All Articles Tagged "michelle obama"
Forbes’ list of the Most Powerful Women in the world is here, and First Lady Michelle Obama comes in at number four, just behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates.
Forbes says the list is a look at the “next gen” of powerful women, which includes everything from heads of state to “billionaire philanthropists.”
“These change-agents are actually shifting our very idea of clout and authority and, in the process, transforming the world in fresh and exhilarating ways,” the magazine says.
Specifically with reference to Melinda Gates (because we wondered why she came in higher than FLOTUS), the profile noted that her organization’s goals include eradicating polio by 2018 and getting “modern contraception” to 120 million women by 2020. Her foundation gave away $3.4 billion in 2012.
Queen Elizabeth is at number 40, so you don’t have to be a monarch with a fortress and a museum full of jewels to make it to the top of the list.
Oprah Winfrey is at number 13, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns is at number 14, and Beyonce is at number 17.
Forbes’ prominence in the list-making business aside, the story does bring up the question of how we define power nowadays. Clearly, it’s not just political achievement or business prowess. The ability to move people in a way that inspires big things is also taken into account.
Who would you put on this list?
Ever since coming out as gay, NBA player Jason Collins has been in high demand. He has done multiple interviews, including sitting down with Oprah, and rumor has it that book publishing companies are climbing over each other to sign him to a book deal. Now comes word that Collins will be part of a major Democratic fundraiser. In fact he will headline a May 29 event with First Lady Michelle Obama and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the party’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Leadership Council gala event.
Collins, who is a free agent center who played for the Washington Wizards last season, made news when he became the first male athlete in one of America’s four major team sports to publicly declare that he is gay. (Actually Glenn Burke, who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A was considered the first openly gay pro athlete after he came out to his teammates and management in the ’70s, according to The Atlantic.) In a story for Sports Illustrated, Collins officially came out. After doing so, he immediately received well-wishes from President Obama and former president Bill Clinton, among others, notes USA Today.
The Democratic party’s LGBT Leadership Council aims to elect Democrats and highlight the contributions of gays and lesbians in politics.
Where are all those republicans who said Michelle Obama wasn’t in good shape again? Tell that to the women seeking out surgery just to get toned arms like hers, and the doctors performing the procedures.
The LA Times just reported on the American Society of Plastic Surgeons latest cosmetic and resconstructive surgery statistics report, and while most of the data were typical – breast augmentation remains the most popular form of cosmetic surgery for the seventh year in a row — there was one surprising finding: upper-arm lift surgeries have gone through the roof!
In 2012, 15,457 patients had a brachioplasty (a surgery that, according to the LA Times, involves making an incision from the armpit to the elbow, usually along the back of the arm, to remove excess skin). That number is up 4,378% from what it was in 2000, when only about 300 women opted for the procedure.
Naturally, physicians and the public are curious as to what sparked such a staggering increase. According to the LA Times the FLOTUS is a big part of the explanation:
In a statement, the ASPS said that doctors didn’t point to a single reason for the increase, but took note of poll data indicating that women “are paying closer attention to the arms of female celebrities” including Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore and Kelly Ripa. The most-admired arms of all? Those of First Lady Michelle Obama.
I’m sure Mrs. Obama would have preferred these women were just as motivated by her “Let’s Move!” campaign and got banging biceps like hers the old fashion way, but it can’t hurt to have a part of your body so admired — especially when she earned them.
Not since Jackie Kennedy has America been so intrigued by the fashions of the First Lady as they are with Michelle Obama’s. Now there’s even an app to show you where you can purchase FLOTUS’s fabulous fashions.
The app, Michelle’s Style List, was launched last week. It will break down Michelle’s outfits and provide direct links to purchase the pieces themselves — from her $7,000 J. Mendel jacket, to one of her J.Crew cardigans or Target dresses.
Obama has had global impact on the fashion world. In fact, the .99-cent app wasn’t even developed in America, but in Britain by 28-year-old Helen Barclay. Barclay came up with the Obama app after the success of a similar fashionable tech tool, Kate’s Style List, based on the stylings of Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, reports The Huffington Post.
“Michelle Obama has a huge following in the U.S. She sells out clothes in the same way Kate Middleton does, and like the Duchess of Cambridge, she recycles lots of her clothes,” she told The Daily Mail. “It is mainly aimed at the American market, but I hope it will work here, too.”
Obama has already boosted fashion sales and such an app might just boost more designers’ bottom lines. According to financial analysts, the First Lady has boosted the economic value of the brands she chooses to wear by $2.7 billion. The Stern School of Business in New York did a study that found a company’s stock rocketed after Mrs. O was pictured wearing its designs.
Would you use this app?
