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?

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80 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. eat healthy

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

    • 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.

  5. 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…

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