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Are Michelle Obama's Buff Arms Contemporary or Tacky?

Michelle Obama has at least one thing in common with conservatives: She believes firmly in the right to bare arms. Indeed, the First Lady’s focus on fitness is front and center this morning as the media simultaneously praise her toned arms and question whether Michelle Obama’s propensity to show them off in sleeveless dresses is always appropriate.

Let’s start with the positives. According to CNN, Michelle Obama’s toned arms are an inspiration for some women. There’s even workouts geared towards getting "Michelle Obama arms." Her fit image speaks to a post-Title IX world, where women are encouraged to pursue sports and athletic activities--something that didn’t happen with women of earlier generations.

However, some pundits say that even great arms like Michelle Obama’s shouldn’t be shown off sometimes. "Oh my god," Cindi Leive, the editor of Glamour magazine, exclaimed while watching the address, she said via email to the New York Times. "The First Lady has bare arms in Congress, in February, at night!"

Criticism also spewed forth from Michelle Obama’s appearance during her husband’s first speech to Congress, in which she also donned a sleeveless outfit. "‘Does the lady not understand that these Big Speech Events are serious and important? Not a cocktail party?’" wrote one Chicago Tribune reader, according to the News & Observer. "The season is winter. The occasion is business. Dress was wrong place and time."

Still others posit that Michelle Obama will do for the arms what Jackie O. did for the hat. We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts below.