Jim Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican representative who of course could stand to lose more than a few pounds himself, was overheard criticizing Michelle Obama’s natural body shape and its conflict with her drive to help American children prevent obesity.
“She lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself,” he told one of his staffers via phone, reiterating his original response to a constituent’s previous praise of the First Lady. The best part is that when contacted about these comments, Sensenbrenner chose to stand by them.
I’m no longer surprised or disappointed by the type of people who represent us in Washington, but I can’t get over the constant disrespect of Michelle Obama and her body; comments like this one and those made by Rush Limbaugh earlier this year are the epitome of racist and sexist drivel. It’s one thing to undercut the First Lady’s campaign to end childhood obesity — that’s just a silly political power play. But to connect her very sensible campaign in support of a healthy American lifestyle to the state of her own body is plain misogyny. I don’t remember anyone worrying about what physical shape former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop was in when he was telling us how to eat or that of any man before or after him. And of course to conclude that there’s any problem with a woman who is in great shape but has a posterior — who even uses that word? — that happens to be larger than what you’re used to…it’s such a shame that folks continue to proudly not get it.