• Fri, Dec 20 - 4:22 pm ET

We Need To Stop Treating Michelle Obama Like Arm Candy

Michelle Obama Helps The Marine Toys For Tots CampaignAccording to people without eyes, Michelle Obama has fallen into some sort of vortex called “First Lady hair.” The Huffington Post is claiming that Michelle is more than capable of pulling off “the most quintessential hairstyle for a woman in her position: the voluminous, ultra-coifed first lady ‘do.” While their article is complimentary and says she wears the style well, I’m pretty over the whole “First Lady hair” thing, and don’t really understand why we’re so obsessed with her appearance, anyways.

Obama was photographed at a Toys for Tots gift event with what apparently was a controversial hairstyle. It seriously bears no resemblance to anything other First Ladies have worn:

Michelle Obama Helps The Marine Toys For Tots Campaign

Doesn’t it just look like she got a blow out? What’s all the fuss about?

Of course it’s fun to talk about Michelle’s outfits every so often, and I’m certainly guilty of it. But does the whole “First Lady hair” gamut feel unnecessarily disrespectful to you, too? ”First Lady hair” is a pejorative term, and more than that, it’s belittling and patronizing. I’ve never been crazy about the term “First Lady” to begin with, considering that most first ladies are basically politicians in their own right, and did a lot more than simply married a politically successful man.

Let’s please stop using the term “First Lady hair.” It’s frustrating enough that we constantly talk about female politicians’ outfits and beauty regimens, but must we continue to demean them with assigning their position to a hairstyle? The different First Ladies we’ve had in office have for the most part acted as diplomats and always work for at least one cause, so it’s really time to stop thinking about them as arm candy.

Photos: Getty Images

What We're Reading:
Share This Post:
  • Alexis Rhiannon

    So many puns on arm candy filling my brain.

    • Alexis Rhiannon


    • Julia Sonenshein


    • Andrea

      Well in fairness, President Obama does kinda play that too, Remember him on his first inaugural ball saying something like “how hot is my wife?” while smiling lovingly. You can tell he’s dead gone on her. As he should be, she is smart, she is funny, she is warm, she’s just fabulous.

  • elle

    I really don’t see anything wrong with her hair either….I’m confused. I can’t help but feel that Michelle Obama gets so much scrutiny because she’s so much younger then most first ladies (yeah I hate that term too). The only other ones younger(? ) or same age I can think of was Jackie O and Hilary Clinton (maybe?), who also got a lot of attention. Michelle is fashionable, pretty, and seems pretty accessible so I think that’s why the media treats her this way. And I hate that the media downplays her achievements-she was very successful and had high paying careers.

    • Muggle

      This is the top thing that drives me absolutely batshit. When she first met her husband, she was in a higher position than he was. She is very successful and powerful in her own right and yes, is almost a politician herself. All First Ladies deserve more attention to their achievements than to their looks. They shouldn’t be known as “the president’s wife.”

    • Ricardo Aguilera

      But that’s what she is….I mean I’m sorry to say but she is wife and will be best known because of that fact. I don’t recall her being wildly famous before Obama came into the picture and unless she is at the head of some new gripping scientific achievement I don’t see why she should be distinguished as anything but that.

    • Muggle

      She wasn’t wildly famous, but she has plenty of achievements of her own. She’s the president’s wife, sure, but she’s not JUST the president’s wife. Obsessing over her looks cheapens her worth as a person and cheapens her achievements. We’re not seeing Michelle Obama, we’re seeing Mrs. Barack Obama.

  • Andrea

    The woman is smart, warm, a great mother, a wonderful role model for women. But here’s the thing: she is also FABULOUS. She’s always beautifully put together no matter where she goes or what she is doing.
    I kinda want to forgive people that focus on her looks so much. But of course, she’s talented and smart as well.