Sideshow: First lady: It's about the family


Michelle Obama will appear on Vogue's cover in the April issue; it's her second time. But when it comes to the inside pages, she doesn't appear alone: President Obama joins his wife in the interview. The couple say their values and focus in life haven't changed since they moved to the White House with daughters Malia and Sasha, now 14 and 11.

"Our job is, first and foremost, to make sure our family is whole," says the first lady. "You know, we have small kids; they're growing every day. But I think we were both pretty straightforward when we said, 'Our No. 1 priority is making sure that our family is whole.' "

Adds Mrs. Obama, "The stresses and the pressures of this job are so real that when you get a minute, you want to give that extra energy" to the kids.

Paradoxically, the Obama girls are entering that difficult age when they want to carve out more alone time - and enjoy the nightlife. "Now that they want less time with us, who knows?" says the president. "Maybe you'll see us out in the clubs" with them.

Lena Dunham eschews body-mania

Our cultural values are so upside down thanks to media know-nothings such as the undersigned (yours truly), that kids don't realize Lena Dunham and Tina Fey are far better role models for teenage girls than the weight-and-sex-and-money-obsessed glamour-pusses who rule the culture.

Dunham, 26, who writes, produces, directs, and stars in HBO's Girls, tells Playboy she's just as glad she's not saddled with a Victoria's Secret body. "I don't think I'd like it very much," she says. "I don't want to go through life wondering if people are talking to me because I have a big rack."

Dunham, who's dating fun. lead guitarist Jack Antonoff, also lays out the qualities she looks for in a man: "I'm . . . into someone who is interesting and open with his emotions, has a really good sense of humor and a passion for what he does."

Sean Lowe waiting for wedding night

Yes, he put himself out there in that most grotesque media meat market, ABC's The Bachelor, but Sean Lowe relies on his Christian faith and his values to get him through the day. That includes his courtship with fiancée Catherine Giudici.

Lowe, 29, a self-described born-again virgin who has abstained from sex since college, tells People he and Giudici won't consummate their relationship until their wedding night. For her part, she simply says of his beliefs, "I honor him."

Lowe's abstinence isn't simply a sexual issue, but reflects an overall attitude to live. (A weltanschauung, if you will.)

Says Lowe: "I lived life kind of selfishly for a long time, and I reached a point where I was tired of being selfish. I wanted to live my life the way I know it to be right." He says he plans to hold the wedding on TV. Um, so, when it comes to values, shameless exhibitionism in the name of profits is OK?

Paltrow haters: She starves her kids!

Does Gwyneth Paltrow really say in her new book that she heartlessly starves her kids, Apple, 8, and Moses, 6?

No, not really. But the tabloids are having a field day with a few weird passages from Gwyn's cookbook, It's All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great. Yes, the book's absurd, long, serpentine title is cause for concern. But is the book itself evil?

Gwyn writes that after suffering migraines, she decided to change her diet. She cut out "coffee, alcohol, dairy, eggs, sugar, shellfish, deep-water fish, wheat, meat, soy, and processed foods," as USA Today puts it, then imposed the new regimen on hub Chris Martin and the kids.

Writes Gwyn, "Sometimes when my family is not eating pasta, bread, or processed grains like white rice, we're left with that specific hunger that comes with avoiding carbs." Outlandish accusations aside, critics at the New York Post and Atlantic write that the book exposes Gwyn as a hyperneurotic eater who views food as something to be tightly regulated, not relished. You be the judge - if you want to shell out the $32 suggested retail price.

Commerce takes back seat to baby

Sure, Michael Bublé, 37, is totally proud of his new album, To Be Loved, due April 23, but he won't be tearing his hair out worrying how it'll do in the market

"I used to worry about how . . . the record would sell. And the truth is, I love this record," says the Canadian big band/easy listening stylist who sings Bee Gees, Dean Martin, and Elvis Presley tunes on the LP. "But, at the end of the day, if it sells 10 million or 10 copies, I've got bigger fish to fry." The fried halibut in question is Mrs. Bublé, Argentine actor Luisana Lopilato, who inspired Bublé's lovely song "Haven't Met You Yet," and the Mini-Me Bublé she's expecting. It'll be the couple's first baby.

Tidbits 'n' pieces

Lately, he's distinguished himself more for uttering foul-mouthed disses on other celebs, but it seems Sir Elton John still warbles. Elton, 65, guests on Fall Out Boy's new album, Save Rock and Roll, due April 16. . . . Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth may or may not be breaking up. . . . Country singer Miranda Lambert has rescued a dog from the side of the highway in Tishomingo, Okla. . . . The hamster Justin Bieber gave his fan Tori McClure, 18, has expired, says the New York Daily News. . . . Diane Von Furstenberg will present Good Morning America's Robin Roberts with a lifetime achievement award at the DVF Awards at the United Nations on April 5. The award honors women who do extraordinary, inspiring work.

Blast from the suicidal past

Punk outfit Suicidal Tendencies is releasing its first LP in 13 years, 13, and will play the Electric Factory in Philly on April 19. Info:

Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@ This article includes information from Inquirer wire services.