mrs-o

Never in my lifetime have I seen a First Lady’s butt held under a microscope quite like Michelle Obama’s. The FLOTUS was famously criticized for her “large posterior” by Wisconsin Republican, Rep. F James Sensenbrenner, who later apologized. In the same vein, conservative radio jockey Rush Limbaugh refers to her as Michelle “My Butt” Obama. The latest man to take issue with Michelle Obama’s backside is high school football coach Bob Grisham, who is recorded by one of his students saying “Fat butt Michelle Obama. Look at her. She looks like she weighs 185 or 190. She’s overweight.”

Some may try to explain away the criticism of Mrs. Obama’s posterior as backlash from her “Let’s Move” campaign and focus on healthy living. But our First Lady has covered several fitness magazines, is praised for her toned upper body and has been televised doing consecutive pushups and planting a kitchen garden at the White House. By most standards, she is in great shape especially when one considers she’s nearly 50 years of age.

Naysayers may also cite that Michelle Obama is not the first FLOTUS to be criticized for her appearance. Recently, Hilary Clinton was the subject of several crude remarks for her “cankles.” But why the obsession with Mrs. Obama’s butt?

These negative comments on Michelle Obama’s butt seem steeped in racism. Butts, going back to Hottentot Venus  (a woman from what is now South Africa whose naked body and pronounced posterior were paraded in shows throughout 19th-century Europe according to The Washington Post), are racialized as a symbol of black womanhood and as such, it’s the subject of extreme fascination and criticism. The attacks condemning her butt unsurprisingly come from conservative white men, who may perceive it as an unwelcome reminder of her “otherness.”

What are your thoughts, Clutchettes? Why the consistent criticism of First Lady Michelle Obama’s posterior? When will it cease?

Source

  • Mademoiselle

    It has nothing to do with fitness. They’re just mad that she’s not obsessing over making her body look like she was born white. No one has a problem with black bodies — they have a problem with black people not having a problem with their bodies. Watch any bully, and you’ll see they get angrier when their victims don’t believe they’re as inferior as the bully tries to make them seem. If it wasn’t her butt, it would’ve been something else (those coveted arms, her height, her hair, it doesn’t matter).

  • Yb

    White folks are really grasping for anything to use attack Michelle, and they are so dumb they attack something many black folks find very attractive.

    Do they not realize saying she has a big butt is seen as a compliment to many? I’m sure whenever some say Michelle has a big butt Obama smiles to himself and says, “Yes, she does. :)”

    These white conservatives mocking (obsession with) of Michelle’s backside seems like some twisted way of voicing their desires.

  • True

    i don’t ever hear about this garbage until YOU ALL talk about it.

  • Maggie

    Maybe you should pick up a newspaper sometime because this is not a secret or anything that clutch dug up.

  • http://gravatar.com/flyawyerchick flyawyerchick

    That’s weird because its always on the news….esp if Limbaugh says something ridic and that dummy in Wisconsin that nobody cares about…

  • CAB

    Why he looking anyway? He must like it! Hmph!

  • True

    i am too interested in gun policy and the prison industrial complex to let this be a blip on my radar. stop giving it so much damn airplay. all this is doing is perpetuating rush’s idiocy. the fact that you care what any of those racist pigs say is detrimental to your reading public. unless you are invested in this type of chatter. how bout devoting a piece to shirley chambers? there’s a current event…christ.

  • Yb

    You could always create your own blog and news media outlet to talk about the things you want. You don’t send checks to Clutch nor are you a paid writer for them.

    Sorry True, but clutch doesn’t revolve around your wants, desires, and ideas of information sharing.

    You are nothing more than a page click and a view count. Get over yourself.

  • Chillyroad

    I hope this shuts up theTalented 10th Negroes once and for all. It doesn’t matter if you are not ghetto, a single mother, a thug, a high school drop, or live in the Projects. It isn’t who you are. It is who you are not ,i.e white. Until you ARE white you are always going to be hated. You can be a adorable Cosplay black woman with a body to die for, a character in a fictional movie The Hunger Games or the FLOTUS. You are hated. You don’t negotiate with hate. You don’t speak better English you don’t date a white person you don’t attempt to distinguish yourself from those other Negroes you dont beg to be represented on their shows because it doesn’t work.

