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10:15 AM on 01/22/2009
First let's not kid ourselves, not every woman is as fit as Michelle so let's not feel too comfortable. She doesn't have love handles and cellulite. She has a more defined body than the avg. woman. In the end she represents a new standard that most women still wouldn't be able to achieve. Meaning, you still have to actually exercise and eat right. But this time you don't have to throw up.

Censor that!
10:08 AM on 01/22/2009
This is why white women's standard of beauty should never dictate real beauty standards. You guys still can't get over that it's not your job to dissect people just because your entire fairy tale notions are disrupted. Not having curves, and being shaped like an 11 year old boy is not beautiful. When a woman w/ sexy curves is being dissected when boyish women w/ flat butts and waif arms are being praised, I more than ever welcome change to some common sense.
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faithnj
02:32 PM on 01/22/2009
yeah...I'm sorry to say I have to agree. and after reading this article, I don't even know what to think about weight charts anymore. I mean, really.....my 4 year old has the body of a beautiful ballerina. And you know what keeps her looking like that? She's sick. An obstruction in her stomach has kept her from being able to eat a normal amount of food since she was a year old. If that's what it takes to reach the ideal of beauty in this country, then our ideas about beauty must be equally as sick.
10:05 AM on 01/22/2009
No
09:53 AM on 01/22/2009
I actually think this is a dumb question, why is America so obsesed with weight?/ but they are i just remember all the comments made about other first ladies that weren't nice so i guess this question is on the same line. But her weight is fine and to me a non issue just like other first ladies, weight ,hair ,clothes women are hard towards other women to say the least .
10:05 PM on 01/21/2009
I am kind of shocked by the comments here. Interesting how we can discuss on and on what she wears, her hair style, her height, her career, her kids, her parenting style, her choice to have her mother move into the White House, her religion, where she shops, where she shops for her kids, how she makes tuna salad, but God forbid anyone mentions her weight. Even in a good way. This is just weird.
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OtayPanky
You're welcome
12:03 AM on 01/22/2009
If you don't see the difference between discussing her tuna salad recipe WHICH SHE SHARES versus gawking over her PRIVATE and PERSONAL business then there's not much point trying to explain it to you.
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OtayPanky
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08:44 PM on 01/21/2009
Irene Rubaum-Keller: So, back to my original question, do you think Michelle Obama needs to lose weight? If she were an actress or model, she might not get work looking as she does now. I think she looks fabulous and shouldn't change a thing. What do you think?

===

Honestly?

I think this is an absurd topic for conversation, and doesn't serve ANYONE...most of all the Obamas.

What if she was "chubby"...or "skinny"? Would you make it your business to tell her that she should lose (or gai) weight? What if her weight changes during the next four (hopefully eight) years?

By supporting her husband's commitment to serve the country, she puts him in harm's way every single day - for all our sakes.. Isn't that enough? Can't we support her - or support them - without looking at their dress size or waistline?

Jeez louise.
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VioletDatura
_-*-,,~*~_-*-,,~*~_-*-,,~*~
07:54 PM on 01/21/2009
It's odd and sad that some of us do not have an accurate idea of how we look. When I was in high school (30+ years ago) I thought I was fat because so many girls were thinner than me. When I look at the BMI index now, I see that I was actually far below the lowest of "normal" for my height.

Our perceptions are so flawed! I am 5'11, and wear sizes 8-10 and think I look heavy. Yet, Michelle Obama is my height, near my age, and wears the next size up, and yet, I think her figure is gorgeous!

Maybe it's time I re-evaluate the whole thing.
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Irene Rubaum-Keller
author of the book Foodaholic, psychotherapist
09:28 PM on 01/21/2009
Yes VioletDatura exactly. Our view of women in our society is so screwed up. If Michelle, with her beauty, and I, with this blog, have helped you like yourself and accept yourself a little bit more, then we are both doing good things. Go Violet.
07:04 PM on 01/22/2009
I do not understand what prompted you to write this article. It's shallow, demeaning, banal, unoriginal, and insulting to your own intelligence.
06:54 PM on 01/21/2009
As the Buddha said to his followers when they asked where nirvana was, this is not a valid question. The cultural imperative that makes us ponder the issue of whether or not Michelle Obama "needs" to lose weight is an attempt to make a complex world reductive. This is really not a question in the true sense since we all know if you have to ask, then the answer is obvious in this case. All her other accomplishments and prospective contributions then can be reduced to nothing since her weight is the measure of her value. This posting illustrates nothing so much as how desperate we are as a society for someone to tell us what is normal and acceptable. And that's not a question anyone else can answer for us.
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OtayPanky
You're welcome
09:35 AM on 01/22/2009
mjhawes: As the Buddha said to his followers when they asked where nirvana was, this is not a valid question. The cultural imperative that makes us ponder the issue of whether or not Michelle Obama "needs" to lose weight is an attempt to make a complex world reductive.

