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See Michelle Obama’s Second Official White House Portrait

Image via White House Flickr; official portrait by Chuck Kennedy

I am trying to find an interesting angle to this whole "The White House just posted Michelle Obama's second official portrait to Flickr" post, and I've got nothing, which must mean this is a successful expression of the form. Official portraits aspire to blandness and it's a bad sign when they produce news, because it's never positive. Case in point: the horrifying first Palace-commisioned painting of Kate Middleton which made the Internet rounds earlier last month. When you're the wife of a leader of the free world, all press is not good press. A lot of press is bad press. 

So hurrah: Obama's second term White House portrait is perfectly ordinary. The photo showcases her controversial bangs but that's only because they're situated on her head, the centerpiece of the image. The First Lady shows her unconventional demeanor and relaxed manner with off-center pearls but come on, they're pearls. If words cast shadows, no one would ever have to use the words "pearls" and "conventional" in the same sentence

The First Lady pairs the necklace with a dark navy dress. It's cute. It has elbow-length sleeves; there's even an asymmetrical seam running down the front. But "bold fashion choice" it is not. 

Wedding ring, glossy pink lipstick, neutral nails: I am practically falling asleep but still, this is one for the literal history books.