As President Obama and his family conclude their last few months in office, the haters still feel the need to troll the First Family. One of the latest comes in the form of this super sexist cartoon targeted at First Lady Michelle Obama.
The cartoon pictures an angry, masculine-looking Michelle Obama pitted against a smiling Melania Trump as if she just left one of her husband’s old beauty pageants. The title reads, “Make the First Lady Great Again!”
Well, we refuse to play this disrespectful game with the cartoonist and others like him. Instead of kicking off a debate where we devalue a woman’s “greatness,” we choose to take a positive response. So in our public response to the cartoonist, here’s why we think the First Lady is “great”:
Because she’s a great mother
She has raised two lovely well-adjusted young women before our eyes. She’s allowed them to be kids under the ever-present periscope of the public eye. But she’s also helped them grow into leaders and role models.
And through all her outstanding mommy qualities, she manages to keep a sense of humor as witnessed by this quote from ET:
“I threaten [my daughters] that I’m going to buy an apartment near their campus and visit and sit in their classes, but that’s an idle threat…Barack and I take great joy in embarrassing our children. We threaten them. Sometimes when you see me whispering to them in a crowd I’m saying, ‘Sit up or I’m going to embarrass you. I’m going to start dancing,’ and it’s ‘No, mom. Please don’t. Stop!’ But we get that. Our kids are as humiliated by us as the next. They take it in good stride.”
Because she’s a great wife
As POTUS, her husband is a constant target. Whether things go right or wrong or in middle, the world will always have some sort of criticism of the president’s job performance. That weight can be a lot for a man to bear, but good thing he has the FLOTUS in his corner.
Here, speaking to the graduating class of Jackson State University, she defends her husband by explaining how they deal with his haters:
“As I’ve walked this journey with Barack, I’ve gotten a pretty good look at what it means to rise above the fray, what it means to set your eyes on the horizon, to devote your life to making things better for those who will come after you…I have seen how, no matter what kind of ugliness is going on at any particular moment, Barack always stays the course… That’s the choice Barack and I have made. That’s what has kept us sane over the years. We simply do not allow space in our hearts, minds, or souls for darkness.”
Because she’s taken a stand on something
Throughout our nation’s history, many of our nation’s First Ladies have taken up causes. And some of those platforms, such as housing or women’s rights, have become lasting legacies for many of these First Ladies.
First Lady Michelle Obama will be no different. Her dedication to fight childhood obesity (and a healthier America overall) has made individuals, corporations and institutes take notice of the small steps they can make to improve our nation’s health crisis.
She acknowledges the multilateral improvements with this 2015 AOL.com article:
“So many people have stepped up on behalf of our kids: Communities are redesigning public spaces – building bike paths, refurbishing playgrounds, cleaning up public parks – so kids have safe places to play. Food and beverage companies and restaurants are cutting calories from their products and offering healthier kids’ menus. Schools and childcare centers are serving more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in their meals and snacks. Faith leaders are educating their congregations about healthy eating.”
Because she’s a real woman
In an age when we’re bombarded with manufactured images of what women should look like, it can be hard for a woman coming up in the world to find her place between the Instagram feeds of one celebrity to the next.
Despite what the ugly cartoon may suggests, people actually do embrace the body types of “real” women. According to a study, more millennials actually chose Michelle Obama as their No. 1 body-image role model.
And let’s be honest, who hasn’t thought about hitting the free weights after admiring the FLOTUS’s arm game? In an excerpt from a past broadcast to discuss her Let’s Move! campaign, the FLOTUS says why she chooses to direct the conversation away from body image in conversations about health:
“The first thing we want to make sure we do is not make this an issue about looks…We should really talk to kids about how they feel inside, so that we’re not just dealing with the physical manifestations of the challenge.”
Because she inspires us to be great
People around the world—not just in these United States—were inspired the minute the Obamas stepped foot in the White House. And for people of color especially, these last eight years of watching them in office have signified that we too can do anything and be anyone we want.
In her own right, Michelle Obama has been an inspiration. We know her story of ordinary beginnings where she embarked on a journey to attend Princeton, attend Harvard, become a lawyer, become a philanthropist, become a wife, become a mother, become the First Lady, become a style icon, become a health advocate , become a trendsetter, become an impact maker and become a loved world hero.
Again in her speech to Jackson State University, she says not to give into your doubters and critics:
Over the years, folks have used plenty of interesting words to describe me…One said I exhibited a little bit of ‘uppityism.’ Cable news charmingly referred to me as ‘Obama’s baby mamma..All of the chatter, the name-calling, the doubting, all of it was just noise…It did not define me, it didn’t change who I was, and most importantly, it couldn’t hold me back.”
BMWK, what inspires you about Michelle Obama?