Michelle Obama Is Not Allowed To Admire Beyonce, Apparently
12:45 pm, June 2nd | by Lilly ODonnell
In a recent interview with People Magazine, the First Lady said that if she could be anyone else, she would be Beyonce.
At last count, the article had 1,052 comments, hundreds of them disparaging Michelle Obama for holding up an often scantily-clad pop star as a role model for her daughters, and for young girls across the nation.
The Huffington Post‘s Keli Goff called the statement “one of the 2012 campaign’s more noteworthy blunders,” and wrote a whole article about why it’s not OK for the First Lady to admire the performer.
Goff did make a good point about setting higher goals than the stage for young black kids:
With her ill-chosen remarks Michelle Obama helped affirm one of the most enduring and troublesome stereotypes that every single teacher in a low income, predominantly minority community must battle against every time he or she sets foot in a classroom: The stereotype that the greatest aspiration these children should hold is to be an entertainer, an athlete or rapper (or perhaps an entertainer who marries a rapper.)
But the truth is that Michelle Obama IS an amazing role model, and a shining example of a classy, educated, successful black woman. Why should that mean she’s not allowed to harbor a playful fantasy of stardom like everyone else? Considering the stature Mrs. Obama already has, who was she supposed to say she’d want to be? Her husband? Hillary Clinton?
The question was about if she could step into the life of someone other than herself, so it makes perfect sense that she would name someone who’s taken a lighter path in life, and ended up almost as adored and admired as the First Lady herself.
Personally I’m not a fan of Beyonce’s music, but at least she carries herself with dignity. She’s a hard-working married mother, and she’s undeniably beautiful and successful. I don’t understand why that’s not OK to admire or even covet.
And to people whose objections were related to the sexuality of Beyonce’s music and performances: get over it. It’s 2012. I really hope that people understand by now that female sexuality is not going to destroy civilized society. If anything, Beyonce promotes a positive image of her sexuality, and parents should thank her for teaching their daughters to embrace their bootyliciousness.
Yes, young black girls should know that there are options available to them other than the stage, but if they’re reading an interview with Mrs. Obama, hopefully that’s already clear to them — and maybe knowing that the First Lady loves Beyonce, too, will just make her more relatable, and therefore make her position (or her husband’s) seem that much more attainable.
(Image via People Magazine)