Michelle Obama: “I Was Faced with Awkward Questions”

Michelle Obama said that she was up against a series of questions full of “fears and misconceptions.” The questions appeared as she was faced with becoming the first African-American first lady, while her husband Barack Obama was still campaigning. Even though most of the questions were appropriate, some of them were awkward.

She found herself being surrounded by criticism and accusations of uppity-ism and for being one of Obama's “companions of color.” She was also called “Obama's baby mama.” Many times she and her husband were mistaken for “help,” and were faced with suspicions that they were not patriotic and honest enough.

"As potentially the first African-American first lady, 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?" she said. "Or was I too soft, too much of a mom, not enough of a career woman?"

"And all of this used to really get to me. Back in those days, I had a lot of sleepless nights, worrying about what people thought of me, wondering if I might be hurting my husband’s chances of winning his election, fearing how my girls would feel if they found out what some people were saying about their mom," she said. The key is, Obama said, to stick to what you believe in and not let others define who you are.

 

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