Michelle Obama: Americans ‘Weren’t Ready’ For My Natural Hair

The following is a transcript of Todd’s morning commentary. Click here to download Todd’s daily podcast.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama says you good listeners have a problem with her natural hair style. 

Mrs. Obama is promoting her new book, “The Light We Carry.”

She told Ellen DeGeneres that she felt Americans were not ready for her natural hair because they were adjusting to having a black First Family in the White House. 

Mrs. Obama said she made an intentional decision to keep her hair straight. She said her staff was scared she might change up her hair styles and get braids. 

They were “just getting adjusted” to having a Black president in the Oval Office and a Black family in the White House, so she decided to keep her hair straight, Obama said at the Warner Theatre in Washington on Tuesday, the first of a 13-night cross-country tour to promote her new book, “The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times.

It would have been easier to keep her hair in braids, Obama said, but “nope, they’re not ready for it,” she added, recalling her thinking at the time.

So she sacrificed doing her hair as she would have liked so her husband’s administration could focus on achieving its goals instead of sinking political capital into putting out a hairstyle-induced firestorm. “Let me keep my hair straight,” Obama said of her mind-set at the time. “Let’s get health care passed.”

Obama said her dilemma was an extreme example of the decisions Black women make daily to navigate the politics and sensibilities of their workplaces. They often find it easier, healthier and safer to wear braids, dreadlocks or Afros, but feel the pressure from White beauty standards and workplace norms to chemically straighten their hair for a more professional, “clean-cut” appearance. “We deal with it, the whole thing about, ‘Do you show up with your natural hair?’” Obama said.

Washington Post

Mrs. Obama said that sort of worry is part of the African American experience. Calling it an extra burden. 

No proof – just her perception. Her feelings.

Do you care about Michelle Obama's hair style?

So much for the Obamas ushering in the post-racial America.

But if you need proof that the American people are not a bunch of cross-burning white supremacists, I would refer you to the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012 — when a bunch of white Americans elected and then re-elected a black guy president. 

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