Michelle and The Girls In London

Um. No comment on the outfit. (Although Alice Olins at the UK’s Times Online has a ton to say.)

(T)he appliquéd tunic has the air of Malia or Sasha’s art class about it and sure, it does nothing for her hips – all that extra fluff and detail around the middle adds bulk to her usually smooth lines. But when did looking trim become part of a visit to Westminster Abbey?

Read about them going to the Lion King, the Harry Potter set and a Pub. Read about how Londoners are feeling the love. See a slideshow here.

But while some may be riled up about the … err … colorfulness of this outfit, do you want to know what’s really pissing me off?

More on what’s pissing me off after the jump!

Ooo. Big Bad Michelle is going to get you! Only she’s NOT!Trend that is annoying me: I realize that this is just fodder for people who despise the Obamas, but it really annoys the crap out of me when some bloggers or FOX News, in this case, single out one photograph of the First Lady not smiling and pour all over it like nutjobs to ascertain what bitchery this could mean. There was one picture of Michelle appearing to glare at Carla Bruni during the D-Day ceremony out of the millions of pictures of them smiling that everyone has obsessed over. And I’ve had to read ridiculous criticisms from FOX doing caption contests that lead to racist and sexist comments to celeb blogger Sandra Rose chastising the First Lady for not smiling more (what is the woman supposed to do? Tattoo a grin on her face?) to even the Huffington Post getting in on the cattiness. What the hell, people? Michelle Obama smiles all the freakin’ time. It is not humanly possible to smile in EVERY. DAMN. PHOTO. It is ridiculous to sit there and scrutinize the one effing photo where she is not smiling.

I mean, this is how the majority of the press pictures of her in Europe have looked.

Quelle horror! With the smiling and the waving and the general niceties! Sacre bleu! Who does this woman think she is? The wife of some kind of head of state? Doesn’t she know that no matter how pleasant she is people are going to find the one frowny photo in the photo array and pour over it meticulously and hold it up as proof that black women are mean, mean, mean? Or more importantly, that THIS PARTICULAR BLACK WOMAN is mean, mean, mean?

I mean, this stereotype pisses me off personally because myself, my sisters and my mom, as well as many of my friends and relatives HAPPEN to be black women. And we HAPPEN to not be loud, mammy harridans screaming at people, frowning all the time. Quite a few of us are pleasant, intelligent Southern ladies (like my Arkansas born mother and cousins). Others of us are brainy, plucky Midwesterners (like myself and my sisters). What the hell is WRONG with people?

I get that they don’t like Michelle. Don’t find her attractive. Whatever. But geez Louise. Flipping out over one frowny photo is maddening to me.

Shut up, blogs!*

*That aren’t mine or ones that I like!

19 thoughts on “Michelle and The Girls In London

  1. long time lurker here – love your blog! I’m pretty annoyed at this too. It’s fairly obvious (in the non-smiling Michelle photo above) that no one else is smiling either. In fact, most of the non-smiling photos are Mrs O in mid-sentence, obviously listening to someone or looking curious (which is what the above photo says to me). But you know Fox, they need something to complain about; and the more absurd, the better it fits their style.

  2. Snob, watchu’ know about folks from Arkansas? Lawd, we might be kin or "peoples" as my granny likes to call the fam. Anyway, I totally agree with you. Why do black women always have to fall into some type of category? Why can’t I look or express myself the way I feel without there being 50-11 points of view on it? Can’t we just be complex human beings? Damn, CAN I LIVE?The Times also better live Madam O alone. Us "Michelle Stans" will cut any and everyone who even THINKS about criticizing the First Lady.

  3. The attached comments from FOX are too disturbing for words….I’d like to beat some of those people with their evolutionary ladders. As for Michelle, this is such a joke. Its a perfect example of people without an "idea" bullet in their chambers deciding to throw rocks. They can’t attack O on the issues so they take the low road and go for his wife. Its one photo taken completely out of context and used as red meat for the ReThugs. The problem is, once she starts asserting herself on particular issues…they’ll wish that all she did was frown and stare. Keep poking at her at your peril…Precious and the Widowmaker ain’t nothin’ to mess with!

  4. @ TamaraMy mother is from the grand town of Newport, AR. There is sometimes a very subtle pro-Arkansas slant to the blog because of this and the many summer vacations I spent at Granny n’ Grandpa Snob’s home in there. Almost all my cousins are from there (save the ones from The Chi). And we’re a huge, HUGE family. (The grandparents had NINE kids.)

