All Articles Tagged "let’s move"
I Don’t Want To Dance, I’m Scared To Death: Why Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Album Is Just Bad Timing
Anybody else annoyed by FLOTUS Let’s Move campaign? Just me? Okay, I can live with that but before you go in on me, let me explain the way my bank account is set up…
Maybe I wouldn’t be as annoyed if I didn’t just come back from the neighborhood supermarket and been robbed out of 3 bucks for a bag of six lemons. Or had to put down that pack of chicken cutlets because it just wouldn’t fit into this week’s income. Or considered a box of processed mash potato chips because it would have been a lot cheaper than a bag of actual potatoes. According to the USDA website, the problem isn’t that I’m shopping at the wrong supermarket. In fact, most staple food items are expected to increase by 1.5 to as much as 2.5 percent in 2013 including poultry prices, which rose 1.4 percent in June (and are 5.5 percent above prices from last year); Fish and seafood prices increased 0.3 percent (and are 1.6 percent above the June 2012 level); citrus fruit seeing a price increase of 1.7 percent (and apples up as much as 6.7 percent), and last year at this time, fresh vegetable prices are up 1.8 percent, with predictions of vegetable price inflation to be 2.5 to 3.5 for 2013. As a member of what Danielle Belton of the Black Snob rightfully referred to as the Cobbler Class (you know, those among us who have to patchwork a bunch of low wage freelance, temp and part-time gig to make up for that ever evasive one stable job you spent all that money in college for), living today is not cheap.
So what does this have to do with the FLOTUS’ “Let’s Move!” program? Well, see what had happened was…
Earlier this week, The Let’s Move campaign announced its plans to release a hip hop album complete with 19 songs and 10 music videos. The album, set to be released late in September, will feature artists including Run DMC, Ashanti (well at least she’s working), Doug E. Fresh and Jordin Sparks, who will be singing the praises of exercise, healthy eating and why we as a country, need to stop being so fat. The first single, called “Everybody,” has a music video, which features Dr. Oz rapping (no, I’m for real) while Doug E. Fresh beat-boxes. According to published reports, the video and music videos will be distributed to school districts across the country and will be used to further the anti-obesity message of the campaign.
Mrs. Obama is reportedly happy about this and judging by the Let’s Move campaign official website, is drawing all sorts of correlations between the Let’s Move campaign and the decrease in obesity in 19 U.S. States and territories between 2008 and 2011, saying that “Today’s announcement reaffirms my belief that together, we are making a real difference in helping kids across the country get a healthier start to life. We know how essential it is to set our youngest children on a path towards a lifetime of healthy eating and physical activity, and the more than 10,000 childcare programs participating in the Let’s Move! Child Care initiative are doing vitally important work on this front.”
Sure, obesity is down in some parts of America but maybe that has more to do with them being too hungry to move around? Okay, that’s a bit of a leap there but you have to admit that releasing an album and music videos about exercising and eating your vegetables comes off slightly unaware, especially at a time when many folks are facing some real financial difficulties and uncertainities in the country.
Michelle Obama kicked off her Memorial Day weekend with soul. On Friday, while most of us were sitting at the desk, waiting for the clock to strike five, Mrs. Obama visited Mrs. Lyons Pre-K class, in Washington, DC, for a “funky good time.”
While she was there she played “Freeze Dance” with the students as they danced along to James Brown’s “Doing It To Death.” You would think the kids would be a little hesitant to dance in front of the First Lady of the United States, but these kids, from Savoy Elementary School, were ready to shake something. The kids were singing along, hopping around, looking at Mrs. Obama for approval and encouragement, and one student did his version of “The Jerk” the entire time. In between dance moves, they looked at their teacher to know when to freeze.
Savoy Elementary was one of the eight schools in DC that participated in the President’s Turnaround Arts Initiative. The goal was for these once underperforming schools to use the arts to transform the culture, climate and academic success. Savoy, which used to be the lowest performing school in the district, is now improving with rising test scores, increased enrollment and higher teacher-student attendance.
