Michelle Gets ‘Flak’ For Shorts.
Is this really a news story, the fact that a fortysomething woman wore shorts on a hot summer’s day when she was on vacation with her family?
Time Magazine’s Kate Dailey thinks the whole hullaballoo over First Lady Michelle Obama wearing shorts has been trumped up just so the media can have an excuse to talk about Obama’s body and blame it on unidentified “critics.”
“. . . [I]f there’s not controversy, it’s just the American public gawking at a woman’s form,” Dailey said. “This is something that happens all the time, but needs to be cloaked in social relevance when the woman is not a traditional target for public consumption. Models, actresses, even athletes can be the subject of objectification, but to ogle the first lady on national TV requires a bit of news-related window dressing.”
Dailey said that by suggesting that “some critics” are upset by Obama wearing shorts, “journalists allow themselves to be the heroes. They’re coming to Obama’s rescue by defending her right to wear whatever she pleases – a right that was never questioned in the first place, and a right that almost everyone in America is OK with. In the process, they are able to yet again comment on her body, making her legs, her hips, her thighs and her belly just as much a part of public discourse as her husband’s health-care fight.” (August 2009)