Why Barack and Michelle Obama no longer talk their daughters Malia and Sasha out of getting tattoos
Michelle Obama expresses her gratitude for the audacity of her children’s generation. The former first lady candidly explained how attitudes towards self-expression have changed since her years in the White House during an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show.
“We need to create a broader definition of who is American, who matters, what beauty is,” Michelle told host Kelly Clarkson. “It just helps our kids. We don’t know who they’re going to become and we want to make sure there’s a place for them, whoever they choose to be.”
Kelly agreed, echoing the same sentiment. “Why limit them?” she said.
Michelle nodded. “It shouldn’t be politicized. Most kids with tattoos and piercings have long fingernails — their value system is all about individuality,” she said.
Kelly chimed in, reflecting on how quickly the value system has evolved. “But back then, tattoos were like so bad,” she said.
“My generation, no, tattoos meant something totally different,” Michelle agreed. “We used to threaten our kids that if you get a tattoo we’re gonna get the exact same guy and show it off on TikTok or whatever. Take it easy. Barack Obama is gonna have a heart on his shoulder,” he said. she joked.
Kelly laughs in response. “That was the best mom advice of the day,” she said.
Nonetheless, both women agreed: the days of deterrent tattoos and self-expression are over.
Michelle also opened up about her decision not to wear natural hairstyles while living in the White House.
“A lot of people don’t remember being the first black family in the White House, the journey there wasn’t easy,” she explained. “There were people who tried to turn us into others, and so we had to overcome a lot of that and so much read into the gestures that we would do, like a punch was turned into a terrorist punch,” she continued, referring to the 2008 incident when a Fox News anchor questioned whether a punch between Barack and his wife was a “terror punch.” .
“And so I was like, pigtails?” Michelle continued. “People won’t understand braids, unfortunately. Not then at least. I didn’t want it to be a distraction. There was too much to do.”
Michelle added that times have changed a bit since then. “Now luckily more people are showing what it means to be beautiful, what hair can look like,” she noted. “I’m grateful to this generation that owns every part of themselves.”
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