Our forever First Lady Michelle Obama has officially embarked on her national tour to promote her upcoming book The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times, a riveting account of her journey during the eight years she lived in the White House under the Obama presidency.
Thus far, the 13-night tour has been filled with nuggets of thought-provoking conversation and one interesting topic Mrs. Obama addressed is making its rounds on social media.
On Tuesday, Mrs. Obama appeared at the Warner Theatre in Washington donning lustrous shoulder-hugging braids and discussed the pressures she endured to conform to Eurocentric hair choices while she served as first lady.
“We deal with it — the whole thing about, ‘Do you show up with your natural hair?’” Mrs. Obama told host Ellen DeGeneres. She said that by wearing her hair straight, she thought it would help take away attention from how she looked – a thing that was under scrutiny for much of her time at the White House.
“Let me keep my hair straight. Let’s get health care passed.” ‘Remember when she wore braids? Those are terrorist braids! Those are revolutionary braids!’” the former First Lady recounted while she served as first lady. She thought by keeping her hair straight, it would help Americans adapt to having a Black commander-in-chief in office.
Now that she is no longer first lady, she proudly wears her hair in more natural hair styles. “Braids, y’all!” she exclaimed to a crowd who erupted in applause.
“The code of ethics at a workplace, as Black women we deal with it, the whole thing about do you show up with your natural hair? We gotta ease up on the people. They tripped out when Barack wore a tan suit. The great indignity, the scandal of the Obama administration!” she said.
She continued: “But when you’re carrying all this other stuff, this mask, these differences and you’re trying to do your job, it’s just an extra burden on overcoming.”