“Hadiya Pendleton Was Me”: Michelle Obama Emotionally Adresses Gun Violence In Her Hometown Of Chicago
While gun control has become a huge topic of conversation all over the country since the Sandy Hook elementary school shootings last December, most people know that it has been a massive problem for people living in and around Chicago for many years now. Every summer is a bloodbath and innocent young students are dying senselessly, often by the hands of their classmates involved in gang activity.
As President Obama continues to make a push for tougher gun laws (an agreement between Democrat and Republican senators was made on expanding background checks and tightening gun trafficking laws yesterday in Washington), First Lady Michelle Obama headed to her hometown of Chicago to make a push at a fundraising lunch to encourage residents to fight against the gun violence in their streets and to push politicians to fight for tougher gun legislation. A big change for the First Lady. To get her point across in her speech, she spoke about Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old with her whole life ahead of her who was gunned down at a park while with friends just a week after performing as a majorette at President Obama’s inauguration events. Her shooters mistook Pendleton and her group for rival gang members. Obama pointed out that she could have easily ended up the same way, especially since Pendleton’s family went out of their way to keep her busy and out of trouble:
“Hadiya’s family was just like my family. Hadiya Pendleton was me, and I was her. But I got to grow up. And go to Princeton, and Harvard Law School and have a career and a family and the most blessed life I could ever imagine. And Hadiya, oh we know that story.”
“…Many of our children have never been to the Art Institute or Millennium Park. Many of them don’t even know the University of Chicago even exists. They are consumed with watching their backs. They are afraid to walk alone because they might get jumped. They are afraid to walk in groups because they might get identified as a gang.”
“The president is fighting as hard as he can and engaging as many people as he can to pass common sense reforms to protect our children from gun violence. These reforms deserve a vote in Congress.”
Check out her very moving speech on the next page and let us know what you think of what she had to say, as well as your stance on what can be done, if anything to curb gun violence.
For several months in 2011, the world of hopeful romantics was tilted on its axis. Rumors swirled and swelled and were splashed across gossip sites and magazines “reporting” the end of Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s then-15 year marriage. Pinkett-Smith finally addressed the hearsay head on with French magazine Gala: “Every year, one celebrity couple is under the microscope. This year, unluckily, it’s us!”
Well, it’s a new year, and an unlikely couple has taken The Smith’s unfortunate spot. A pair of gaffes by President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama has drawn new scrutiny upon their 20-year marriage and folks have been steadily weighing in.
The president’s “big” gaffe
During a recent speech at a Democratic National Committee luncheon in California, President Obama gave a “shot out” to California Attorney General Kamala Harris. “She’s brilliant and she’s dedicated, she’s tough,” Obama said. “She also happens to be, by far, the best-looking attorney general … It’s true! C’mon,” he added.
The remark was swiftly derided in many circles. Writing for New York magazine, Jonathan Chait called Obama’s comments “disgraceful.” ”Women have a hard time being judged purely on their merits,” he wrote. “Discussing their appearance in the context of evaluating their job performance makes it worse.”
Yet for others, it was nothing worth noting. At The Washington Post, Jonathan Capehart scoffed at criticism of the president’s remarks, suggesting that detractors “lighten up.”
The president apologized to Harris anyway, the same night.
The first lady calls herself “single,” the press runs with it
However, it was a misstep by the first lady on the same day that turned up the attention on the state of the first marriage. Mrs. Obama described herself as a “busy single mother” during a recent television interview, but quickly corrected her mistake. “You know, when you’ve got the husband who’s president, it can feel a little single — but he’s there,” Obama told a CBS local station. She then described herself as a “busy working mom” instead.
New York’s Daily News referred to these twin slips of tongue as “double trouble for the First Family,” stirring up an air of negative innuendo around the Obama’s relationship. Some commenters on the highly-covered story even wondered how Mrs. Obama felt about his public compliments of another woman — especially in the context of misstating herself as being a “single mom.”
As much as I love to generate a juicy story on an otherwise slow news day, there’s not much to see here, folks. These slip ups don’t reveal anything about the Obama marriage other than that the participants in it, despite their fame, are regular folks who make ill-timed comments and may struggle to find a work-home balance just like the rest of us.
Read more on TheGrio.com.
To be queen for a day. First Lady Michelle Obama may be our crowned jewel, but the whole world has taken notice. Her style is lauded the nation, because like the great Jackie Onassis, she isn’t afraid to express individuality through fashion. She’s made up and coming designers household names by wearing their gowns on a world stage. And perhaps even more importantly, she blends high fashion with affordable pieces for every woman. That is, if you can nab them before they sell out!
Read more on StyleBlazer.com.
The 2016 election may still be several years away, but some democrats are already getting excited about a political match that they say is made in heaven: Hillary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama on the presidential ticket.
