By Daniel M | February 14, 2020
During a recent discussion with Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama talked about how she still feels bad about her body at times.
During the Brooklyn stop of Oprah’s “2020 Vision” tour in partnership with Weight Watchers Reimagined, Michelle talked about dealing with societal expectations as she gets older.
“We are so ridiculous as women,” said Michelle, 56, according to The Hill. “We don’t want to talk about our age, and then we want to act like we should look like we did when we were 20, you know? When, I’m sorry, men you can look any kind of way. And it seems to be okay.”
Michelle went on to say that as the mother of two daughters, she remembers hearing her girls lamenting that they can’t fit into old clothes.
“I said, ‘But you’re a whole other year older. You’re now becoming a woman. You don’t have a child’s body,’ she said. “That’s like saying at 20, I’m really upset that I couldn’t wear my favorite overalls anymore from when I was 10. That’s as ridiculous as it is at 56 to think that I should look like I did when I was 36, or for anyone to judge me like that, or to judge a woman like that.”
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Michelle then talked about the physical critiques that she received as first lady.
“People called me all kinds of things when I was campaigning for Barack, like it was a competition,” she said. “They called me un-American, and this stuff sticks with you. Men talked about the size of my butt. There are people who were telling me I was angry. That stuff hurts, and it makes you sort of wonder, what are people seeing? That stuff is there. And look, I’m a black woman in America. And you know, we’re not always made to feel beautiful. So there’s still that baggage that we carry, and not everyone can relate to that.”
Michelle’s husband, former President Barack Obama, has previously praised her for setting a good example for their daughters Sasha and Malia.
“When I was a kid I didn’t realize as much, or maybe it was even a part of which is the enormous pressure that young women are placed under in terms of looking a certain way,” he told Time. “And that pressure I think is historically always been harder on African American women than just about any other women. But it’s part and parcel of a broader way in which we socialize and press women to constantly doubt themselves or define themselves in terms of a certain appearance.”
Michelle, who was known for her Let’s Move campaign as First Lady, is still staying as active as ever these days, and she’s trying to help others to do the same thing.
“We need to take care of ourselves and when you don’t, as you get older, just like any living thing it begins to fail on you,” she said. “And for me, I’m trying to figure out, what is that balance that I need to make sure that this body, that God gave me, that I’m taking care of it the best that I can and that it will serve me well as I get older.”
This piece originally appeared on Objectivist.co and is used by permission.
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