Celebrating Black History Month – Michelle Obama
The next great Black American we’re honoring this month is Michelle Obama.
Sure, her husband gets most of the media shine, but it’s the First Lady that owns our hearts.
And Michelle Obama — all politics aside because this is very much a website devoted to the celebration of watches, style and culture and very much not a website devoted to political perspective — might be our favorite First Lady of All Time. Sorry, Lady Bird Johnson.
The FFLAT, if you will.
Seriously, who else could start a nationwide health and wellness campaign, advocate unwaveringly for marginalized Americans, dance with Jimmy Fallon AND look amazing doing it?
Exactly no one, that’s who.
She was born in 1964 in Chicago, and her American roots can be traced back to pre-Civil War America, which means her lineage is more American than reality television, the assembly line, and the last fourteen iterations of the American Flag. (speaking of Flags)
Obama attended Princeton undergraduate, following in her brother’s* footsteps, before earning her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. She then met her future husband, you know him as Mr. President, while working at a law firm, and the rest has been as simple as rewriting history.
She married Barack in 1992, and subsequently had two daughters in 1998 and 2001, daughters that Michelle has remained steadfastly devoted to even amidst her myriad responsibilities.
Those responsibilities include heading up the Let’s Move! campaign, an effort devoted to reversing the 21st century trend of childhood obesity. After just months of work, the US Department of Defense echoed her concern.
She also strongly advocated against the US Military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, saying that, “[We] want everyone in this country to have the same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love.”
And she does this all while looking good (even if it theoretically doesn’t matter what we look like). Somehow, while raising children, acting as the Presidential Rock and advocating for those who have trouble advocating for themselves, she has managed to become a fashion icon. Essence magazine named her one of the world’s 25 most inspirational women. Vanity Fair named her one the best dressed women. She’s probably the only person ever to be on the cover of Vogue, the New Republic, Time Magazine and People.
Really? You want more proof of her Vulcan-like abilities? Fine. How about this: She convinced the Leader of the Free World to stop smoking cigarettes. While performing the most stressful job in the universe. And cigarettes have been said to relieve stress, especially for those who smoke.
She is incredible. Whether it’s making sure the United States is a country with literal healthy hearts, ensuring that this a country that is open and accepting of all our citizens or making sure that things in the First Family run smoothly, she handles it all with an unparalleled level of grace and dignity.
For that, we thank her.
Quote to live by:
“We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters… that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules… and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.”
*That brother, Craig Robinson, is the head coach of the Oregon State men’s basketball team. It’s a talented family.