All Articles Tagged "michelle obama"
Boy, oh boy, has she grown up right before our eyes. Yesterday she was the little girl bouncing around the halls of the White House with her sister, Sasha, and mom and dad, Michelle and Barack Obama. But Malia Obama has certainly matured into a poised and beautiful young lady who will soon be making a decision on which college she will attend. She is considering such top-tier universities as Harvard, Yale, NYU, Brown and many more. Though we’re all feeling exceptionally old at the minute, we couldn’t be happier for the eldest Obama daughter and thought it only right to celebrate Malia via a gallery of her best (and cutest) moments through the years.
In the latest installment of “let’s blame women for the alleged emasculation of men” comes a Change.org petition accusing First Lady Michelle Obama of rooting for the disenfranchisement of young men.
According to petition creator and A Voice for Men advocate and men’s rights activist Howard Goldman, the FLOTUS is guilty of ignoring the plight of the 32 million uneducated boys. Instead, she champions the causes of girls, even to the point of encouraging them to do better than their male counterparts.
To help illustrate his point, he uses a picture of a boy in famine scraping for crumbs on the ground. He also makes reference to the First Lady’s 2014 tweet in support of the “Bring Back Our Girls” hashtag campaign.
When Boko Haram kidnapped girls from schools to deny them an education you spoke out and condemned the kidnappers. You campaigned for the girls release and demanded they “bring back our girls”. When Boko Haram allowed girls to go home but locked the boys in the school and burned them alive, or shot and beat them to death if they escaped, you kept silent. When boys were kidnapped, you still said nothing. There was no condemnation. No anger. Nothing. Why is it when boys are the targets of violence you show zero compassion?
Goldman also has objected to the First Lady’s recent comments, made in front of about 1000 young girls, in support of the USAID “Let Girls Learn” campaign.
In particular, he writes:
A recent statement that you made in front of girls and young women was that they should “beat the boys” in education. This is the kind of mentality that belongs on a football field, rooting for your school. A First Lady shouldn’t be rooting for winners and losers when it comes to a country’s education. It is despicable that you would root for boys to lose when it comes to education. Shouldn’t we provide encouragement for all students? Shouldn’t boys be encouraged to do their best and shouldn’t we hope everyone succeeds? Boys are increasingly failing and dropping out. Boys are currently just over 1/3 of students in college. They are already losing, yet you are rooting for them to do even worse and are telling boys that you hope they lose. Girls should win. Despite the huge gender gap on campuses, there is still scholarships for women only. Special mentor-ship programs for girls only. When boys do excel, like in STEM, you and the administration aren’t happy and advocate that more boys lose and push for girls to win there too with special privileges for them. When have you ever spoken to boys and encouraged them to compete and “beat the girls”? No one would ever condone that. As such, no one should condone telling boys that society is rooting for them to lose to girls.
Goldman ends his rabble rousing by urging the First Lady to stop her “blatant sexism” and show a little compassion for the boys. He also says, “Women’s rights and feminism shouldn’t need to make sure male victims are ignored and shouldn’t tell boys they hope girls beat them. Yes, promoting that girls do their best and become educated is a noble cause, but not at the expense of boys. All children deserve an education and no child deserves to be rooted against.”
So far, the petition, which has been CC’d to President Obama, has 320 of the 500 signatures it is seeking. Once it has reached its goal, I am assuming that it will be packaged up in a hermetically sealed container and shipped out to First Lady Obama on a sea of salty male tears.
Seriously though, what a cry baby.
For one, I find the idea that this administration has not considered the welfare of boys extremely laughable. Have we forgotten about President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative? The program, according to the White House’s website, that is aimed at addressing “persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential”?
In fact, the program has a clear agenda: to support uneducated boys. That includes the creation of a foundation, which as written on the website states:
The foundations supporting today’s call to action have already made extensive investments, including $150 million in current spending that they have already approved or awarded. Building on that, today these foundations are announcing that over the next five years they seek to invest at least $200 million, alongside additional investments from their peers in philanthropy and the business community, to find and rapidly spread solutions that have the highest potential for impact in key areas, including: early child development and school readiness, parenting and parent engagement, 3rd grade literacy, educational opportunity and school discipline reform, interactions with the criminal justice system ladders to jobs and economic opportunity and healthy families and communities.
What it doesn’t have is a plan to teach young men to respect women, including funding towards domestic violence and sexual assault prevention. But that is an essay for another day.
But what do you think? Is Michelle Obama ignoring the plight of young men while encouraging their emasculation? I ask this question facetiously because I think we all know the answer to this one.
Chile, people love to say that Michelle Obama was down for Barack when he had nothing. They reference the worn soles of his shoes and the hole in the bottom of his car and take that to mean that he came to her as a pauper and she was patient and understanding and waited for him to climb the ranks to President of these United States.
