Into The Arms Of Our Lovely First Ladies
by sandy, Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 04:49:38 PM EST
Arms. Who would have guessed that in the middle of an economic collapse while we’re engaged in two wars and the ecology in jeopardy, anybody would even think to make an issue about a woman's arms. But reporting every minute detail of the President and his family has been going on since “Lady Washington” went shopping for “new fashioned” shoes as she traveled to her new home in New York, at 58 years old. Mrs. Lincoln, as well, was criticized at every turn, for everything from her expensive clothing to her “loud and unrefined” nature, by a new generation of female journalists whom she dubbed the "vampyre press".
Sadly, that tradition hasn’t changed either, as the harshest critics of Mrs. Obama have come from women who have written of her arms with headlines that shout "call to arms", "right to bare arms", and the unbelievable "buff-arm fetish".
Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune, may as well have told Michelle to “lay back and enjoy it” by saying "any famous woman who bares her arms in front of the U. S. Congress, on television, in winter, may as well have texted an invitation to the nation to discuss her biceps."
Really Mary? Don’t “put it out there” unless you “asking for it”? Well tell that to Jackie.
Then there’s Vivian McInerny of the Oregonian , with the hilarious line that "arms are the new breasts".
Well maybe, but I think Dolley would be disappointed to hear that.
No, not that Dolly, this Dolley.
Which got me to thinking, just how many First Ladies did "bare arms" anyway? Turns out, an awful lot of them did. And truly, the better the President, the more likely the wife had a vibrancy about her, an energy and liveliness that was revealed in their flair for fashion.
You can perhaps see that inner flair best in this spirited picture of Lady Bird Johnson, twirling like a young girl in her first party dress. It is a bit out of character for Mrs. Johnson, at least in her days in the White House, although there is a glimmer of this young girl whenever she is surrounded by her beloved wildflowers.
Other First Ladies who have been known to “bare arms” include Elizabeth Monroe, Julia Tyler, Frances Cleveland, and even Mamie Eisenhower. I say “hallelujah” to Michelle Obama for bringing back the dress, with or without sleeves, and I have a feeling all of these beautiful First Ladies would feel the same.Crosspost: http://www.obama-mamas.com/blog/?p=185