The people, especially the women, who came to the Essence Music Festival last July 6, 2019, were in for a treat from the Former First Lady herself!
When Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama stepped on to the stage at the recently concluded Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana, she came out wearing a belted sparkling midnight blue sequin jumpsuit.
She also came out rocking her natural curls, which were styled with ombre highlights and delighted the crowd.
The women loved it!
@BeaglesResist said, “I love the hair! Never ever change it!” @ravenlenore1 said, “Your beauty comes from inside and it shows and your poise always, takes my breath away.” And @imagecoachAEJ said, “Thanks for your commitment to authenticity and vulnerability as a lifestyle. The world is better because of the lessons from ‘Becoming’.”
CBS journalist Gayle King joined her onstage to interview her in “Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama”.
During the “intimate” conversation, Gayle and the Former FLOTUS talked about her life coming into the White House life as a black woman and as the First Lady.
“I had a very clear vision of what I had to do when I went in to the White House as its First Lady,” she told Gayle King. “I knew I wouldn’t have been given the benefit of being treated as the gracious honor of the First Lady. I would have to earn my grace.”
What a powerful and honest statement from an esteemed woman of grace so many other women look up to.
During her time as First Lady and her time now, out of the White House, she continues to speak for women of color, and for working-class folks. She also speaks for the ones who have been overlooked and underestimated, and for the ones who have been judged a negative way before they could define their own stories.
And it happened to Michelle Obama, too.
“But it is our jobs to tell our own stories. So I knew I had to come in, rolling up my sleeves, ready to work,” Michelle told Gayle. “Not only do I have to prove that I am smart and strategic but I was going to work harder and faster and better and stronger than any First Lady in history.”
And this is why it’s so important to take notice that Michelle Obama came out with her hair as natural as it should be, with all the curls.
In a powerful feature article on Cosmopolitan magazine, they said, “Black women intimately and painfully know that quite often in predominantly white public spaces, curly or kinky black hair can incite fascination, curiosity, or disgust. [And] in certain settings, hairstyles such as afros, cornrows, two-strand twists, or locks are [deemed] unprofessional or even inappropriate.”
Michelle Obama herself had not gone out in public during their White House life with her natural curls most likely because of the constraints of first ladyhood, and the pressure to be likable and legible to white America.
But women of color believed in Michelle Obama and what she represented.
And so, they patiently awaited the moment the first black first lady would show the world what black women already knew:
During her interview with Gayle, she dropped a lot of wisdom and powerful learnings for everyone watching and listening, and especially to the black women.
“The power we have as black folks, particularly as black women. The power of our voice and our story and our narrative. You know, we underestimate it because they want us to underestimate it,” Obama said. “But I’m here to tell you, there is nothing we can’t do or change when we as a collective put our minds to it. We’re, we’re the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
Obama also emphasized to black women listening that they don’t need to “fix” their curly hair.
Because it doesn’t matter what your hair looks like, it is still amazing to be who you are, inside and out.
Would you like to know more nuggets of wisdom from Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama? Watch the video below.
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