The message is that if it worked for our beloved President and First Lady, then “regular” women should be willing to work with a man with potential because it’ll pay off in the end.
In celebration of the first couple’s wedding anniversary, earlier this week, one man created this meme.
Ladies: He might not have it all right now, but be faithful, stick by his side and one day he'll give you the world pic.twitter.com/tawDJOD7vX
— The Jo Johnson™ (@itsTheJoJohnson) October 3, 2015
And while I’m sure this “betting on potential” has worked for some people, somewhere, somehow, potential doesn’t often amount to a whole lot. We all have potential to be or do something. The difference is, do you have ambition to match? Are you moving, shaking, hustling and grinding to do something with your gifts?
For a lot of people, men and women alike, the answer is, sadly, no.
But that wasn’t the case when our First Lady met President Obama.
When she met him, she had already given herself the world. She worked hard to earn a spot at Princeton and then graduated to work at a law firm, where she was his boss. He was her intern. Perhaps because she was his superior, people seem to think Barack came to her busted and disgusted and she took a gamble on a man who seemed like he “might could” be something one day.
When she met him he’d graduated from Columbia. And was in law school at Harvard. Then, a year later, he served as the President of the Harvard Law Review, the first Black person- male of female- to do so. When you consider this, it’s not that much of a stretch to consider he could duplicate the feat with the Presidency of the United States. But even more importantly, there was the work he was doing for the community. I don’t want to gloss over that. It’s important. This wasn’t a man who was just after titles and prestige, he was willing to give back.
That’s much more than potential baby, that’s a man who’s put in the work.
And thankfully, several people on social media were ready and willing to let this brotha know that it was deeper than standing by your man when he has nothing, hoping that one day he’ll have everything and be gracious enough to share it with you.
— Reagan Gomez (@ReaganGomez) October 6, 2015
@itsTheJoJohnson Your wording took all of her hard work and success on her own away from her, & implied that her husband GAVE her all that.
— That Girl (@Guarded_Dreams) October 6, 2015
Then activist Shaun King took it to Facebook to make it plain.
The creator of the original meme explained that this wasn’t his intention and peace was restored in the kingdom that is Black Twitter.
I don’t know what the original tweeter had in mind. But I do know that there are tons of people in this world, particularly in the Black community, who think that Michelle had to sacrifice, struggle and wait for President Obama to get himself together. Nah. Hopefully now, people will have a better, more realistic understanding of the first couple’s story: they each had plenty to bring to the table. The rest, as they say, is history.
Michelle Obama: There Is No Boy Cute Enough Or Interesting Enough To Stop You From Getting Your Education
Michelle Obama is the realest. It’s one of the things we love most about her. Whether she’s standing in front of dignitaries or speaking to a room full of kindergartners, she seems to be authentic.
And last night, when the First Lady was speaking to a group of girls at Harlem’s Apollo Theater for the “Let Girls Learn” event, she brought that same honesty.
“Let Girls Learn” is an initiative to empower girls and women through education. The campaign keeps referencing the number 62 million. It’s the number of girls, around the world, who are not able to receive an education.
In speaking to the young ladies, she reminded them about the importance of focus. She advised the girls in attendance what our mothers and grandmothers have been saying to us for years: books before boys.
“There is no boy at this age that is cute enough or interesting enough to stop you from getting your education.”
Then she continued,
“If I had worried about who liked me or who thought I was cute when I was your age, I wouldn’t be married to the President of the United States today.”
And then she pretended to drop the mic.
As much as this was a message many young girls needed to hear, it was also one for the more seasoned ladies among us as well. You can appreciate a man and he can appreciate you so much more after you’ve cultivated, developed and improved yourself. Whether that development comes in the form of education, pursuit of goals or just becoming a better human being, relationships are so much better when each person is fulfilled and at least working toward self actualization.
Thank you for that prophetic word First Lady.
Later, she spoke about why this cause, education for girls, is so close to her heart.
“For me, this is personal. When I think about those 62 million girls that aren’t in school, I think about myself. I think about my daughters; because quite frankly, all these girls, these are our girls. And I think about where I would be in my life if I didn’t work hard in school and have the opportunity to go to college and then on to law school, I wouldn’t be here. So I think it’s imperative and it is a part of my passion and my mission to make sure that every girl on the planet has the same opportunity that I’ve had, that my daughters have. And I want to make sure that all of you, here in the United States, are taking advantage of all the opportunities that you have as well. I want you to be that hungry to get your education because it is going to be the key to your future.”
You’ve got to love her.
Honestly, watching clips like this one are bittersweet. I’m reminded that the Obamas are going to be leaving the White House soon. And I’ll just miss seeing those Black faces in positions of power.
Take a look at the clip below.
