NYU Associate Professor Thuy Linh Tu argued that media coverage First Lady Michelle Obama’s arms shows “we’re always a little bit uncomfortable with a strong woman,” during a discussion on the late fashion designer Oscar de la Renta on MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry.”
“The thing about Michelle Obama’s arms is, everybody talks about it. And, they’re fantastic, right? They’re actually her husband’s secret weapon, right? But, they also say something about her femininity that people are not that comfortable with, right? In the way that Hillary Rodham Clinton wears the pantsuit, right, Michelle Obama has got her arms and we’re always a little bit uncomfortable with a strong woman, that’s why her arms are so, so widely commented upon” she stated.
Harris-Perry added, “and for me, that intersection also feels racialized. so there’s the gender component, but the other piece of it is, she can’t actually punch out Rush Limbaugh and Bernie Madoff and that idea that she is the muscle feels both to me like a particular thing that that’s doing to the president as well as an elevation of the black woman as almost too much.”
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