Michelle Obama on Embracing Her Natural Hair After the White House

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Michelle Obama talks about her natural hair Randy Holmes – Getty Images

Since leaving the White House in 2017, Michelle Obama has not been idle. The former first lady of the United States is the author of the best-selling memoir Becoming in 2018, started a YouTube series for students and hosted an insightful podcast featuring notable guests such as Conan O’Brien and of course , her husband and former president, Barack Obama.

While the rest of us have been busy making Christmas plans, Michelle traveled across America to promote her latest book, The Light We Carry: Overcoming In Uncertain Times, which also features such prominent voices as Gayle King and Tracee Ellis Ross.

The book, described as a “glimpse inside [her] personal toolbox”, is a useful and modern guide to managing difficult times and coping with adversity. It’s practical self-help reading in Obama’s signature articulate style.

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Obama on his book tour in Atlanta, December 2022Derek White – Getty Images

During a recent stop at Revolt TV for a panel discussion that also included HER musician, Tina Knowles and Kelly Rowland, Obama opened up about her hairstyle choices as First Lady. She chose not to wear braids, she explained, because she felt at the time that the American people first had to adjust to having a black family in the White House.

“We were the first. And I was like, first of all, they have to get used to us,” she said. “When we punched each other, they turned it into an act of terrorism. Who needs to bother?’ Obama, who at the time relied on straighter styles and wavy blowouts, used weaves and extensions to protect his hair from excessive heat styling.

“I had protective styles because you get your hair done every day and sometimes twice a day if you’re outside the puppets in the rain,” she said. “I wouldn’t have any hair on my head if I straightened it as much as I had to straighten it.”

Last month, Obama told the crowd on the Washington leg of her book tour that her hairstyles at the White House had also been chosen strategically, so as not to overshadow her husband’s political goals. “Let me keep my hair straight,” she said. “Let’s get health care through.”

It’s a heartbreaking sentiment, but not entirely surprising, given how callous the media can be towards women in the public eye — and especially towards women of color.

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A typical hairstyle worn by Michelle Obama when she was First LadyGilbert Carrasquillo / Contributor – Getty Images

Since leaving the White House, Obama has enjoyed expressing her personal style through fashion and beauty, and was recently spotted sporting a high braided ponytail, curly updos and long braids.

With the passage of the Crown Act (which prohibits hair discrimination) in the United States and the new wave of black hair innovators and creators getting the recognition they deserve, there has never been a better time. to celebrate and embrace the beauty of dark hair.

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