She might be married to the most powerful man in the free world, but it’s a tough gig to be Michelle Obama. While speaking to graduates at Tuskegee University in Alabama, Obama described times she has been the recipient of racist and sexist remarks and the media has been super-mean to her and really hurt her feelings.
Politically, it was tough to be a Democrat, married to a guy with the middle name Hussein, and, you know, winning elections like a boss. Like the time she and Barack Obama had a “on-stage celebratory fist bump” after a primary win and people called it a “terrorist fist jab.” The nerve. Then, of course, her race and gender have been called into question, because no one else has ever dealt with discrimination: “I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations; conversations sometimes rooted in the fears and misperceptions of others. Was I too loud, or too angry, or too emasculating? Or was I too soft, too much of a mom, not enough of a career woman?” I hate it when people question your personality and vocational choices. How judgy! How personal! No other woman in America has ever dealt with those issues!
Poor baby. Think she can hire Vera Wang to design some big-girl panties and then a team of female Secret Service agents to pull them up for her? Because obviously she struggles to do this, despite, in other venues, saying her ability to empower women is the most “important” work she does.
Nobody Look at the First Lady Unless She Wants You to
The First Lady especially didn’t like her her upper class, 1-percent, affluent—let’s just go with “comfortable,” shall we?—lifestyle being viewed under a microscope. “[O]ver the years, folks have used plenty of interesting words to describe me. One said I exhibited ‘a little bit of uppity-ism.’ Another noted that I was one of my husband’s ‘cronies of color.’ Cable news once charmingly referred to me as ‘Obama’s Baby Mama.’” She told graduates of the historically black university to stay “true to the most real, most sincere, most authentic parts of yourselves.”
I don’t know who was far-fetched enough to say Mrs. Obama was “uppity.” I think it’s perfectly normal to travel the world on the super-generous taxpayer’s dime to places like Ireland and Africa, to the tune of approximately $10 million. A date night in New York for $11,000? Chump change and so truistic. They probably ate at dumb, cheap places like Per Se or Le Bernardin and just drank water and nibbled on a bread basket, you know?
And it’s totally not cronyism to hang out with Gwyneth Paltrow, Jamie Foxx, or George Clooney. Those people are so pedestrian and dreary. You know what baby mamas cannot do? They cannot afford to purchase and wear designers like Isabel Toledo and Jason Wu.
First Lady: A Hard-Knock Life
Recently on the talk show “Ellen,” Michelle Obama told Ellen Degeneres she couldn’t even open a window at the White House. Those are tough issues. Someone should make a phone call about that. The District gets super-hot during summer. In fact, she could ask one of the dozens of Secret Service agents at her service at the White House at any given time—those men and women who, despite recent issues, spend valuable time away from their families to protect the president and vice presidents, their families, and the position’s reputation.
Mrs. Obama concluded that people “will make assumptions about who they think you are based on their limited notion of the world. My husband and I know how frustrating that experience can be. We’ve both felt the sting of those daily slights throughout our entire lives. … And all of that is going to be a heavy burden to carry.”
While you couldn’t pay me to be married to any president, such is the stress that accompanies such a powerful position—and I’m sure Michelle Obama feels residual and direct weight due to those pressures—to say her life is difficult, to argue she carries a burden, seems a bit far-fetched, if not histrionic.
The heaviest burden Mrs. Obama will carry is her Gucci purse and the tremendous irony of a wasted opportunity. Such is the life of the poor yet palatined, the easy yet entitled life of a woman who effortlessly takes advantage (some might say exploits) her empowering position when it’s fun and convenient (Oh, heyyyy Blake Lively) yet twists it to paint an entirely pitiful picture of herself to placate another audience. Is there anything more burdensome than knowing you held in your hands a chance to inform, persuade, and inspire, and all you did was whine and complain, painting a manipulative facade of a life you didn’t even live?