The students, along with their teacher explained that they play Freeze Dance because it allows them to exercise, focus and have fun. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Check out the video of the students getting down on the next page.
Michelle Obama took to Twitter yesterday to take questions about her anti-obesity initiative “Let’s Move,” just one more way the First Lady has been out there promoting the program in recent weeks. Although some people used it as an opportunity to take shots at the President and the program, it was effective for getting the word out.
“Since 2009, Mrs. O has effectively used social media, especially Twitter, to promote her causes and reach people she might otherwise miss. But her husband’s opponents know how to use social media, too, to promote their causes and to bash the president through the first lady,” writes USA Today.
Still on tour to promote “Let’s Move! Active Schools,” which the White House hopes will be adopted by 50,000 U.S. schools, Michelle Obama held her first Google+ hangout last week. And while the First Lady may appear to be having a lot of fun, dancing with kids and even “mom dancing” with NBC late night host Jimmy Fallon, it is also about business, reports TheGrio. For the fitness movement, FLOTUS has partnered with a long list of corporate partners such as Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Darden Restaurants, and Nike, which put up $50 million to support fitness programs including “Let’s Move! Active Schools,” which will be administered outside the White House.
Although the First Lady’s anti-obesity campaign, Let’s Move, has prompted awareness of healthy eating issues, some are criticizing her approach. The campaign, which has celebrated its third anniversary, is the White House’s effort to fight obesity, especially in children. The latest stats indicate that about one-third of U.S. children are overweight or obese.
According to a recent op-ed Michelle Obama wrote for the Wall Street Journal making the business case for healthy food, companies are making money off of health food. But some in the food industry have criticized the campaign as government intrusion, according to the Huffington Post.
“Conservatives accused Mrs. Obama of going too far and dictating what people should — and shouldn’t — eat after she played a major behind-the-scenes role in the passage in 2010 of a child nutrition law that required schools to make foods healthier,” reports HuffPo. And some companies are complaining that healthier food costs more and thus doesn’t sell as well.
In her editorial, FLOTUS wrote, “Every day, great American companies are achieving greater and greater success by creating and selling healthy products. In doing so, they are showing that what’s good for kids and good for family budgets can also be good for business.”
Whole Foods, which sells healthy offerings, has increased its sales at an annual average rate of 13 percent over the past five years, according to financial site, The Motley Fool. And, sales of organic foods grew by 9.5 percent in 2001, outpacing the traditional grocery industry, according to Business News Daily.
However, according to a New York Times investigation, major food companies boost their bottom line by making addictive and extremely unhealthy products.
Still, nutritionists applaud the effort. Larry Soler, president and chief executive of the Partnership for a Healthier America, told the news site that Mrs. Obama has “been the leader in making the case for the time is now in childhood obesity and everyone has a role to play in overcoming the problem.”
And the general public seems to welcome the influence. According to a recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, more than eight in 10 of those surveyed, 84 percent, support requiring more physical activity in schools, and 83 percent favor government providing people with nutritional guidelines and information about diet and exercise. Seventy percent are in favor of restaurants putting calorie counts on menus, and 75 percent consider being overweight or obese a serious problem in this country, according to the telephone survey of 1,011 adults.
More than that, Michelle Obama is a great spokesperson for the issue. Ever since her video with Jimmy Fallon went up a little over a week ago, “The Evolution of Mom Dance,” it has gotten over 14 million views. That video was to promote the Let’s Move campaign.
Adding criticism upon criticism, there are some that say the First Lady is making too many public appearances. Even if her Let’s Move work is justified, some were put off by her video appearance on the Oscars. She responded to that on the Today show on Friday.
“That’s just the nature of life,” the First Lady said about the criticism. Of course, she’s also gotten a lot of attention she didn’t ask for over her new bangs, an issue brought up during the interview as well.
