Ivanka Trump vs. Michelle Obama on magazine covers

We have a new first lady in town.  And no, I don't mean Melania Trump.  It's clear that Ivanka Trump has become the de facto first lady for publicity purposes.  And we all know that a major role for first ladies is to grace the cover of magazines.  Michelle Obama appeared on so many of them that some people rushed to their ophthalmologists' offices with eyestrain.  But Ivanka has already appeared on her share of covers, too.  So the important question arises: who is more charismatic in print?

When you look at the below photo of Ivanka Trump on the left, the very first thing that catches every reader's eye is the left arm akimbo.  It projects confidence, stamina, and self-assurance, everything needed in a natural born leader.  At the same time, Ivanka's right arm resting on her thigh is more relaxed, demonstrating that she has a more informal, at ease nature that coexists freely with her leadership skills.  Ivanka clearly chose a shirt that allows for a lot of ventilation, showing she gets hot and passionate about the issues that she believes in, like global warming.  And do you notice her right leg?  Obviously, from that position, the only possible thing that can be going on is that Ivanka is receiving a shoe shine, showing her meticulous attention to her personal appearance, because a meticulous appearance is a key to success in the high-powered business world.  This cover is great because it shows that Ivanka is a born leader.

In the upper right-hand cover, we see Ivanka pregnant and carrying one of Jared Kushner's babies to term (no abortions for Ivanka!).  Ivanka caresses her baby lovingly, telling us in an instant the depth of warmth and emotional perception she possesses.  This photo tells us there is absolutely no way a neglected, crack-addicted child could possibly grow up in such a loving home.  Even slinging ten or twenty extra pounds in her swishing belly, her radiant smile reassures us that she doesn't get grouchy or mean when her husband comes home.

While an uninformed eye might think this cover depicts Ivanka Trump as some sort of object of desire, an informed viewer could not be more wrong.  This cover clearly highlights Ivanka's athletic and entrepreneurial skills.  The drill she is holding is a metaphor for constructing a business, which Ivanka has been quite successful at, selling clothes, jewelry, and handbags.  The sweat clearly glistening on her skin shows how hard she works and how passionate she feels about her work.  The swimsuit she is wearing shows how Ivanka has broken out of the male-imposed stereotypes of what is and isn't proper for women to wear at work.  Some would say the bathing suit is "sexist," but by making it her own, Ivanka Trump wears the bathing suit as a badge of attainment of the feminist superego self-ideal.  What I like so much about the cover above is that it shows Ivanka not as a sexual object, but rather as a proud, assertive woman in control of objects around her.

When it came to Michelle Obama, there were simply so many magazine covers to choose from!  I was overwhelmed!  So I ended up selecting the three that showed her looking her positive best:

If you're like me, the thing that stands out the most in this photo is Mrs. Obama's smile.  It's so shy, so genuine, so warm and loving.  She's looking to the left, eyebrows raised, a classic facial expression of pure, natural curiosity.  Truly wonderful!  And look how relaxed her arms are!  She's truly at peace with herself.  Her elegant picnic dress waves in the wind, giving Mrs. Obama a very at ease look.

You might think the cover on the upper left shows Mrs. Obama in an unflattering light, but you couldn't be more wrong.  It shows her as an expressive, natural woman.  Look how her eyebrows slant and her eyes narrow.  No model shot up with Botox could do that!  Even in anger, Mrs. Obama has a wholesome, natural look.  You know that when she feels angry, she is angry.  She doesn't hide who she is.  And those teeth!  They look so perfect, they could be pearls in a QVC commercial.  A truly wonderful image.

In the photo on the upper right, we can barely see Mrs. Obama, just her face, and yet, however small it is, it dominates the entire cover.  She is just so tremendously expressive!  Look at that assertive look she is giving the Danish prime minister, whom Obama was flirting with.  She is clearly telling her, "This is my man, and I am passionately in love with him, so watch out!"  In short, her expression is one of pure love.

It's so hard to decide who is more classy on magazine covers – Michelle or Ivanka?  What do you think?

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.