Friday, January 06, 2012

Let Them Eat Veggies

A photo of a "buff" Michelle Obama as Marie Antoinette is making the rounds again, due to an upcoming iCarly appearance. On the Nickelodeon sitcom, Michelle is referred to as "your excellency" and "sort of likes it". The right wing is having a field day and the left wing is calling foul, saying it's racist and evokes the "uppity negro" stereotype. The 'Shopped version of Gautier-Dagoty's iconic painting {below right} dates back to the summer of 2010.

The deconstruction of the tropes of leveling Michelle Obama seems to be a part of a theme in the way she's serving as a lightning rod for pundits and journos. Hillary Clinton faces the same battles and Condi Rice was targeted with a mid-2000s spoof site that was something like, so this isn't a clear cut left/right issue. In all instances, there seems to be a theme of defeminizing them by making them mannish, angry, or otherwise unattractive. It's not enough to have the Marie Antoinette Michelle be a symbol of being out of touch, but the burly arm reinforces the point that she's threatening to a set of ideals.

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