Fact Check: Images Used To Imply Michelle Obama Is Male Are Fakes

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Images Used To Imply Michelle Obama Is Male Are Fakes Modified Pics

Are images of former first lady Michelle Obama with a bulge under her dress real? No, that's not true: The images used in a social media post that show bulges are altered and one zoomed in picture does not actually show a bulge. Lead Stories located the original photos which do not show bulges.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) published on Facebook on March 14, 2024. The post included three images of Obama. The caption read:

Big Mike is in the house

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

michelle obama images FB post.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Mar 18 17:34:46 2024 UTC)

Lead Stories has already debunked the claim that the image of Obama in a green dress with a bulge is real. We performed multiple reverse image searches from Google and Yandex to find the origin of the other two images.

The original image of Obama in the purple dress was taken on April 24, 2013, by AFP photographer Jewel Samad. The caption of the image as it appears on Getty Images reads:

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on April 24, 2013 to leave for Dallas, Texas. Obama was heading to Dallas, Texas to attend a Democratic National Committee event later in the day. He will also attend a memorial service in Waco on Thursday for the victims of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

A screenshot of the original image is below:

getty image purple dress.png
(Source: Getty Images screenshot taken on Mon Mar 18 16:48:17 2024 UTC)

Clearly, the bulge is not in the original image: according to a reverse image search through TinEye (archived here), it looks like the bulge was added by 2015.

The original image of Obama wearing a headscarf (archived here) was taken on November 10, 2010, by Reuters photographer Jason Reed. The caption of the image as it appears on Reuters Pictures reads:

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama tour the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta November 10, 2010. With them is their guide, Grand Imam Ali Mustafa Yaqub (C). REUTERS/Jason Reed (INDONESIA - Tags: POLITICS RELIGION)

A screenshot of the original image is below:

Screenshot 2024-03-18 125848.png
(Source: Reuters Pictures screenshot taken on Mon Mar 18 16:58:48 2024 UTC)

The original image was taken from a distance, and the version of the image included in the post made on Facebook is much closer, seemingly to highlight Obama's body. While the zoomed-in version does not appear to add a fake bulge, its inclusion in the set of images in the post made on Facebook and the placement of her hand implies that the folds in Obama's light green suit are some sort of bulge, which obviously is not true.

Other Lead Stories fact checks related to Michelle Obama can be found here.

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Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
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