Identify emotions correctly is essential in communications. I feel more frustration over issues in the Black Community that have to do with breakdown and disconnects in systems and I think your post and Blu Topaz as well as Danielle’s proves we are have breaches in connectivity. No one talks about it though in academy to bring it to the mainstream. I just read someone’s comment on another blog deride the professor for what is the commentator’s observation that Northern Blacks read things differently. The comment was directed to her to debunk her position. And there lies the disconnect I see because I moved from the South to the North to learn alot more than just people that may not have lived in drastically different places and time periods. I think people are getting tired of the thought-police and being held hostage to it. And for us, the thought-police has become the young people who don’t know enough to be that arresting. I feel like I can’t get off the island with the Lord of the Flies.The 70’s was different from the 80’s and so on. Even my attitude is generational. I come from a place and time in the South that did not hand-hold, that took risks, showed they cared even if it pissed off others, and was proud. Where we are now is totally different with older generations out-of-style. I have not even made it to middel-age yet but I am a dinosaur.It’s now upon the older generation to salvage and try to reconnect all of us with some centralized cultural heritage missions and themes or we will be a people completely evolving to allow the youngest to dictate what is. This is not the younger people’s fault by the way. It is the failure of elders to leave younger people alone to see the world alone and rely on that reality even though it is constantly fleeting.I’m so sorry. I wish I could share more with you so you could see at least to know what is missing. You deserve that. I am pissed for you that our elders allowed one generation to ruin us and disconnect us all from each other that when we engage we can’t even read our emotions clearly or we assume things because we don’t know enough from where the other is framing. There is no way a civilization can survive healthy with these types of systems in disconnect.Andrea

  30. Christina says:

    Andrea, you keep talking about how people are reading into your comments, but you’re doing a lot of reading into others; comments yourself. Concessions? Cheerleading? Not meeting the mark? Exactly what mark is Michelle not meeting, in your opinion? She went to great schools, became a professional, a wife, a mother, and you’re moving the goal posts because she doesn’t stand up straight enough? That’s incredible. This goalpost moving is something we complain quite a lot about when it’s white people doing it to black people, and now here we are doing it ourselves. You’ve written hundreds of words now about her POSTURE and how we should all get on board with you on that issue. Not about her initiatives or anything of real importance. My issue is not about cheerleading Michelle Obama; I guarantee that Michelle Obama doesn’t care about your opinion of how she stands. Nor does she care about my opinion of how she stands. What I care about is this idea that a woman of proven success somehow has more to prove because she wears flats too often or needs to stand up straighter — again, in your opinion, because I honestly don’t see all the posture issues that seem clear as day to you. However, it makes me laugh to think that any of us can come to all these definitive interpretations of Michelle based on a few pictures that show only the barest snippet of her life. You seem to feel like you’re being righteously persecuted for your beliefs here, like you’re some great messenger speaking truth to power or something. You can hold any opinion you want. But these are still just your opinions, not God’s truth.I swear, reading these threads makes me despair for women wanting to enter public life. And yes, as a black woman, I do feel a desire to support her as long as she is doing worthy things. It’s one thing for Michelle to get bashed by Democrat-haters and racists. That goes with the territory. But the constant drip-drip-drip of criticism from ALL sides would have me just staying inside all the time. She’s a stronger woman than I am, for sure. Maybe by the end of Obama’s first term, she’ll be standing up nice and straight, but doing nothing more than staying in the background smiling, because she knows when she tries to do anything of real importance, there’ll be a crowd of people to tell her how she’s doing it wrong. That would be a real loss.

  31. BluTopaz says:

    Andrea (aka Crazy Pants Lady):Another fragmented, nonsensical monologue with the voices arguing in your head? And believe me, BluTopaz thinks it’s a good thing she cannot "comprehend the passage" of someone who has run low on meds! But another thing I will say about our First Lady is that she seems to take everything in stride. If she can handle the slings and arrows of the GOP wingnuts any criticisms of her from another section in the peanut gallery is certainly not on her radar. And somehow she is thriving, no matter how much you try to detract from her. Your logic(?) is that someone needs to stand tall to project their confidence, strength, in order to succeed-well what have YOU done that has surpassed or even equaled Michelle’s accomplishments, since you are the posture police? Seems like the lady has done very well for herself and guess what, if her husband and children don’t have a problem with her ‘standing like a dude’ (jeezus) then who are you besides a raving lunatic?

  32. M says:

    Don’t despair Andrea (without a last name). I understand your position. Michelle is an accomplished woman who happens to stand like a dude: hunched over with her legs wide open. It is what it is. That’s not to take away from what she has accomplished or what she will accomplish in terms of service to her country.However, as a style icon…..

  33. Noelani says:

    Totally agree about Lakeview Terrace, what disappointment, but Ms. Washington looks nice in this pic (as usual). Phylicia Rashad is looking fabulous!!! Wow, I could only hope I look that good at her age.

  34. politicallyincorrect says:

    you damn righ Lady M. Posture this and posture that.Is it really that serious? If thats all that person is worried about no wonder the first black presiden and first lady didn’t come from that upper class Jack and Jill set, they are so caught up in imitation of the wealthy.

  35. politicallyincorrect says:

    What has Tracey Ellis Ross done besides Girlfriends and a small role in that Queen Latifah movie. I don’t understand my sistas fascination with her. Mya gets more roles than she does. She doesn’t look she is on a job interview with that low cut v neck.

  36. M says:

    I’m not from the Jack and Jill set. I’m as far from as you can be but it’s just my personal belief that bad posture ruins your presentation. You can have on a great outfit but if you are slumping, or you can braid the hair on your legs, or whatever, it’s takes something away.Not for nothing, I’ve noticed that when Mrs Obama wears heels (not those matronly kitten heels, but at least a couple of inches), her posture does seem that bad. Unfortunately she favors flats. That’s her business.

  37. I love that Michelle is wearing flats. It send a message to people — all of us, not just young women — that women can wear flat shoes and still be taken seriously.

  38. politicallyincorrect says:

    Why do women look at other women so hard? I swear some women point out things about other women I don’t even notice. In casual contact I look at people I don’t inspect them

  39. Ona says:

    The bow legs come from malnutrition at an early age. It’s one of the drawbacks from being raised in a poor family. Her lower body is thicker than her upper body, but that can be fixed with training. She wears the wrong clothes all the time because even though she has earned her elite status, she still resents the people who she felt inferior to when she was poor, and subconsciously does not want to look like them. At the same time, she overcompensates for this by trying too hard to dress up, and ends up choosing clothes with sequins and crystals on them, that make her look like some poor black girl who stole her clothes from the factory at the end of a long working day. That said, she has a gorgeous complexion, beautifully toned arms, and she should absolutely show them off. I think she wears too much makeup and it makes her look plastic. I suggest less foundation, darker, matte lipstick (not that flesh tone shiny crap that makes her look scary), and softer eyebrows, as the arch in her brow muscles makes her look really mean. The End.

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