I enjoyed the article. I am not an expert on the situation so I can't say whether or not racism is being employed by her fashion handlers, but the article makes a good point: she shouldn't have to care (and doesn't) what anyone thinks about her looks/clothes - she does what she wants with pride and this is a good thing for American women to see.
Beauty is subjective, as the old adage states. To call someone "unfortunate looking" is, ironically, to invite criticism of one's own looks, and I don't think any of us enjoys being criticized based on our looks. I personally think Michelle Obama is lovely and unique looking and as an active woman myself, love seeing her flaunt her strong arms and fit figure. It's good for us women to have a first lady who is proud of her strength and her personal fashion choices.
Also, people who think that the way a person dresses is meaningless are people who are missing out on a big part of life. You can dress like a slob and convey a slobby message, or you can dress in a way that expresses yourself. Sure, it's not easy for everyone to match colors and put the right clothes on their own body, but after a short couple of lessons, it's not difficult. And it makes a huge difference in how a person is perceived. I would argue that dressing true to the self with well-arranged clothes (instead of hiding the self with bad clothes) is more authentic than saying something lazy like fashion doesn't matter.