“Fat” Michelle Obama: The New Conservative Political Retort

Thu, February 17, 2011


Two years into their stay at the White House, the Obamas must be resigned to the fact that no matter what they do, they’re going to get blasted by the right. But I have to believe that Michelle Obama thought her call for kids to exercise more and eat healthier would be as plain vanilla and non-controversial as, say, Laura Bush’s cause for children’s literacy.

Sadly, she was wrong. For some conservatives, her effort to make our country’s children healthier through her “Let’s Move” program is just another socialist stategy to move us toward a nanny state.  And just for good measure, to persuade conservative followers get on the anti-healthy eating bandwagon, biggovernment.com brings you their version of Michelle Obama:

Fair political caricature or just a riff on the old playground retort, “You’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny?”   I’ve got more on this at Politics Daily!

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6 Responses to ““Fat” Michelle Obama: The New Conservative Political Retort”

  1. Chris Wysocki Says:

    You’ve disingenuously left unsaid the entire raison d’etre for this particular cartoon – the White House Super Bowl party menu. That’s what it’s lampooning. While Mrs. Obama is telling us to eat celery she’s serving up every fatty food under the sun – ribs and chicken wings and burgers and brats.

    If she were out there pushing literacy the cartoon wouldn’t be funny.

  2. Brekke Says:

    But Chris, part of Mrs. Obama’s program is not to cut out all things that are bad for you but to eat those things in moderation and REALLY why is that a bad idea, particularly for kids? For me, I see her work as reinforcing what I’ve been doing with my daughter: sweets are fine and dandy on their own, but having too many of them will make you feel horrible.

    One thing that I think is important to note about her efforts is that she’s helped to have the food pyramid reworked so that it is not one basic thing for every single person because what we have learned about nutrition is that not all people can handle the same things. Some people need more protein while others need more fresh things.

    My question is this: did she offer up healthy options to go with the other things? Because it seems to me that balance is largely what her entire campaign is about. She never said people should have no dessert; she said they should have less dessert.

  3. Chris Wysocki Says:

    It’s *satire*. Yes I realize healthy eating is important and I agree with your assessment of her efforts.

    So here’s her Super Bowl menu: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/06/white-house-super-bowl-menu_n_819312.html

    - Bratwurst
    - Kielbasa
    - Cheeseburgers
    - Deep Dish Pizza
    - Buffalo Wings
    - German Potato Salad
    - Twice Baked Potatoes
    - Snyders Potato Chips and Pretzels
    - Chips and Dips
    - Salad
    - Ice Cream
    - Beer

    Nope, no celery sticks. Now tell me in all honesty, when approaching that spread would your daughter head immediately for the salad? Because mine sure wouldn’t! (Neither would I…)

    Hence, *satire*.

  4. deborah l quinn Says:

    On the other hand, a day of “football watching food” won’t kill you. A steady menu of those items would be a dietetic (and cardiovascular) nightmare. Obama’s general message, as I understand it, has been the basic idea of educating people about what it means to read a label on a food package, think about your choices, be more active, and–in particular–to educate children about dietary habits that will be harmful in the long term. Where is the danger in that? The cartoon fails as “satire” because if what is being satirized is the Super Bowl menu, we have no visual cues about that context. It just emasculates Barack and inflates Michelle – and thus seems to me to illustrate what many people are *really* afraid of: a powerful woman of color with a bully pulpit and good ideas. The only way to attack her (or any woman) is through the insult of body image.

  5. ADiez Says:

    100% agree with you, Deborah. No one looking at that cartoon would be able to tell that it has to do specifically with the SuperBowl menu. It’s just crass. Why in the world is she drawn like a fat woman? That is ridiculous. She is a tall woman in fantastic shape…she runs every morning. The personal attacks on the Obamas are so silly and so disrespectful. I love how the right is all about respecting the office of the President until their guy isn’t in there, then it’s just open season to degrade the President in any way they can. The criticism of Mrs. Obama’s program is ludicrous. When one in three children in this nation are obese, there is a problem.

  6. Daisy Says:

    The Super Bowl Party menu included traditional foods from both Pittsburgh and Green Bay. Party food by nature is not everyday food. Moderation in all things allows the occasional party – and victory celebration! Go!Green!Bay!

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