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Mrs. O Takes on 'Food Deserts'

Photo by Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The First Lady is employing a multi-pronged strategy in her fight to end childhood obesity. While Let's Move is often the focus, increasingly, there is a policy effort too. Today, Mrs. O was joined by executives from Wal-Mart, Walgreens, SuperValu and other stores at the White House to announce a plan to open 1500 new stores offering nutritious foods in communities that have been labeled as "food deserts." 

Per the New York Times:

The Obama administration’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative, begun by Mrs. Obama in February 2010, aims to financially assist stores that open in food deserts. The initiative received a $35 million budget this year, well short of the hundreds of millions requested by President Obama. The administration asked for more than $300 million to be approved for it in the next budget.

On a style note, the First Lady looked smart and sharp for the event, pairing a pearl grey cotton poplin Narciso Rodriguez dress with silver heels. A wrist full of bracelets completed the look.

"Big Retailers Make Pledge of Stores for 'Food Deserts'" [New York Times]

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Reader Comments (28)

A very nice and appropriate dress, but: Is her waist really that high? It doesn't look comfortable to me, sorry.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 12:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterPat

There are times when a tall woman just needs a tall size. I think this might be one of them.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 12:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterPat

I like the heels, I like the bracelets, I like the cut of the dress. For once, I do not like the color. It does not flatter her. Pale grey is a difficult color and, I think, one she should not wear. But her smile is radiant!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 1:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterPinda


Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 1:32 AM | Registered CommenterNyon

OMG! Just watched the video of this event and why is there a lady directly behind Mrs. O that has on the same dress that Mrs. O wore Sunday. Well, it looks like the same dress. Is it? Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with having the same dress. It's just that don't think I would have had the guts to wear it. I'm sure if Mrs. O recognized it, she was gracious and probably said something like, "I have that dress too girl". Or something like that. She's just that cool. Anyway, here is the link and let me know if my eyes are playing tricks on me or if in fact that is the dress.


Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 2:01 AM | Registered CommenterNyon

I see what you mean, Nyon. It is very similar but I would be flattered if I was the first lady and someone wore a dress that I had been seen in recently and lets face it, it's a lovely dress.

I also like this dress that Mrs Obama is wearing. I have fallen in love with girly dresses similar to Rachel Roy's design. I recently treated myself to this dress and I love it. http://www.hobbs.co.uk/index.cfm?page=1017&productid=0111-5636-3165L00&productvarid=0111-5636-3165L00-IVORY%20BLACK-12 It's an occassion dress but if it stops raining this summer, I intend on wearing it to the office.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 4:33 AM | Registered CommenterJestina ( London, England)

I think Mrs. O. looks very nice, but this particular shade of lipstick is doing her absolutely no favors...it's way too light.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 4:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterChristen

You're so right, Nyon. I bet if Mrs O met someone wearing the same dress as herself or one that she also owned, she wouldn't be able to share a little conspiratorial laugh with the wearer! And wouldn't the lady always remember that occasion!

I'm crossing my fingers for some sunny weather for you Jestina! A seriously lovely dress & I'm sure you will look wonderful. (I had a little smile when under the product description it said 'Style: above knee'. Better not open up that thread again!!) Enjoy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 5:23 AM | Registered CommenterEnglish Observer

I love the dress but it is a very unflattering picture of Mrs. O's face :( Any possibility of changing it to one like this that I just saw on the Obama Diary?

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 7:23 AM | Registered CommenterVivienne

@EnglishObserver, you are naughty ;-)) On a different note, She always gets the make-up just right, and I'm loving the new wavy up-dos!

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 7:57 AM | Registered CommenterJoss

I had to chuckle over the "same dress" thread. If Mrs. O wore it Sunday the wearer could safely bet she wouldn't wear it again on Wednesday. Or if the wearer doesn't follow the fashion blogs and the local newspaper didn't run the Obama's walking to church, how would she know? Only yesterday mother was complaining that in our small "city-in-the-country" it's very hard to find a nice ensemble for church that up to 6 others aren't wearing on any given Sunday. And she's 83! That's what happens now-a-days when we can no longer sew our own clothes. We fall victim to pop fashion culture and in aping what the trend-setters wear risk finding "our dress" on someone else at any given event.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered Commenterphilly

Vivienne I pulled up the picture you are referring to and honestly I don't see the picture as being unflattering. I love the lipstick. My mom used to wear that color in the Spring and Summer.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterToni

I'm sure this is lovely in person, but I think she looks like a nurse in this photo.

Still love her !

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterriver rush

To the point about the high waisted look of this dress: I am related to a female who has an extremely high waist, is very tall, and who has very long legs. In relation to Mrs.O, her waist falls in about the same place. Wearing a tall size dress is not going to change where the waist is in proportion to the body. Can we accept different body proportions, applaud the sexy yet tailored look of this dress, and move on?