  5. it’s really a shamebut it doesn’t matter what the first lady does there will always be who complainhaven’t we seen pictures where president Obama doesn’t smile?these pictures are seen as serious and commandingbut when it’s the first lady they are seen as mean and angryit comes from people thinking she doesn’t deserve to be the first lady and if you catch a person smiling all the damn timesomething is wrong with them

  6. That shirt is beyond tacky…but she wears a lot of tacky stuff so what else is new. As far as the pics are concerned…that just comes with the territory. This whole notion of trying to make black women out to mean or angry or superstrong…isn’t anything new. I’m sure Mrs. Obama doesn’t care, because if she was hung up on what people thought about her she would have hired a better stylist a long time ago.

  7. @Snob,Got it! My dad’s "peoples" are from Forest City and STILL have acres and acres of farmland. My dad is determined to move back for his retirement, but he’ll have to avoid a roundhouse kick to the face from my mom first.

  8. Dang, girlfriend can’t get a break! Don’t these morons know that these photographers have cameras that can take dozens if not hundreds of pictures a minute so obvioulsy since the woman is moving around, there will be instances where a split second might just catch her with a frown, or no smile. Except maybe for Hillary, I’ve never seen a First Lady so nastily treated, especially when she is just doing the usual First Lady stuff, not doing policy (which I didn’t see as so bad with Hills but whatevs). Man o Man. The racism that people are happy to show now that there is a black prez. It is funny though that everyone says we are past racism b/c the Obama is President we can see the pockets and cranies of sick racism that are still out there.

  9. I love Michelle, she stands for everthing I believe in, I love even her sense of style. But my goodness, why in Gods name did she wear that. What is it? Why would her husband, staff and friends and family let her walk out like that.

  10. Danielle, This stereotype that black women are angry, bitter, and mean needs to be buried in the ground because it is played to death and tired. The thing that makes it soooo ridiculous is that this is the one picture that they bother to make a big deal about. What about the picture of the First Lady being welcomed by her great aunt in law that happens to be white, I mean that woman was ecstatic and seemed overwhlemed in happiness just to greet her great neice-law that happens to also be the first African American First Lady. The media is at it again, I see. If it is not reducing Michelle down to her clothes, it is accusing her of being mean, angry, and bitter.

  11. Yes the outfit is not my favorite but it really doesn’t matter what I think about her taste in clothes. I love the fact that she is such a positive example for black girls and girls in general yet the media keeps trying to twist her into a negative person. She is the prime example of working hard and still managing to be there for her husband and kids. She doesn’t need to please me always with her choice in clothes, if she just keeps on being a wonderful influence as far as giving back that is all that we should need from her.

  12. I don’t love the florals but will defend Michelle’s right to wear it, and whatever else she wants to put on! Yes, that pic of her appearing to glare at Bruni irritated me too. But Michelle is above the fray.

  13. She was at a D-Day memorial, an event remembering a horrible, horrible day in world history when tens of thousands of people died and she’s still supposed to have some huge shit eating grin on her face? Inappropriate much!

  14. OK, I am just mad that YOU know what Sandra Rose said!!!! She does not count…how hard did you have to look to find that one? LOL…..sooooo irrelevant that Sandra Rose is.

  15. Yes I love everything Michelle stands for, she’s an exceptional role model and all, but… I can’t keep quiet. I have to say something. Good Lord. What the hell is that?! Looks like somebody got dressed in the dark.

  16. Michelle knows exactly what she’s doing and I ain’t made at her. She is determined to be a free Black woman, unfazed by racism, sexism, envy and all other prejudices directed toward her. Michelle is in full control of her image and will not be silenced or boxed into some unauthorized illusion of who we the people think she is, what she should be and how she should look. Michelle with every perceived "misstep" is breaking the mold, a very calculated effort on her part. I applaud her. She’s a genius!

  17. I won’t go over to Fox… No!But, Drudge apparently linked to the Times of London Wedding Cake Stack story, and man oh man… The haters are out. Not as wacky there as Fox because I think the Times actually moderates comments, but still. They cannot leave off bitching on even the most light-heartiest of stories on the Obama family. The outfit finds me a little verklempt ’cause I wanna like it, but it’s a little auf. HOWEVER, with minor adjustment to the tunic and with white skinny jeans or a pencil skirt it would be a perfect wow.

  18. I’m not going to go there on the Mrs. O is mean thing b/c it is so passé. However, I think sometimes Michelle wears things she know will tick people off. I know she knows this outfit was bad; Stevie Wonder knows its bad and yet she wears it. I think this b/c if she had worn the tank and the belt with the sweater the outfit would have been an A but I think she had the skirt on just to tick people off. I think she does this when she doesn’t want to be seen as a clotheshorse all the time. Still, she looks great with her hair pulled up.

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