White House Bans Shirtless Photos Of Obama On Vacation

In case you haven’t heard, Barack Obama is currently vacationing with his family in Hawaii — a land of turquoise water, white beaches, and the setting for those 2008 photos of a buff and shirtless President that captured the imagination of wonks and everyday civilians alike. This year, the White House is doing everything in its power to prevent another round of Presidential pectoral pics by actively ordering reporters not not to snap any shirtless pics while Obama is snorkeling.

From the New York Times’ Caucus Blog:

Photographers were kept at a safe distance. The White House gave the press pool traveling with the president strict instructions that there would be no long lenses or other sneaky attempts to take pictures of a shirtless leader of the free world.

Back in August, reporters had to play by similar if not quite as explicit rules during Obama’s trip to the oil-stricken Gulf Coast.

When the president visited the Gulf Coast of Florida earlier this year, his aides kept news photographers far away from him while he was on the beach. Instead, the White House photographer captured him swimming with his daughter Sasha – and released a picture showing the president in the water, but only from the neck up.

While we’re not entirely sure why the idea of a POTUS with defined stomach muscles inspires such a national frenzy, we can understand why the White House is skittish. That said, all of this furor makes us wonder if the same standards have been applied to Michelle Obama — whose swimsuit pics were also published but certainly not as widely disseminated back in 2008.

What do you think? Is the White House acting like a nervous nelly, or are their fears of objectification justified?

[NYT via Jezebel.]

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