When President Barack Obama gave his speech before the joint sessions of Congress Tuesday night, I couldn't help but notice something: Michelle Obama's arms. It was impossible not to take note: she was the only woman in the entire room whose arms were exposed. Nevermind that it's February. Or that every other woman was wearing a jacket or a shirt with long sleeves (Like Nancy Pelosi's lime green pseudo-hippy peasant shirt get-up). Michelle had to know that in advance, but she didn't care. She loves to flaunt her arms. Wouldn't you, if you were her? They are powerful, gazellelike, and sexy. More than any other accessory, are the ultimate indication of her confidence.
Michelle flaunts her arms more than any other political figure I can think of. I realized this just a few days ago, upon looking at a photo that appeared in The New York Times. There was Michelle, wearing a violet-colored, polka-dotted, and probably designer dress, sort-of out of place in the White House kitchen, showing off some chocolates that were to be served for dessert at an official dinner for governors. The culinary students, tourists and White House staff members in the room are all wearing long sleeves or jackets. Not Michelle. Her long brown arms hover pointedly over the chocolates (though we know she could care less).
Perhaps she could get away with a sleeveless dress. After all, she was giving a tour of her very own kitchen. Unlike the others, she didn't have to come in from out of doors. But Michelle is as strategic with her fashion as Barack is with his speeches.
And lately, she seems ever more conscious of her reputation as a fashionista. Now that she knows she is being watched, it looks like she has stepped it up a notch. The J. Crew days of the campaign trail are over.