  • nettrice

    Two words: hottentot venus (images like these stay with people)

  • True

  • True
  • Davy

    I think her “Butt” is MAGNIFICENT!
    There is nothing wrong with her rear, A woman should have a nice round butt and wide hips. Seems peeps are just jealous. Of course I may be biased, as a white man married to an African woman.

  • Nadell

    Why the consistent criticism of First Lady Michelle Obama’s posterior? …..JEALOUSY! Plain and simple. These men are jealous their wives do not possess a banging body like First Lady. Mrs. Obama is fine ok!
    Her curves are naturally hers. Not a nip, tuck, injection or implant has been performed to create & maintain her curvaceous body. Which is all the more reason so many stay pressed!

  • I got sense!

    LOVE THIS COMMENT!!!

    This is what black and latino Americans, today, really need to get into their heads. I completely get why our parents, grandparents, and greatgrandparents may have gone down the, “I’m one of the good ones” route but today there is no such path. Even we you don’t commit any crimes we still get shot down like a rabid dog. Even when we work hard to take care of our bodies, families, and careers we are nothing more than our back sides. Smh, the only approval we should be looking for is from ourselves.

  • AM

    you berra say that brotha!

  • eat healthy

    That is a big ass!!! Lay off the Popeye’s chicken!!!!

  • http://yahoo.com Marcius E. Chester

    The World has so many problems going on right now and all you think about is how big the first lady’s behind is. I for one don’t care about it. And long as she and the President are happy that’s all that counts. Use you’re time to post meaningful articles that will benefit the readers and help people.
    Thank you
    Marcius E. Chester
    Van Nuys, CA

  • Ann

    I honestly never noticed her butt, is it larger than normal or “normal” by black standards?

    Historically white men have always criticized the natural curves and voluptuousness seen on black women for the same reason we’ve always been pegged as hyper-sexual – we’re different from white women. This mentality goes back hundreds of years to the inception of slavery when black women were constant victims of sexual attacks by white men who wanted to assert their power but also had sexual desires that went unfulfilled by their wives. As a result we (black women) were pegged as whores for things that were entirely out of our control i.e. shapely figures, large lips, full busts and rape.

    It seems that people look to criticize Mrs. Obama for trivial things because she’s the ideal first lady and she’s black. If she were white, this criticism wouldn’t be happening. So far she has done an amazing job with her battle against childhood obesity while raising two children and maintaining a marriage to the most powerful man in the world. If you ask me she’s a wonderful role model for women – strong, intelligent, poised and absolutely gorgeous. Who cares if her butt is big? That’s just the way God made her.

  • http://gravatar.com/childrenandliterature mikki

    The focus on Michelle Obama’s butt IS the result of sexism and racism point blank. Everyone needs to focus instead on her intelligence rather than her beautiful clothes and her effortless style. It is up to BLACK WOMEN writers to shift the focus but sadly most of the articles in Black women’s magazines don’t focus on FLOTUS as an intellectual being, rather it’s always about her being a paragon of style, fitness, etc. This is NOT to excuse the insanity and ignorance of the comments about her butt, and she is certainly a wonderful holistic representation of Black beauty. However, we have many mediums and modalities for countering these comments and it’s up to us to exercise them. It also does not help when there is so much ignorance on realities shows that perpetrate conversations about Black women’s butts and then correlate them with animals e.g. “donkey booty,” “stallion booty.” Black women cannot think that this is okay and cute and not be outraged by that ignorance, not to mention that you cannot turn on a major radio station without constantly hearing raggedy hip hop artist talk about our butts or for Beyonce to have a major national stage and choose bootylicious out of all her banging hits . Please… quite frankly, it has to be wrong all the time…

  • Iwo Rivera

    Envy!!!!!!

  • LadyP

    @Chillyroad

    This!

  • KR

    Interesting how this is framed as “Conservative” White Men as if they’re attracted visually to different women than Liberal White men. lol Do “Liberal” White Men have a thing for Big women or Black women? They all say the same thing……. just not in public.