While briefly perusing social media this past weekend, I ran across a meme with a side-by-side image of President Obama and Michelle at the China State Dinner at the White House on Friday. Next to them, there was a picture of Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson and his wife, Candy. The caption for the meme? A parody of the hilarious “Don’t be like ___ me” DirecTV commercials:
“Hi, I’m President Barack Obama, and I have DirecTV.”
And in contrast:
“Hi, I’m presidential candidate Ben Carson, and I have cable.”
To me, I thought the images were put together to show off how awesome (and fly) our president and the First Lady are in comparison to the controversial and swag-deprived Carson and his wife. But as I would find out this morning, the meme was created to poke fun at the looks of Carson’s wife. While Michelle looked radiant in one photo with her sickening side-swept hair and curve-hugging gown, Candy looked very tame, like she on the way to parent-teacher conferences. She waved to supporters in a photo from Ben’s presidential run announcement rally, hair pulled back, rocking a fluted polka-dot skirt with a large red belt, glasses, and a blazer. Despite the latter image being old (it’s from May), people on social media still had a field day over it this past weekend, cracking jokes about Candy’s style and overall appearance. Despite her husband’s decision to be in the spotlight and make controversial comments that have garnered the accomplished doctor many detractors, it was Candy who was receiving all the criticism this time around. Not cool, guys. Not cool.
In a piece for The Root, Demetria Lucas D’Oyley defended Candy from her critics, stating that Ben chose to be in the spotlight, not her. Therefore, the attacks on her appearance are uncalled for. However, Lucas D’Oyley also criticized Candy’s fashion sense in the same breath. She even stated that Candy’s Seventh-Day Adventist faith isn’t a good excuse for her style missteps. According to the author, “religion and modesty are not synonymous with ill-fitting and unflattering and out-of-date” clothing.
Are there sexist and, in this case, racist underpinnings that make appearance matter more in certain circumstances? Absolutely. But until those “isms” are dismantled, women absolutely need to look as if they at least tried, especially when they’re up for a role they really want.
I won’t drag Candy Carson. I’m sure she is a lovely woman, and she has endured her husband’s politics for 40-plus years. But I will say that I can’t help noticing that as a presidential candidate, Ben Carson always shows up looking like the position he wants to have. I want the Mrs. to look the same.
And I can somewhat get where Lucas D’Oyley is coming from. Appearance matters in most realms of life. When you interview for a job, you can’t walk into an office looking like a Love and Hip Hop hopeful. And when you’re going to be in front of the camera every day, you don’t want to have a look that distracts people. But when these type of issues arise in the news (or via social media), I’m often left thinking to myself, My goodness…we focus on the wrong things.
We’re focused more on Candy’s looks than we are her husband’s politics. Just like we were way too focused on Gabby Douglas’s hair when she was flipping for gold at the 2012 Olympics in London. Just like people continue to focus too much on Serena Williams’s muscles, and when they’re not, they’re wondering when she’s going to move on to another hairstyle. And just like the time social media put Pam Oliver’s looks on front street. Leaving some to wonder if the controversy over her wigs was one of the reasons she was demoted from her position at Fox Sports and replaced with Erin Andrews. Despite the more important reasons why we were seeing these women on our TV screens, and their great accomplishments that we could have been celebrating, we were talking about surface beauty standards and what we “want,” as Lucas D’Oyley said, these ladies to look like.
I get it. We’ve all looked at someone’s ensemble or hair choice when they’re on the main stage and thought, yikes! But there’s a difference between thinking something and deciding to make a mockery of someone on social media. This is especially troubling considering that the same criticisms are never lobbed at the husbands of famous women. They’re not expected to look like more than any other guy in a simple suit. And yet, Candy, who is well into her 60s and hasn’t been in the spotlight very often, is expected to step out looking like a million bucks. What exactly was she supposed to put on in this stage of her life that would have pleased folks? Was it the ponytail that turned you off? The skirt? The glasses? Does her ensemble make you trust Ben any less?
Yeah. Get over yourself.
And, honestly, as amazing as Michelle Obama looks in this meme, that’s not how she appeared when President Obama announced his initial run for president. I’m from Chicago’s Southland, and I remember old-school Michelle. The days when President Obama was just running for Senate, and Michelle didn’t look nearly as polished as she does now. But with time, the right stylists, and some fabulous hair and makeup artists at her beck and call in the White House, Michelle has become a fashion icon. But like Candy, she didn’t start that way. It took a while for her to ditch the flip curl, sharp eyebrows, and bell-sleeve ensembles. But once she did, va-va voom!
Look, I’m not trying to say that people don’t need to look like they love themselves when they step out of the house, but I think we’re way too hard on way too many women, Black women especially, when it comes to how they choose to present themselves to the world, as the women they really are (not as if they’re stepping out on the red carpet). And considering that in the meme, Ben is holding Candy’s hand, looking happier than a kid in a candy store next to his wife of 40 years, does anything else really matter?
