In honor of the upcoming conclusion of the election, I thought I would write about my admiration of our First Lady. Seriously you guys, I love this woman. She inspires me so much and I believe that she is an incredible role model for women. Anyone who knows me understands not to insult Michelle around me – I take this as a personal insult. Yep, that’s how strongly I feel about her as a person.
“Throughout my life, I have not paid much attention to what people say about me who don’t know me.”
#1. Michelle doesn’t put up with bullshit. She speaks her mind no matter what, even when people don’t want to hear it. She deals with criticism in way that doesn’t degrade her sense of self worth, and it takes a really strong person to do that.
“If the country needs a more traditional first lady, well I can do that. It would not emasculate me. But it wouldn’t look like everybody else’s; it would have a Michelle Obama flair to it right? Because I am who I am.”
#2. Michelle is sassy. She doesn’t apologize for who she is. She isn’t the “traditional” woman and people feel threatened by that. Consequently she’s labeled as an “angry black woman.” This labeling is used to discredit her and discourage people from taking her seriously. Which is a huge mistake on their part, because she is a straight bad ass. Again, Michelle doesn’t let this slander stop her. As she says, “I’ve got a loud mouth.”
“What I notice about men, all men, is that their order is me, my family, God is in there somewhere, but me is first and for women, me is fourth, and that’s not healthy.”
#3. Michelle actively advocates for women. She has a knack for perceiving relevant gender distinctions and pointing them out. And she nearly always hits the mark. She doesn’t claim the feminist label, but agrees with much of the agenda. Feminist or not, I greatly admire her dedication to fostering solidarity and understanding among women.
“When you’re given the gift of advocacy, you don’t sell it to the highest bidder.”
#4. What inspires me most about Michelle is her dedication to helping others. Her work at non-profits and her current work with children show that she is truly passionate about human rights and equality in all dimensions of society. She talks about the intersectionality of gender, race, class, and ethnicity, highlighting minority status. As someone who has similar passions I greatly admire her work. She majored in sociology at Princeton (my major as well!) and then went to law school at Harvard. Where she mentored Barack Obama, just by the way. I am hopeful that in my pursuit of a career in advocacy I will be able to impact lives in the way that Michelle has.
“I wear my heart on my sleeve.”
#5: Michelle is a genuine human being. Her passions are clear every time she speaks. Just watching her and listening to her brings tears to my eyes because her words are so filled with emotion and honesty. She nearly cried during her DNC speech – it was clear that she truly believed every word she spoke. She doesn’t speak like a politician. There’s no dancing around the topic, there’s no misleading rhetoric. She says what she is thinking and feeling, and there is an honesty in her speech that is undeniable. Simply by the way she looks at Barack you can see her love for him. Loud and clear. Her open display of affection for her husband and children is real. I could probably go on for days…but the point is, I think she is a marvelous woman and she is my role model in so many ways.
“The fact that I’m a vice president of a company has thrown people off. The fact that I have a career and a spouse, that I am a great speaker in my own right, some would say compelling, sends people in a tizzy at some level. But that’s who women are.”