Michelle Obama Gets Candid About Trying To Please Fashion Critics As The First Black FLOTUS
“As a Black woman, too, I knew I’d be criticized if I was perceived as being showy and high-end, and I’d also be criticized if I was too casual," she wrote.
Michelle Obama is known for many things: her strong dedication to education and healthy eating; her unyielding support of her husband, Barack Obama; her enviable rock-hard arms and, of course, her fashion sense.
The former (or forever) first lady's book, Becoming, will be released on Tuesday, November 13. In an excerpt shared with Elle, Mrs. Obama writes about the pressure she felt regarding FLOTUS fashion.
As Barack's campaign got underway, all eyes were on the future first Black first lady of the United States. However, Obama wrote that she quickly discovered people seemed to care more about what she wore than what she said.
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"This stuff got me down, but I tried to reframe it as an opportunity to learn, to use what power I could find inside a situation I’d never have chosen for myself," the former FLOTUS wrote about the coverage of a speaking engagement she had at a school. "If people flipped through a magazine primarily to see the clothes I was wearing, I hoped they’d also see the military spouse standing next to me or read what I had to say about children’s health."
As Obama leaned into this new power, she enlisted the aid of wardrobe stylist Meredith Koop who helped her step into the iconic style we know today, according to the Huffington Post.
Mrs. Obama also delved into the intersection of being a Black female first lady in the book, writing that existing in that intersection helped her to develop many of her trademark high fashion/fast fashion looks.
“As a Black woman, too, I knew I’d be criticized if I was perceived as being showy and high-end, and I’d also be criticized if I was too casual,” she wrote. “So I mixed it up. I’d match a Michael Kors skirt with a T-shirt from Gap. I wore something from Target one day and Diane von Furstenberg the next.”
Oh, and remember President Obama getting called out for wearing a tan suit? Michelle wrote that she envied the simplicity of his wardrobe snafu and the ease with which he was able to dress.
"I sighed sometimes, watching Barack pull the same dark suit out of his closet and head off to work without even needing a comb," Mrs. Obama wrote.
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