As Jon wrote on the front page, an Alabama high school football coach has been suspended for, among other things, saying Michelle Obama has a “fat butt.”

Krissah Thompson of the Washington Post‘s Style section caught on and wrote up an entire story about the first lady’s butt with context:

[W]hat is it with Michelle Obama’s critics and the fixation with her derriere? …

The focus on this first lady’s posterior has historical antecedents. It reaches back to the imagery of Hottentot Venus, a woman from what is now South Africa whose naked body and pronounced posterior were paraded in shows throughout 19th-century Europe. On to the selling and trading of black women’s bodies through slavery. In modern times, black women’s figures continue to be up for public discussion in ways that are celebratory (see: “Brick House” by The Commodores) and insulting (see above).

Michelle Obama — who is 5-foot-11 and praised for her fashion sense, her bangs and her toned biceps — regularly emerges in polls as one of the most popular public figures in the country. (The White House does not discuss her weight.)