“All due respect for President Obama and Vice President Biden, but that would truly be a dream team for America,” Karen Finney, a former spokesperson for the Democratic Party and Clinton, told the Washington Examiner. “Both women are proven effective leaders who’ve raise children, so dealing with Congress would be a snap.”
Democratic strategist Chris Lehane, who worked closely with the Clinton White House, told the paper that all this talk of a Clinton-Obama partnership ”reflects the growing awareness that it is time for the glass ceiling of the last old boys club to be firmly shattered.”
Read more on BlackVoices.com.
WORK! Michelle Obama Covers Vogue And President Obama Speaks On How Loving Her Made Him A Better Man
Michelle…you better work!
The First Lady of the United States is looking regal and fabulous on the April issue of Vogue, her second cover to commemorate another four years of the fierce fashionista that is Michelle Obama. On the cover of the mag, you can see her in a gorgeous Reed Krakoff dress and diamond-drop earrings, sitting on a table with her bangin’ bangs and bright smile. As for inside the issue, Michelle and President Obama open up about their family, their relationship and their critics. The latter including people who like to claim that the First Family is more antisocial than those of past, not extending invitations to kick it at the White House to those with opposing ideas in office in Washington, but Michelle makes it clear that while they don’t mind rubbing elbows with who they need to, that’s definitely one of their main priorities:
“Our job is, first and foremost, to make sure our family is whole. You know, we have small kids; they’re growing every day. But I think we were both pretty straightforward when we said, ‘Our number-one priority is making sure that our family is whole.’
“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 your fourteen- and eleven-year-old. . . .”
Michelle also talks about the man her husband is, and why he’s so damn cool–aka, relatable for many people:
“I’ve tried to explain this guy to people over the years, but there is a calmness to him that is just . . . it has been a consistent part of his character. Which is why I think he is uniquely suited for this challenge—because there is a steadiness. And maybe it’s because of his Hawaiian upbringing—you go to Hawaii and it’s Chillsville; maybe it was because his life growing up was a little less steady, so he had to create that steadiness for himself . . . but he is that person, in all situations, over the course of these last four years, from watching the highs and lows of health-care reform to dealing with two very contentious, challenging elections. . . . The most you get from him is ‘You know, that is gonna be tough. . . .’ There are a lot of times I can’t tell how his day went. Unless I really dig down. Because when he walks through that door, he can let go of it all. And it just doesn’t penetrate his soul. And that’s the beautiful thing for me to see as his wife. That was one of the things I was worried about: How would politics affect this very decent, genuine, noble individual? And there is just something about his spirit that allows all that stuff to stay on the outside.”
I also love the back and forth between these two, as they talk in the interview about the early struggles in their marriage of getting adjusted to each other’s personalities, but how years together have made them better people. And funny people too:
POTUS: “There’s no doubt I’m a better man having spent time with Michelle. I would never say that Michelle’s a better woman, but I will say she’s a little more patient.”
FLOTUS: “I would say I’m a better woman. You couldn’t say it.”
POTUS: “I couldn’t say it,” he says.
FLOTUS: The First Lady looks at me: “It’s good that he learned not to say that.” And then turns and looks at him and smiles. “Don’t say that.”
*Sigh* I just think they’re amazing. And the article about the couple in April’s Vogue is pretty amazing too, as it gives a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in the White House and how they as a couple keep their heads with the spotlight constantly on their every move. They already came off as very human and relatable, but the article make you appreciate their down-to-earth personalities even more. Pick up the new issue when it hits newsstands on March 26.
Photos courtesy of Vogue by Annie Leibovitz
Are you ready for some good news? Michelle Obama’s cover for the next issue of Vogue is really happening!
Or so it seems.
The Washington Post has confirmed the initial reports that the glossy fashion mag held a shoot at the White House in January. Robin Givhan, the Post’s former fashion editor, tipped off the newspaper that Michelle Obama was shot by Annie Leibovitz for the April cover of Vogue wearing — wait for it — Reed Krakoff.
We don’t usually get excited about these kinds of rumors, but Ms. Givhan is definitely a trusty, in-the-know member of the industry. Of course, we originally speculated that FLOTUS’ cover would debut for March, so we were a wee bit disappointed to see Beyonce’s gorgeous face when our issue came in the mail.
But it finally seems like we’ll have a reason to rejoice. Mrs. O wearing Reed Krakoff seems like a likely choice, too — she’s chosen his pieces for the Pritzker Architecture Prize Ceremony, President Obama’s swearing-in ceremony this year and the inauguration that came after it. One could say the designer is her new Jason Wu (she did wear Wu on her last Vogue cover in 2009, after all).
Get more details on BlackVoices.com.