    Last time I checked Liberal White men still control the entertainment (movies, TV, radio) industry.

  • Chillyroad

    Davy

    We already know that. Tell ya homies, not us.

  • Chillyroad

    I remember at the height of Jennifer Lopes mainstream career the entertainment media kept going on and on about her butt. I thought it was both weird and insulting.

  • Dee

    Oh this is new, White men scrutinizing black women’s bodies. Never thought i’d see that happen.

  • Kay

    I really don’t think her butt is that big. She looks healthy and is actually more fit than some women, Black OR White that are younger than her. I think the media just wants to pick a bone with her. I mean who could possibly be angry that she wants the country to be healthier, especially seeing as we have an obesity problem that is hitting our country hard. It’s not like she’s 200+ with a BMI that is an obscene range. She is advocating healthy eating without having to starve yourself and be anorexic or bulimic. The White racists on Capitol Hill are just mad that they have tons of crazy skeletons in their own closets and the only thing they can probably find out about her is that she eats ribs every now and then.

  • Kam

    It’s true, unfortunately there is no social benefit in the larger society for Blacks to be “good”. (Whites would have us believe that by pointing to Asians as the model minority, but Asians are heavily discriminated against in mainstream culture.) That’s why I see no desire to change my name, hair or cultural interests to fit in. I do however, think there is a benefit of being “good” for ourselves as a community. That is, we should be focusing on strengthening ourselves for our children and grandchildren’s sake. When we do things we should ask ourselves, “How will this affect our children? Will their mental health be uplifted by this?”

  • Wanda

    The FLOTUS is in amazing shape.

    I work with white male gym teachers every. Not exactly rocket scientists, ya know.

  • Treece

    There are a large number of White men (usually middle aged or older) who care nothing for the typical body shape of Black women. They like thier women rail thin and flat-assed. This is not new. Only a handful of younger White men have come to appreciate a round butt in recent years b/c of the popularity of hip-hop culture and so forth. We live in a country where White men set the standard. If White men think you’re fat, you’re fat. What White men think is attractive becomes attractive to the majority. Even some Black men are beginning to succumb to some of the beliefs and ideals White men have about the female form and weight (except the ass). Men like Rush Limbaugh and this high school coach (who is a NOBODY as far as most American citizens are concerned) just need a reason to rail against Black women because they are threatened. Black women are in a position right now that b/c we are making educational, financial, and political gains, White men (and women too) feel threatened. They want to speak out and put us “in our place”. One way they do it is through the whole “fight against obesity” campaign. Since Black women have notably been singled out for being a part of that notoriously overweight demographic, and Ms. Obama has spearheaded that campaign since she arrived in office, what to do but criticize her non-rail thin body (I think she looks great btw). Not to mention that she is the wife of thier arch nemisis, President Obama. The whole thing is just sick…..reaks of sexism, racism, asshole-ism….just ugly and pointless. Much like Rush Limbaugh.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    As my mom always told me, if your last resort is to attack someone base on their appearance then you CLEARLY ran out of stuff to say and criticize them about. Clearly her husband has no problem with her butt and probably would give an epic side eye that his wife’s butt is on the mind of these men. Furthermore, Michelle Obama is far from overweight, the FLOTUS is one year from 50 and still slaying women her age and half her age. And I so agree with the fact that the first attack on black women’s appearance is usually the butt, hair, skin color or nose/lips but if this was a white woman with a butt then she would be praised like she is the newest thing since slice bread.

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    Ehhhh, always thought she was a bit on the thin side.

  • AM

    was that necessary?!

    There’s nothing wrong with the physical being appreciated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelley.johnson.75436 Kelley Johnson

    White men have always been intrigued by and/or desired black women’s bodies. They’ve always loved the high round brown booty. So when these racist white men look at Michelle Obama’s healthy black female body, they become aroused, and they hate it. Because it betrays their believe that only a white woman can be attractive and desirable. So what they do is attack her for turning them on. Notice they always concentrate their ire on her derriere. They always attack the size of her butt because they can’t stop staring at it and thinking about what they could do with it.

