How does one even begin to explain the continued existence of Salon? They spent the election season redefining puerile, with a nadir in September’s exploration of Sarah Palin’s “doability” by Gary Kamiya, accompanied by a photoshop of Palin as a dominatrix servicing a moose. Now Salon celebrates Barack Obama’s election by front-paging a paean to Michelle Obama’s butt. No, I am not kidding:
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.)
What a bonus! From the ocean of nastiness and confusion that defined this campaign from the beginning, Michelle rose up like Venus on the waves, keeping her coif above water and cruising the coattails of history to present us with a brand-new beauty norm before we knew it was even happening.
Actually, it took me and a lot of other similarly configured black women by surprise. So anxious and indignant were we about Michelle getting attacked for saying anything about America that conservatives could turn into mud, we hardly looked south of her neck. I noted her business suits and the fact she hardly ever wore pants (unlike Hillary). 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 Butt That Would Not Be Denied. Sounds like a bad movie from Roger Corman.
Perhaps this might suffice as passable Twitterpation, but Salon takes itself seriously. In its daily promotional e-mail, this piece gets top billing. Apparently, the butt discussion is the most serious thing happening at Salon today, which says plenty about Salon and its odd fixation on the pelvic junction.
Memo to the 13-year-olds running Salon: No one is threatened by Mrs. Obama’s rear end. I doubt that most people would have bothered to look at it, except for the cases of arrested development on Salon’s staff who can’t keep themselves from fetishing political candidates as sex objects. I seriously doubt that the Obamas put a single thought into how to frame her gluteus, apart from the normal vanity everyone has about their body shape.
Does anyone read Salon any more? If not, it’s not difficult to see why.
Update: Yes, I’m deleting comments referencing animals in comparison to Michelle Obama, and if they persist, I’ll start banning those commenters indulging in them. Apparently, some people have no sense of irony when commenting on a post criticizing Salon for fetishizing appearance.