While it is not uncommon to see the popularities’ of the first ladies forming much higher than that of their husbands, Michelle Obama’s popularity is something to be reckoned with.
In another example as to why she is respected, Obama said she paid for all her outfits with her money.
In an op-ed that she penned for Elle Magazine, the former first lady explained why she paid for all her outfits out of her pocket. According to her, she and Barack always felt immense pressure to take care of themselves because they knew they were being scrutinized at a different level.
In a sentiment that she had already shared in TV interviews and via her memoir, Mrs. Obama said that her entire family felt a certain pressure to always be their best because they were the first African American family to reside in the White House.
Michelle explained that other than a few apparels, she personally purchased and prepared her own outfits. Even the few that were sponsored to her via different measures were only worn for the occasion and given to the National Archives. This would be in line with White House ethics rules.
Even when she was getting sponsored by designers, Obama said she always thought about what she can do to lift those who can benefit by having their work showcased through her. According to her, this is why she chose lesser known designers as well.
During this process, the former first lady said she ruffled some feathers, especially those of industry veterans such as Oscar de la Renta. However, she explained that the snub was not because she did not like the designer’s clothes but simply because she wanted to promote others.
At the same time, Mrs. Obama said she had a fine line to walk as an African American. She argued that because of her race, she could not be seen as dressing up in an overly fancy manner. At the same time, she would face criticism should she dress to casually – a no-win situation of sorts.
Many would agree that Obama succeeded in her role as first lady, perhaps even more so than her husband in his position, all the while keeping true to her standards.
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