    It ain’t rocket science, people.

  • Ange B

    Mademiselle, your comment make sense to me. I think that’s the truth. They are made that she is not fussing away to make herself look like a white lady’s stereotypical body.

  • GlowBelle

    Not surprised at all with this pettiness. If it’s not Michelle’s rump one day, it’s something else silly to poke at. This reminds me of when everyone went crazy when Michelle Obama wore shorts that one time and showed off her legs, it was so stupid. These ignorant White conservatives are getting a brisk wake-up call with the Obamas, seeing all the negative stereotypes they’ve associated with us for centuries demolished in a swift beat, and a lot of them don’t like it and I actually love them squirming and fussing like they are.

    These men sound terribly insecure and when they get around a woman who is secure with herself, they are showing out cause they can’t handle it. Heck the way they talk about Michelle and her looks so much makes me think they *want* her and are grappling with their inner bigotry (“I can’t find a Black woman attractive, I can’t…but dammit I am!”). Michelle Obama has a hold on herself PLUS she’s married to the President of the US, she seems pretty secure and confident to me, and that is a threat to insecure and inadequate men to see a woman carry herself like that because they know deep down that they will never get on her level. Oh, and to see a BLACK woman carry herself like that…their minds have EXPLODED.

  • Blue

    Oh so it’s ok for Jlo & Kim Kardasian to be praised for their large butts (according to Hollywood standards I’ve seen curvy-er butts in the street) but it’s not ok for our First Lady. She takes care of herself by working out. Whoever has a problem with her looks can have a seat.

  • Nana Nee

    “When will it stop?” My answer is When we will stop caring about people looking for attention!!!!

  • AM

    I never noticed her butt either because it is par the course, in terms of typical physical attributes of black women.
    -
    These white men’s comments about her curves only serve to reinforce the erranous ‘standard of beauty’ that the media has come to glorify as being the end all, be all of what beauty is- i.e. “lily white, rail thin, flat pancake butt” .Anything that goes against the grain of this simplistic, stupid, and racist ideology of what beauty is, as you mentioned, is viewed from a very condescending sexual angle.
    -
    Black women, celebrate your curves! We do not need validation from these “white privileged” moronic fools and hypocrites.
    -
    Let a brother try talking out of his mouth about one of their own! He’ll definitey without a shadow of doubt lose his job. Motherphakkas.

  • Chillyroad

    AM

    He needs to take his message to the heathens not the choir. That shows courage.

  • YeahRight2011

    I don’t think she cares.

  • Chillyroad

    Yes!!!!

  • Chillyroad

    Sorry Kelley but I don’t think black women should engage in this type of talk. There is no secret desire or sexual attraction. It’s hate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelley.johnson.75436 Kelley Johnson

    Hate does not negate sexual attraction. Black women were taken as concubines by white men who owned them and saw them as subhuman.

  • Joy

    Does Michelle, or anyone else REALLY care what the Wisconsin Repubican had to say about her butt??!! I think not!! I don’t think Michelle has lost any sleep over this one

  • Joy

    Yeah: Yeah I’m sure she doesn’t care. The haters need to get a life

  • Joy

    Treece: I’m amazed that you took the time to write a long commentary on this subject. My bigger point….who gives a D what white men think??!! I know I don’t

  • Mila

    @Kelley, I agree with Chilly. This, like rape, was about power and violence, not sexual attraction.

  • http://gravatar.com/stephaniej71 stephanie-j

    Why the attacks on the First Lady’s posterior? Many reasons. A few of them:

    1. During slavery and Jim Crow (which ‘officially’ ended with the 1965 Voting Rights Act), one of the many ways we were humiliated was that a black man couldn’t protect his wife from ANYTHING, and I do mean anything. He couldn’t protect his wife. He couldn’t protect his children. And if he tried, he was reminded, many times fatally. Many times in front of his wife and children.

    So the ‘lesson’ we were all supposed to learn is that the black man is powerless, so powerless than he can’t do the one thing men expect of themselves: protect the women and children. Black women learned that black men couldn’t protect them OR go after predators (many tried and were tortured or killed). Black men had to live with the fact that another group of men could do anything to them and get away with it.

