Whether you love or hate her husband's politics, and whether you revere or loathe her celebrity fashion icon status, Michelle Obama is a compelling individual.
Barbara Walters picked the First Lady of the United States as the most fascinating person of 2009, a choice she revealed tonight on her annual ABC special.
Obama bested music stars Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert, political phenom and lightning rod Sarah Palin, Kate Gosselin; and Michael Jackson's three children.
"First lady Michelle Obama is shaping up to be more than the sum of her parts," Walters began her piece, referring to Michelle Obama's famously buff biceps.
Michelle Obama at the recent Kennedy Center Honors.
"My personal routine hasn't changed much in the past 11 years," Michelle said when the veteran journalist asked if she felt pressured to maintain those arms.
"Some of that was, in all honesty, revenge because I'm married to a man who's worked out all his life. No matter how busy he is, he finds time to work out."
Was Michelle a good choice for the year's most fascinating?
Fascinating or not, we look forward to the First Lady continuing to showcase her style and grace. Click to enlarge lots more Michelle Obama pictures below ...