Three words: Black girl magic.
Popular children’s television show “Doc McStuffins” will be featuring a very special guest next month. According to The Hill, First Lady Michelle Obama will be making a cameo in the upcoming episode, “Doc McStuffins Goes to Washington.”
Lady O will be playing herself on the television show, which focuses on a 6-year-old girl who serves as a doctor to her broken dolls and toys. In the episode, the Obama will invite Doc and other children who are making a difference in their communities to the White House for a special ceremony. She will then appoint Doc as official “toy doctor.” The special episode is scheduled to air on Monday, October 5, which is also Child Health Day.
This isn’t the first time the FLOTUS has partnered with the highly praised series. Last year, Mrs. Obama also held a Veterans Day celebration at the White House where she screened a special episode of the series for military families.
Watch an adorable sneak peek from “Doc McStuffins Goes to Washington” below.
When it comes to fashion, First Lady Michelle Obama is always dressed to the nines from head to toe. So, it only makes sense that she is going to make a graceful appearance as a guest judge on Project Runway Junior.
The show is a teenage spin-off of Lifetime’s hit fashion designer competition show, Project Runway. The new series features 12 fashion-obsessed teens from the ages of 13 to 17, who will create designs based on weekly challenges as they compete for a full scholarship to California’s Fashion Institute of Design and Marketing, $25,000 to help launch their line, and other prizes, Variety reports.
Obama is the perfect candidate for this apperance, as her challenge will support her Let Girls Learn initiative that aids 62 million girls worldwide who are not in school.
Be sure to tune in on Dec. 10, as the FLOTUS will challenge contestants to create a design that will be used and sold on LandsEnd.com.
First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher educational initiative is now collaborating with rapper and Washington D.C. native Wale to promote higher education and career services for youths. Wale is scheduled to support the initiative at the White House this upcoming Thursday by performing and speaking with students.
In a press release, The White House communication team said: “As part of her Reach Higher initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama will welcome more than 130 college-bound students from across the country to participate in the 2015 Beating the Odds Summit. These students are being sponsored by 70 non-profit organizations, and represent a mix of urban, rural, foster, homeless, special needs, and under-represented youth who have overcome substantial obstacles to persist through high school and make it to college.”
The Beating The Odds Summit will also host a panel with Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Brown University senior student Manuel Contreras; E! News co-host Terrence Jenkins will serve as the panel’s moderator.
Wale spoke of the collaboration, by saying, “I’m beyond honored & grateful to be involved in the First Lady’s ‘Reach Higher’ initiative & to have the opportunity to sit down with her, as well as perform for the kids of D.C. I believe that the youth are the first step in creating a better country, so to be involved in a program that aims to enrich their lives is truly the greatest reward. Having grown up in Washington, D.C., being invited to the White House by the First Lady is a dream come true. Thank you to Mrs. Obama & her entire staff for this opportunity.”
Expectant military mothers were filled with joy to have a surprise visit from First Lady Michelle Obama. The First Lady showed up at a U.S. Army base in Vicenza, Italy for a baby shower featuring goodies and pampering treats for the new moms to be. The shower was thrown in conjunction with “Operation Shower,” which hosts baby showers for expecting military moms.
Operation Shower is about celebrating, honoring and showing love to military families. Operation Shower is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and their mission is to provide joyful baby showers for military families to ease the stress of deployment. For military families who are expecting a new baby and are experiencing or have recently experienced deployment, they accomplish their mission through: hosting amazing baby showers, delivering high-quality products, creating a shared experience and bringing recognition to military families.
The treats for the moms included new shoes, clothes, jewelry, Dior beauty products, Geico baby carriers and strollers, Petunia Picklebottom baby carryalls, and a $100 gift certificate to Babies”R”Us.
According to ABC News The First Lady even showed the moms how to get buff arms using a baby carrier and she shared:
“This is your surprise baby shower!” Mrs. Obama said to a group of expecting moms assembled at the base. “We know how much you guys do for us and we know that it’s even more challenging for you guys who are expecting and many of you, if not all of you, have your loved one deployed, or about to be deployed.”
“We want you to know we’ve got your backs when you’re going through this part of your lives,” she later added. “You’re not alone.”
“This is how you get ‘Michelle Obama arms,’” she said to laughter.
“I used to live in Babies‘R’Us!” the first lady said. “That was the only store I ever went to!”
This promises to be a big year for Black autobiographies. With Issa Rae’s book of short essays in stores everywhere, Amber Rose preparing her scandalous tell-all, and the announcements of memoirs coming from Shonda Rhimes and Gabourey Sidibe, we are hype. But we would be even more excited if the following stars shared their stories. Here are 15 celebs who need to write tell-all books!