    This carryover from slavery/Jim Crow is that a black man or woman still, acccording to the racists, has no rights that a white man OR woman need respect. The mentality with these constant attacks on POTUS and FLOTUS is, “Yeah, n—-r, we disrespect you AND your wife continually – what are you going to do about it, and what can you do about it?”.

    I’m 47 and I grew up in the South, so trust I know what I’m talking about. The only difference between the South and the rest of the country is that the East Coast and West Coast talk a good game, lie, and are just as racist. I found this out from living in Seattle and San Francisco (1993 – 2006; 2007 – 2010).

    This mentality is SLOWLY starting to die out, but believe it, it’ll take a lot more than time to cure this bull^%((!

  • MISS_EMCEE

    Of course racist white men hate large butts because, their penis is the size of a midget pinky toe. They couldn’t put a dent in some pubic hair let alone a vagina or some booty cheeks lmaooo.

  • http://eboniboykin.policymic.com/ eboni

    not to make it seem like Michelle Obama hasn’t received an extraordinary amount of criticism from the media, but she’s not the first 1st lady to be brutally publicized. Does no one remember Hilary Clinton as first lady? She was constantly being called a ‘bitch’ and there was some ridiculous narrative about her wanting to ‘take over’ Bill’s presidency– all this because she was an intelligent woman who didn’t want to do what Michelle Obama and every other first lady did– leave her career behind her and act like she agrees with everything her husband does in office.

  • Dwayne Brown

    All I know is Michelle Obama is fine from head to toe! The President is a very lucky man. Rush Limbaugh is a fat disgusting slob that’s got no business commenting on anyone’s appearance.

  • tiredofobama

    Microscope? You can see her coming a mile away. Her posterior is a subject of conversation because it is way too big & she doesn’t dress well to hide it.

  • q. banks

    the rep must like men. and if he’s married, his wife probably has noASS at home…

  • http://www.facebook.com/Q.QN1More4Life Patrice

    I’m sorry? What??? WHY??? Never mind………….

  • http://trashybastard.com misha

    Yup…she probably don’t care. But how disrespectful! How dare whoever said it. Yup her butt big but what she do…embrace it. She’s a black woman. That usually comes with the territory.

  • BoutDatLove

    The attention must always be taken away from the natural beauty, intelligence, strength, elegance etc of a black woman to minimize her solely based on her physical/body. As if to tell us that this ”is our only identity, all we are good for and all that we should be” as black woman. ”Oh no, only be a big booty, big ti##y, booty shaking video ho#” to avoid criticism and to not intimidate anyone. We must only portray ourselves as hood rats to make ”them” comfortable.

    Michelle is a beautiful woman and I think that as she has gotten older she has only gotten more and more beautiful. Of course her body is great, and they know this. They would be more comfortable with her being an unhealthy and overweight black woman, than to be a healthy and in shape black woman. Who by the way, is also encouraging others to be healthy and in shape… because of course, this will influence more black woman to do the same. They are also upset because their women are trying to get get a big butt.

    I also think that tall woman have the best legs and best bods…. I’m short hehe lol so I admire black tall woman. No matter what we do, there will always be ”a problem” with our bodies.

    @Mademoiselle ”No one has a problem with black bodies — they have a problem with black people not having a problem with their bodies.”

    I freakin love this quote.

  • Nolitha

    I’m South African and we are taught to be proud of our curves. A woman should not be ashamed of her butt, hips or anything else for that matter. Why should we now listen to small minded people who think they are better than any other race.

    I really am shocked that a person’s butt would even be a subject for discussion. If these men came to South Africa they would have heart attacks before they left the airport, the First Lady or any other woman should never be put in a position where they should be ashamed of their body.

  • http://fromthoughtsintowords.blogspot.com/ rkahendi

    I don’t think the comments will ever stop. There will always be people who say idiotic things. What we can do is opt to stop acknowledging their small-mindedness and bigotry and focus on people who have meaningful and constructive things to say.

