''Fat butt Michelle Obama... Look at her... She looks like she weighs 185 or 190. She's overweight,'' the Washington Post quoted Bob Grisham, a high school football coach as saying, when he was surreptitiously recorded by one of his students.
Grisham, who was suspended on Monday, is neither the first nor the most high-profile person to feel moved to comment on the First Lady's physique.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has repeatedly called her Michelle ''My Butt'' Obama. And Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, the Wisconsin Republican, issued an apology after he was caught commenting on her ''large posterior.''
Michelle obviously is not the first First Lady to be subjected to criticism for the way she looks.
Hillary Clinton was accused of having 'cankles – slang for chubby ankles.
One of her predecessors was immortalised in song by the group Mission of Burma: ''I'm haunted by the freakish size of Nancy Reagan's head /No way that thing came with that body.''
The first lady's critics ''are reacting to the culture in which they've grown up or they are using it as a code to racialize Michelle Obama and remind people that she's black,'' Andra Gillespie, an associate professor of political science at Emory University said.
''It is unreasonable to expect a nearly 50-year-old woman to have the body of a 25-year-old. She looks great for her age,'' Gillespie added.