Things I like about this cover: It’s simple, it’s uncluttered, that shade of green on the wallpaper is awesome, Michelle Obama looks really fit and healthy, her lipstick is a good shade, and nowhere is there an arbitrary number of things being bleated at me. Somewhere at Vogue — and every magazine — I imagine there to be a database where you can look up whether 342 or 197 has been used before, and if so, at least make sure it applied to something else rather than repeat that there are exactly 218 ways to work your left ab, or whatever.

Things I am not sure about on the cover: Whether her dress looks like it’s being blown open by accident, the haircut (I think it is too severe on her), the stiffness of the pose; the fact that the only thing they could think of to do with Michelle Obama was plonk her on a table and arrange her arms. This looks like a sitting for an Official Portrait, not a compelling Vogue cover.

Things I understand about this cover: Vogue probably isn’t allowed to get too Vogue all over Michelle Obama, because it would probably in some way scandalize everyone and be perceived as disrespecting the role of the First Lady.

Things I nonetheless wish about this cover: that Vogue pushed harder to find a creative approach. I bet Michelle Obama wishes she got to have crazy fun more often, because when you’re First Lady it’s nigh on impossible to throw caution to the wind and do things that are insane, like say, allowing Vogue to feature you in a spread where you’re using gym equipment in huge wigs and ball gowns with insane makeup. But it might be nice to think people can do more with and for you than just Executive Head Shots.

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[Photo: Vogue]