According to HuffPo, Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer and the site of that Today show interview, now not only includes nutritional labeling on its store brands but has also pledged to cut sodium and added sugars by 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively, by 2015, and remove industrially produced trans fats. Leslie Dach, a Wal-Mart executive vice president, told HuffPo that sodium in packaged bread has been cut by 13 percent, and added sugar in refrigerated flavored milk, popular among kids, has been cut by more than 17 percent.
How successful do you think the Let’s Move program has been?
“At Any Point At A Given Time, Somebody’s Not Going To Like What You Do”: Michelle Obama Responds To Her Oscar Critics
Even though the Academy Awards were last Sunday, we’ve learned quite a bit throughout the week about the people nominated, involved with the show and who just happened to show up. For instance, who knew that there was all this Anne Hathaway hate? Seriously, what’s up with a “Hathahater”?? Also we learned that Jack Nicholson is a bit creepy when it comes to the young gyals (just ask new Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence). And of course, some people weren’t too pleased with seeing Michelle Obama at the show, presenting the Best Picture award at the end of the night for the Ben Affleck directed movie Argo.
An Iranian news agency wasn’t feeling her gorgeous gown, so they Photoshopped her dress to make her look more covered, but mostly, the usual bitter suspects didn’t think she should have presented at all (even if she wasn’t physically at the show) because she has nothing to do with Hollywood. One Conservative we saw on a morning show this week said her appearance made the White House look “small.”
Haters. All of them.
Anywho, while making press stops to get people enthusiastic about her Let’s Move Campaign, an initiative to combat childhood obesity, on Today she commented on all the critics who always seem to have something to say about every move she makes.
“That’s just the nature of life. I mean, we live in a time when there are bloggers and tweeters and 24-hour news and everyone has a voice in this town square, and it’s a big one. That means at any point at a given time, somebody’s not going to like what you do. That’s the nature of things. It’s not really about me. I just happen to be in the public eye and along with everybody else in the public eye, you’re subject to conversation, opinion and all that sort of stuff. There’s nothing new about that.”
That Michelle, always keeping it cool as a cucumber. And from checking out the comments to her response via E! News, I can tell most of the people griping about her showing up at the Oscars are the same people who gripe about her doing everything else. From the clothes she wears to the places she goes and just being fabulous and chilling in the White House with her husband for a second term that they clearly didn’t want to see happen. I’m glad that the FLOTUS realizes that somebody is ALWAYS going to have something to say, but while they waste time doing that, you just have to continue to do you. Boom! Take that “critics.”
Where were you the night First Lady Michelle Obama broke out into the dougie on national television?
On Friday night, Michelle Obama took to the talk show scene when she made her first appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. She was there to promote her “Let’s Move” initiative and before they sat down to talk, Mrs. Obama and Fallon (as a woman) performed a nifty number described as “The Evolution of Mom Dancing.” The dances ranged from “The Hip Bump to the “Just the hands part of the Single Ladies Dance” and finally, “the Dougie,” which “Mama Fallon” sat out because it was a bit too advanced for “her.”
After the dance performance, Mrs. Obama sat down with Fallon to discuss the strides they’ve made with the “Let’s Move” initiative, including Wal-Mart lowering prices on fruits and vegetables as well as the obesity rate of children in Mississippi being lowered by 13 percent since “Let’s Move” kicked off three years ago.
While Jimmy Fallon shared with Mrs. Obama his wishes to see a Clinton/Obama (Michelle, that is) presidential ticket in 2016, the First Lady said she has her own plans: to possibly take over as host of Jay Leno’s show whenever he decided it was time to retire.
For whatever some may think of President Obama, you’ve got to work really hard to dislike the First Lady – she’s just so likeable!
Check out “The Evolution of Mom Dancing” below!
It’s amazing how Americans get riled up over people trying to do things to actually help kids — and our health care system. Michelle Obama has been under somewhat consistent scrutiny for her “Let’s Move” campaign, targeted at tackling childhood obesity, but one Alabama High School football coach’s unnecessary verbal rants regarding her efforts have landed him a spot right inside of his home watching the days go by instead of on the field.