  • tutu7

    This is ridiculous. This woman is in great shape. Anyone who is scrutinizing her weight and proportions obviously is putting a lot of time and energy into finding flaws. Most women who have beared children don’t have the body of a preteen, unless they are starving themselves. And if they do good for them but it certainly isnt the std to which I want to be held.

  • Mark

    Really are we still talking about the Jim Crow laws and slavery? Yawn…its PAST history for all you FORWARD thinkers.

  • Larry

    Dont remember everyone coming to the defense of Sarah Palin when she was talked about and called nasty names. Is it because she is white??? Michelle Obama is not attractive..and black people will only defend her because she is black. She has a bid ass to go with her big teeth.

  • Sammi63

    Absolutely Mark and Larry God help us if we should say anything derogatory about the Obamas…Unfortunately they made thier share of racist comments and its open season on them. They are Chicago Ghetto.

  • Barry

    Miss Emcee my is Greek and can choke you…little racist

  • Anthony

    I too am offended by comments about Ms. Obama’s body, but I can’t see wasting energy thinking about what some dumbass says. Hell, does anybody expect some racist, dope addict sex fiend like Rush Limbaugh to be respectful? The same goes for some nobody coach.

  • Lee

    Here’s what I am offended by: 6 trillion dollars in new debt in only four years. Twice as much as Bush racked up in 8 and more than every other president in history combined. 75 people placed on food stamps for every one person that got a job, the highest level of long term unemployment since world war 2, the forced participation in a healthcare system that’s doomed to fail. Michelles butt does not make my list. I only wish it was back in chicago with her husband instead of sitting next to him while he financially molests the future generations of Americans.

  • NotSurprised

    Why would the comments stop? Ya’ll allow all and any kind of commentary that’s derogatory against black women on a BLACK WOMAN OWNED SITE and yet banned black women who called you out on it. I’m grateful that unlike many of the writers and editors here, I grew up in a household that held boundaries against my person. Who needs enemies when your own will throw you under the bus and allow remarks against your person on a site that’s hustling for page views by inviting racists?

  • simplyme

    Did Rush Limbaugh mention this article or something…? Who let the crazies in?

  • dirtychai

    Mark, Larry, and Sammi are the same person, made obvious by their incorrect use of ellipsis.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    @lee – so, of course, you were outraged by the bush administration…..right?

  • Davy

    I beg to differ, as a “middle aged, white man. I prefer my woman to look like a woman, not a teenage boy. But that is why I married a beutiful African woman.Woman should have curves! Celebrate your curves!

  • Davy

    We are all missing the point of this article. We are all the same race “Human” and this constant racism needs to stop. We are all Americans, we need to pull together. not allow ourselves to be pulled apart over “appearances” The real point here is that our constitution allows people the freedom to say what they wish, no matter how stupid or childish. I disagree with any comments that her “butt” is too big, because I find those characteristics attractive. Some people find thin, white, flat-butts attractive, that’s their right. I don’t. That is why I married a beautiful African woman and we have 2 beautiful daughters. This is what the establishment wants, to continue to separate us over childish trivial B.S. This is a form of power. Everyone has heard “a house divided can not stand”. That’s what the people in power want. It gives them power over us. The reality is that we, “the People” have the power. We have a constitution that gives us these rights. The politicians (including the white conservative racist nut balls) are supposed to be public servants and represent are best interest. That Is why they criticize the first lady and the media make such a big deal of it. To put as at odds with each other. My 2 cents.

  • Davy

    Thanks AM, Chilly, I have been doing that my whole life. Just because I am white, doesnt mean I dont experience racisim. I have always been critizised, and sometimes had to “physically” defend my opinions on “color” from both sides. Its not easy, for me or my wife because of our color. I have never seen “color”, we are all of the Human race.

  • AM

    @ Davy,

    You are welcome, but you just shot yourself in the foot by not seeing color, lool! They are going to come for you, be prepared.

  • kevin

    thank you lee well said.

  • Paige S.

    “Never in my lifetime have I seen a First Lady’s butt held under a microscope quite like Michelle Obama’s.”

    I don’t think you could see much of it with a microscope.

  • siphelele

    Nonsense, this women look good in everyway, she is beautiful.

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