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 12:58 PM | Registered CommenterBevi

Nothing Narcisso Rodriguez about that dress and it looks crumpled.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterMrs. A

I like the color of the dress but the shape makes her look like a pear. I also like the shoes and bangles.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 5:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterBunny W.

I really like the "pearl grey cotton poplin Narciso Rodriguez dress with silver heels"; as a matter of fact, I love the whole ensemble.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 6:51 PM | Registered CommenterSoccerNana

This dress should pass the appropriate police inspection, her arms are convered, but the dress does not hit below the knees which might cause a problem for many.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 7:57 PM | Registered CommenterB.R.

Her smile is radiant, her hair looks great, her makeup is wonderful, and her accessories are A+! I am just not a big fan of what she is wearing. She looks like a nurse.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterEm

I do understand your point, Bevi. For the record, though, I have to say that tall size clothes are not just longer at the bottom! The are adjusted for length in torso, sleeves, rise, too. (BTW, I have a high waist myself.)

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 11:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterPat

I understand your point about tall size clothes, Pat, but an adjustment for length in the waist in a garment is not going to lengthen the actual waist! The waist is where the waist is! In the dress above, perhaps the waistline would appear lower if there were less fabric or flounce in the lowest third of the dress. I am so used to seeing this type of body that I don't register a flaw, so to speak. A high waistline I feel looks very feminine in women of Mrs. O's physical stature.

Friday, July 22, 2011 at 3:05 PM | Registered CommenterBevi

I like a slight raised waist. It can make a pretty focus. The dress has a pretty cut and it's nice to see Mrs. O wear something that isn't blare-your-eyes-out gaudy, but the dress being white makes it look a lot like a spa robe or a service uniform. However, the overall effect is neat, trim, and appropriate. Someone with taste must have taken Mrs. O's clothing choices in hand.

Saturday, July 23, 2011 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnonna

@ Anonna: Really, someone with taste! What about Our First Lady's taste?

She is young, beautiful, intelligent, smart, wonderful mother, adoring wife to the(Only Adult At the Table). And she needs someone to choose HER clothes! I am sure even if she does has someone to SUGGEST, that she is capable of making her own choices.

I am not sure if you have noticed, but on this blog, we LOVE Our First Lady and your "however, overall effect" means absolutely nothing to her. Either you like it or don't. Just be real and say it! You are entitled to your personal opinion, but could use a little taste, yourself.

Say what you mean and don't beat-around-the-bush. We are grown women here. We can take it and give it, so just WOMAN-UP!

If you can, please watch the live video at http://www.whitehouse. gov. and you will see for yourself how beautiful, charming and smart Our First Lady (and Yours), represented her strategy in fighting to end childhood obesity. And it did not matter if the dress was gaudy, spa robe or service uniform (by the way, she would great in all three!)She is speaking up for our children, grandchildren health for years to come, hopefull save some lives. And she looks damn good!

Saturday, July 23, 2011 at 6:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterLDS

......."Someone with taste must've taken Mrs. O's clothing choices in hand". Are you really serious? That is so condenscending. What makes you think she doesn't select her clothes? Understanding that at times someone pulls, or makes purchases for her. But it's been documented that the final choice is her's. Could it be that you actually likes something that she's wearing and rather compliment her on it and leave it at that, you decided to take a backhand, back alley swipe at her because (God forbid) you and our Michelle have the same taste when it comes to this particular outfit? Well, at least you said it was appropiate, huh?
Really, as Quincy Jones would say, "What makes you feel like doing stuff like that!"

Saturday, July 23, 2011 at 9:20 PM | Registered CommenterCharlene in Detroit

Unfortunately, when comments are made and we "say what we mean" we are taken to task. Not every outfit is perfect and people should be able to comment and say what they think. I do think that some of Ms. O's choices are not flattering, as do others. But when those things are said, we catch it and are haters and disloyal, etc. I think this dress is not flattering to her body and it does resemble a nurse's uniform.

Monday, July 25, 2011 at 1:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterJean

Dittos to Jean, and I have to admit that nurse's uniform was the first thing that came to mind when I saw this. Seemingly an unflattering color and style for the First Lady, although something that could have looked much better in person.

Monday, July 25, 2011 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterSonia C.

Pat I think you are missing the point that Bevi is trying to make and I'll add some more. Firstly, Mrs O has a very high waist. Second, the empire line has been around for.... five years at least this time around. Third, Mrs O has aways worn empire line and high waisted outfits, right through the first campaign and right through her husband's presidency. And sometimes creates a high waist by sticking a wide belt on a plain shift dress. Fourth, this dress is clearly a high waisted tulip cut. I don't therefore see what the problem is. It's a cut that would look awkward on many, but with Mrs O's elegant shape, it's actually perfect for her, accentuating as it does her long slender arms, tiny waist and long legs.

I like it, don't love it, but it's nice to see Mrs O in different shapes that flatter her.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 11:08 AM | Registered CommenterPosh Tater

I am sorry, but this was a bad choice for the First Lady, I think she looks like a Hotel maid!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 6:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterSande

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