Apparently while discussing the FLOTUS’s goal of providing school kids with low-calorie lunches, Lauderdale County High School head football coach Bob Grisham referred to Mrs. Obama as “fat butt Michelle” and went on to add, “Look at her. She looks like she weighs 185 or 190. She’s overweight. I’m serious. Y’all, our country is, is, is going in the wrong direction.”
According to Philly.com, the rant was caught on tape by a student and school administrators responded by putting Grisham on a 10-day suspension. With news also coming out that he openly called homosexuals “qu**r,” it’s hard to say how much of this reprimand has to do with the First Lady versus the expression of anti-gay sentiments, but it’s good to see discipline has been the swift response. When questioned about his comments on Michelle Obama, the coach simply said he “misspoke.”
We know all to well that this is hardly the first time the First Lady’s body, and specifically her behind, have been criticized. Unfortunately, this is probably one of the lesser incidences, considering much more public figures like Rush Limbaugh (surprise) and Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) have openly said disparaging remarks about Michelle Obama’s backside. When speaking to the Washington Post, Andra Gillespie, Associate Professor of Political Science at Emory University, said these critics:
“are reacting to the culture in which they’ve grown up or they are using it as a code to racialize Michelle Obama and remind people that she’s black. It is unreasonable to expect a nearly 50-year-old woman to have the body of a 25-year-old. She looks great for her age.”
That point is further driven home by the realization that this criticism consistently comes from old White men (I’m assuming Grisham falls in that category) who still fail to realize the racial and political makeup of America is changing yet somehow still believe they can revert it back to what it once was — and old (white) boy’s club. Meanwhile White women, for the most part, are asking their personal trainers how they can get toned arms like the the First Lady’s, i.e., their efforts are backfiring. Though I’m personally disgusted at this negativity — and particularly the fact that it stems from the sentiment of who does this Black woman think she is to tell my child what he or she can and can’t eat, even though it will likely save them from medical issues down the line — I take comfort in knowing the comments haven’t affected Mrs. Obama in the slightest. Earlier in her FLOTUS days, the “Today” show asked her whether all of the focus on her physique has affected her body image. She replied:
“No, not really — but I thank God I’m 45 in this and not 35. I feel bad for young women going through the same thing, because [at that age] you don’t know who you are. I know what makes me happy. My message to women: Do what makes you feel good, because there’ll always be someone who thinks you should do it differently.”
From The Grio
A group of Kansas highschoolers express their displeasure for Michelle Obama’s new 850-calorie school lunches in a YouTube parody entitled “We are Hungry.”
Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act – inspired by the first lady’s Let’s Move! campaign – lunch meals for 9th through 12th graders are now limited to 850 calories. As the singing students appear weak and collapse during the video, they argue that the new limitations don’t provide enough food for fast-growing students or student athletes.
Read more at The Grio
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Nobody can tell me that our First Lady, Michelle Obama, isn’t made up of all things awesome. I just…I just want to be like her when I grow up. Refined, accomplished, cool under pressure and able to double dutch. She is just too much. In an appearance on “Live with Kelly,” the first lady was there to promote her new gardening book. But she upped the ante by surprising the kids from Cary YMCA SuperSkippers jump rope team by jumping double dutch as they twirled. The episode was taped in late May but it aired yesterday morning.
Check out the footage below and see just another reason why the first lady rocks!
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Beyonce took a little time out of relaxing on the beach during her St. Barts vacation to pen a short note to Michelle Obama. On her website, she posted the letter below, singing the praises of The First Lady and thanking her for being a role model that her daughter, Blue Ivy, can look up to.
Beyonce is usually the one on the receiving end of compliments like this so it’s nice to see her recognize such an important African American figure like Mrs. Obama. Bey’s been a fierce supporter of President Obama’s re-election campaign and Michelle’s right-hand entertainment woman for her “Let’s Move” campaign so perhaps basking under the tropical sun with her husband, away from (most of) the paparazzi got her thinking about how difficult it must be for the Obamas to remain cool under pressure.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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