It’s not okay that a newspaper feature writer has written a piece about how untoned upper arms are repulsive.
It’s not okay that she’s couched it in terms of aging, hanging her loathing on her own over-50 frame and describing the loosening of her muscle tone as a steady drumbeat of doom that began in her young-and-lithe 20’s.
It’s not okay that she pushes away all the other equally rotten “uglies” and “lumpies” and “too bigs” and “too smalls” that ring in our ears–cheekbones, collarbones, breasts, shoulders, backs, waists, hips, buttocks, thighs, calves, ankles, toes–to inform us that having flabby triceps is really the most irredeemable offense of all.
It’s not okay that she’s calling out a famous woman whose physical trademark is her arms, writing about her in all-too-familiar words drenched with shame and loathing, insisting that, like other physically blessed women, she should shroud her enviable and hard-won assets because she’s making others jealous.
It’s not okay that her public figure of choice is Michelle Obama, whose body and fashion choices have been magnified and scrutinized and rubbed raw in the media, because she’s a sturdily built black woman in a feminine figurehead role.
It’s not okay that she’s picking on Michelle Obama, whose signature campaign–however flawed it may be–has always been couched in terms of health and physical fitness, not beauty.
And it’s not okay that this whole business is being published in one of America’s newspapers of record–the Gray Lady herself–the New York Times.
I hate that this happens. I hate that it’s profitable. I hate that it’s normal. I hate that it gets to me.