My lefty views are no secret, but I can’t imagine how anyone could’ve watched first lady Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention and not been deeply moved.
“If farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire, if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores, if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote, if a generation could defeat a depression and define greatness for all time, if a young preacher could lift us to the mountain top with his righteous dream, and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love, then surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American dream.”
In addition to being an eloquent speaker and champion of children’s fitness and veterans’ employment, Mrs. Obama, at 5’ 11”, is also tied with Eleanor Roosevelt for tallest first lady in U.S. history. (Barack is in a three-way tie for fifth tallest U.S. President at 6’1”.)
Though her approval rating is sky-high—66%, according to Gallup—the first lady is not immune to criticism, especially for her looks. HuffPo Style made slideshows about how Mrs. Obama and the French first lady—former model Carla Bruni-Sarkozy—often wear flats for public appearances. (Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy is 4 inches taller than her husband, who’s a mere 5’5”.)
The women who commented on those pieces weighed in on the first-ladies-in-flats debate. Some said good on the first ladies for choosing comfortable footwear, while others said that heels, and only heels, are appropriate with that designer frock.
Some said that the first ladies should be able to wear heels if they damn well please, without worrying about dwarfing their husbands, while others said that the women should play down their heights to avoid making their husbands appear weak on the global stage.
Tall wives just can’t win.
But one thing Michelle Obama is consistently complemented on is her healthy, toned physique. Her biceps alone have inspired a legion of fitness videos and magazine covers. In addition to being a great progressive role-model, she’s helping inspire me to eat healthier and get fit. Another success for Obamacare?