===

Exactly so. But this is not simply the fault of this blogger. It reflects much of the zeitgeist of our absurd star-crossed and soul starved society.

The paradox here is that the more people focus on fat woman/skinny woman discussion, the more women get caught up in the egoic delusion which makes it the center of their mental and emotional lives. It's like Brer Rabbit trying to fight the Tar Baby.

It seems like every other blog here on the LIVING pages women and their weight issues the subject, giving all kinds of mental, emotional and behavioral "tips", most of which (hilarously or tragically) are in conflict with one another: Use the scale, lose the scale, eat standing up, eat sitting down, eat standing on your heat...no wonder we end up with a nation full of women with eating disorders.

Of course, this is the same crap that's been used to sell women's magazine forever. It's just total nonsense - brain cheese.
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06:36 PM on 01/21/2009
Irene - great article. While I think the title is misleading, the article itself says what I wish more news and media would echo. A healthy weight isn't "skinny". Women are supposed to have curves, curves are sexy and natural.

The fashion and entertainment industry are brainwashing our women (I'm one of them...) that in order to be beautiful we have to have less than 10% body fat and be a size 2. My nephew's little girl friend who's 6 thinks she looks fat in some clothes and she's a total stick! AND SHE'S ONLY 6!!

What they really should be stressing is how confidence and intellect are what's really sexy and Michelle has both. I applaud her for being a role model for our country's women to look up to. Go Michelle! and Go Irene.
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Irene Rubaum-Keller
author of the book Foodaholic, psychotherapist
09:33 PM on 01/21/2009
Thank you jbuxe for your comment. I hear about young girls everyday who are obsessed and feeling fat when they are not. It is one thing to want to lose weight when one is truly obese and it is a health issue, it is quite another when it is from our sick society's view of women as only being acceptable if they are a size 2. It is my hope that with beautiful women like Michelle leading the way, that things will change.
06:29 PM on 01/21/2009
In asking the question again, after you show such an obsessive concern with weight, especially with "obesity" and "overweight," you seem only to encourage such ugly thinking. Sorry, I find your argument that they should be promoted as a first couple because they're fit very, very disturbing. Go peddle your body-hatred somewhere else.

What I want to know is is she smart and capable?
06:16 PM on 01/21/2009
Ok. A ton of us have decided we also need CHANGE with our so-called "pundits" since it is in large part the cause of an inept, trivial, small-minded "media" that Bush survived 8 years.

This article is an excellent example of PRE BUSH coverage.

Now it is VERY POST BUSH.

Move on will ya?
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OtayPanky
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09:57 AM on 01/22/2009
You've got it right, mostly.

Except it's not just pre-Bush coverage. It's coverage right up and until today. It included the idiotic chatter about Hillary showing some cleavage during the primary, or pop psych deconstruction of the McCain marriage by "relationship experts" Gay and Kathryn Hendricks right here on the LIVING pages. It's the endless blather on the women-marketed talk shows.

Regardless of stated benevolent motivation, the ulterior motivation is PROFIT. And the result is an endless spawning of emotionla co-dependence, ever lower self-esteem, and narcissistic navel gazing.

Imagine what would happen if somehow we could just turn of the tap, and people would have to take the inward journey to find out what is true and real FOR THEMSELVES, without a horde of parasitic helpers eager to guide them - for a fee, of course.
04:19 PM on 01/21/2009
I agree Irene. I think she looks awesome and shouldn't change a thing.
04:03 PM on 01/21/2009
I think the title of this article is unfortunate, even though the article makes a very valid and important point. I think a better title would have been Michelle Obama: great role model for women.
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03:59 PM on 01/21/2009
If HuffPost had a rating system, I'd rate this blog -10.
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krisgarfield
Res ipsa loquitur - Let the good times roll.
01:10 PM on 01/21/2009
Mrs. Obama is a perfect role model of physical health and self esteem. In particular to young girls of all cultures. How tired we are of all the 3 dollar bill blonde, pea brained Paris Hilton wannabes. With this new administration, I hope that American women will go easier on themselves and each other. Real men like women with healthy curves.

Besides, as the old saying goes, only a dog likes to chew on a bone.
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Irene Rubaum-Keller
author of the book Foodaholic, psychotherapist
04:03 PM on 01/21/2009
Yes Kris, my point exactly. Let us only hope that she can help move us in a good, new and healthy direction by being her beautiful self.