Michelle Obama: The New Princess Di?

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Not exactly.

The First Lady's appeal is widespread, but she hasn't emerged as a celebrity magazine-selling fixture equivalent to the late Princess of Wales, despite publishers' hopes.

Vogue's March cover story on Michelle Obama called her "The First Lady the World's Been Waiting For." No doubt she's been embraced by the media world, appearing on magazine cover after cover, from People and Us Weekly to Newsweek.

Michelle Obama fashion is all the rage these days, and her approval ratings are quite high, but magazine sales of issues featuring the First Lady are mixed.

A Michelle cover doesn't hurt a general-interest magazine, the numbers suggest, but it doesn't produce more than an occasional lift either. New York magazine's March 23 issue (below) looks to have produced only average sales.

When Michelle appears in a magazine with strong African-American readership, however, or when she appears with the president, sales seem to jump more.

Essence, O and Ebony covers featuring Michelle solid far more copies than usual.

Celeb gossip magazines are mixed. Us Weekly's November 17 cover, "Their Amazing Journey," sold 923,161 copies, 16 percent more than average. Yet summer's "Michelle Obama - Why Barack Loves Her" cover sold just 2 percent above average.

On the bottom end? The September Ladies' Home Journal, picturing both Obamas, sold 182,233 copies - 21 percent below average. Although the teaser about saving money at the pump didn't help. Way to play up your cover photo.

Click to enlarge Michelle Obama photos on magazine covers in the past year:

  • Barack Obama New Yorker Cover
  • Michelle Obama Vogue Cover
  • Michelle Obama's Life in the White House
  • The Obamas at Home
  • At Home with the Obamas
  • A New Day
  • Barack Obama and Michelle Obama
  • Barack and Michelle Obama
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