By Jueseppi B.
Maya Angelou – Phenomenal Woman
It’s as if this was written FOR First Lady Obama…..it was not, but it could have been.
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is the wife of the 44th and incumbent President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Obama attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School before returning to Chicago and to work at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met her future husband. Subsequently, she worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Throughout 2007 and 2008, she helped campaign for her husband’s presidential bid. She delivered a keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and also spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She is the mother of daughters, Malia and Sasha. As the wife of a Senator, and later the First Lady, she has become a fashion icon and role model for women, and an advocate for poverty awareness, nutrition, and healthy eating.
Initiatives as First Lady
Obama advocated of her husband’s policy priorities by promoting bills that support it. Obama hosted a White House reception for women’s rights advocates in celebration of the enactment of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009Pay equity law. She supported the economic stimulus bill in visits to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and United States Department of Education. Some observers looked favorably upon her legislative activities, while others said that she should be less involved in politics. According to her representatives, she intends to visit all United States Cabinet-level agencies in order to get acquainted with Washington.
On June 5, 2009, the White House announced that Michelle Obama was replacing her current chief of staff, Jackie Norris, with Susan Sher, a longtime friend and adviser. Norris became a senior adviser to the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Other initiatives of First Lady Michelle Obama included advocated on behalf of military families, helping working women balance career and family, encouraging national service, and promoting the arts and arts education. She supported military families and some Republicans.
Obama’s predecessors Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush supported the organic movement by instructing the White House kitchens to buy organic food, and Obama extended their efforts toward healthy eating by planting the White House Kitchen Garden, an organic garden, the first White House vegetable garden since Eleanor Roosevelt served as First Lady, and installing bee hives, on the South Lawn of the White House. The garden supplied organic produce and honey to the First Family and for state dinners and other official gatherings.
In January, 2010, Obama undertook her first lead role in an administration-wide initiative, which she named “Let’s Move!,” to make progress in reversing the 21st century trend of childhood obesity. Let’s Move! was announced on February 9, 2010 by the First Lady in order to end childhood obesity. President Barack Obama created the Task Force on Childhood Obesity on the same date to review all current programs and create a national plan towards change. Michelle Obama stated that her goal was to make this effort her legacy: “I want to leave something behind that we can say, ‘Because of this time that this person spent here, this thing has changed.’ And my hope is that that’s going to be in the area of childhood obesity.”
Her 2012 book American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America is based on her experiences with the garden and promotes healthy eating. Her call for action on healthy eating has been echoed by the United States Department of Defense, which has been facing an ever expanding problem of recruit obesity.
Public image and style
With the ascent of her husband as a prominent national politician, Michelle Obama has become a part of popular culture. In May 2006, Essence listed her among “25 of the World’s Most Inspiring Women.” In July 2007, Vanity Fair listed her among “10 of the World’s Best Dressed People.” She was an honorary guest at Oprah Winfrey’s Legends Ball as a “young’un” paying tribute to the ‘Legends,’ which helped pave the way for African American Women. In September 2007, magazine listed her 58th of ‘The Harvard 100′; a list of the prior year’s most influential Harvard alumni. Her husband was ranked fourth. In July 2008, she made a repeat appearance on the Vanity Fair international best dressed list. She also appeared on the 2008 People list of best-dressed women and was praised by the magazine for her “classic and confident” look.
She has been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy due to her sense of style, and also to Barbara Bush for her discipline and decorum. Her white, one-shoulder Jason Wu 2009 inaugural gown was said to be “an unlikely combination of Nancy Reagan and Jackie Kennedy”. Obama’s style is described as populist. She often wears clothes by designers Calvin Klein, Isabel Toledo, Narciso Rodriguez, Donna Ricco and Maria Pinto, and has become a fashion trendsetter, in particular her favoring of sleeveless dresses that showcase her toned arms.
She appeared on the cover and in a photo spread in the March 2009 issue of Vogue Every First Lady since Lou Hoover (except Bess Truman) has been in Vogue, but only Hillary Clinton had previously appeared on the cover.
In August 2011 she became the first woman to appear on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, as well as the first person to appear on the cover in 48 years.
The media have been criticized for focusing more on the first lady’s fashion sense than her serious contributions. She has stated that she would like to focus attention as First Lady on issues of concern to military and working families. U.S.News & World Report blogger, PBS host and Scripps Howard columnist Bonnie Erbe has argued that Obama’s own publicists seem to be feeding the emphasis on style over substance. Erbe has stated on several occasions that she is miscasting herself by overemphasizing style.
Happy 49th Birthday First Lady Of The United States……Michelle LaVaughn Obama.
Filed under: Black History, Celebrity, Celebs & Fame, Democrats/Democratic, Education, Fun & Games, Good News, Holidays, Joy & Happiness, Michelle Obama, News, Poetry, The White House, Videos, Women's Causes, World News Tagged: | Barack Obama, Chicago, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, Michelle LaVaughn Obama's 49th Birthday, Michelle Obama, Obama, Richard M. Daley, United States, University of Chicago Medical Center