Salon Publishes Piece About Michelle Obama's Butt

November 18th, 2008 11:04 AM

I guess if you live long enough, you'll see everything, for this morning the e-zine known as Salon actually published an article about Michelle Obama's butt.

No, sadly, I'm not kidding.

Entitled "First Lady Got Back," the piece actually praised, and discussed in great detail, Mrs. Obama's posterior.

As some readers might find this subject a tad offensive, the lowlights are conspicuously placed below the fold (emphasis added throughout, h/t Ed Morrissey):

But what really thrills me, what really feels liberating in a very personal way, is the official new prominence of Michelle Obama. Barack's better half not only has stature but is statuesque. She has corruscating intelligence, beauty, style and -- drumroll, please -- a butt. (Yes, you read that right: I'm going to talk about the first lady's butt.) [...]

As I gradually relaxed, as Michelle strode onto more stages and people started focusing on her clothes and presence instead of her patriotism, it dawned on me -- good God, she has a butt! "Obama’s baby (mama) got back," wrote one feminist blogger. "OMG, her butt is humongous!" went a typical comment on one African-American online forum, and while it isn't humongous, per se, it is a solid, round, black, class-A boo-tay. Try as Michelle might to cover it with those Mamie Eisenhower skirts and sheath dresses meant to reassure mainstream voters, the butt would not be denied.

The author, one Erin Aubry Kaplan who besides being a Salon contributor is also contributing editor to the op-ed section of the Los Angeles Times, then moved into the totally absurd:

Lord knows, it's time the butt got some respect. Ever since slavery, it's been both vilified and fetishized as the most singular of all black female features, more unsettling than dark skin and full lips, the thing that marked black women as uncouth and not quite ready for civilization (of course, it also made them mighty attractive to white men, which further stoked fears of miscegenation that lay at the heart of legal and social segregation). In modern times, the butt has demarcated class and stature among black society itself. Emphasizing it or not separates dignified black women from ho's, party girls from professionals, hip-hop from serious. 

What? Did you get that? But there's more, for Kaplan next bashed prominent white women in our nation for...well, you probably see where this is going:

Many comparisons have already been made between Michelle and Jackie Kennedy. While I appreciate the spirit, I beg to differ. To put it bluntly, Jackie had no back. Same can be said for gaunt Cindy McCain and the short-lived Republican sexpot Sarah Palin. Jackie was trim and perfect, an inoffensive figure who bucked the curviness of the '50s and put American femininity on the treacherous path of smaller-is-better. 

At this point, I checked to make sure this was Salon and not National Lampoon. If you need to as well, I understand. 

In the end (pun intended), you've likely gathered that Kaplan is quite obsessed with black, female rear ends. 

What can you expect from a woman who self-described her LA Weekly article "The Butt" as "One of her most-remembered pieces?"

I'll let the reader decide if Kaplan was speaking literarily or anatomically.