On Tracy Anderson and Michelle Obama's arms

Oh, we live in a wacky, wacky world. Didja know Tracy Anderson is opening up a gym in NYC? It only costs an initiation fee of $1500 for a year plus, um, $900 a month.

Oooh, wait, hold on: Bllleeeuuughhhhh. Spit. Wipe.

Yes, that was me vomiting, but only a little, and only for effect, so don't get all worried about my digestion. Really, I almost hardly get mad about this s--- anymore, because at a certain point you have to ask yourself, "What kind of person actually tries to buy Gwyneth Paltrow's body for that amount of money in a way that means they have to do some idi-freaking-otic workouts no other sensible trainer in the universe endorses?" For that cash, you could get surgery. For the cost of a five-year membership, you could probably buy Gwyneth Paltrow, have her head removed, have yours surgically attached to her body, and never have to pick up a 3-pound dumbbell or mess around with some lame-dumb band system. (Shades of "Seven" in that I guess.)

But this came up again because Oprah's pimping of Tracy Anderson was replayed again, and while I said, um, pretty much all I can say about the 3-pound dumbbell system of skinnifying yourself into impossible celebrity proportions and the fact that T.A. is a straight-up con artist, well... Okay, it does still bug me a tiny bit. Only because lots of women watch Oprah and might, you know, think this thing is real. But why would they? I mean, it's not like women are afraid of bulking up, right?

Can I please ask you to rip out my jugular vein with an Exact-o knife before I ever have to hear the phrase, "bulking up" again? Just put me down like a hamster gone rogue. (Meaning a hamster that ate another hamster, and it happens, don't ask me to explain, it's too painful.)

Sigh. Could you technically lose weight with 3-pounders using T.A.'s methods of lifting them a million times for three hours? Sure. Could you lose weight by working on your yo-yo skills for twelve hours a day? Yes. Could you lose weight by dry-humping the couch? Oui. Are any of these the most effective way? Do they make the best use of your time?

Only the dry-humping, my friend. Feel the burn.

But hey, maybe someday we'll see more famous women with nice, cut arms, and people will admire them, and know that healthy muscles can be loverly. (BTW, yes Madonna is cut, she also got that way from whatever yoga and picking up Kabbalah water bottles, she's genetically predisposed, yo.) Wouldn't it be even better if the famous person wasn't an actress-model-singer, but just someone in the public eye? (Because we expect the celebs to care about their bodies, it's like job description stuff, and better if it could be someone whose body is incidental to her role.) It might make a commitment to exercise seem doable, normal, admirable. And really, how could their be any backlash against that?

Oh, hi Michelle Obama! I love your arms! We all do!

And then there was a freaking storm over her arms. Apparently: Her arms are a symbol of American power. She should cover up. It's about her willingness to have time to herself, and that spells confidence. It's elitist, excessive, threatening, lovely, gross, overdone, empowering, help me, help me, help me before I hurt someone.

Look, she has nice arms. She wears sleeveless dresses. Her workouts incorporate weights over 3-pounds. She and her husband are both fit. A black woman in a position of relative power who also looks physically strong (and probably is) is unsurprisingly threatening to some people. Thanks for spreading the good word about exercise by example, Michelle, and I for one am sorry you have to deal with all this crap because of it. You know, your muscles maybe make some people feel like big ol' wussies, as does your intellect and success and your husband. A black man can be president (yes we can!) and his wife can be fit, but the latter gets a bizarre amount of attention.

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