Monday, December 15, 2008
Is Michelle Obama the best black female role model since Claire Huxtable?
Michelle Obama: What's not to love? She's smart, accomplished, funny, a great mother and a snazzy dresser. But as Newsweek's Allison Samuels points out, compared to other black women in the media, there's something different about Michelle Obama. For instance: Why don't we see Michelle snappin' her neck and waggin' her finger when she's "keepin' it real"? Why don't we see Michelle shake her booty and drop it like it's hot when she dances? Why haven't we heard any sassy one-liners or seen any displays of an easily-provoked temper?
Also, why haven't we seen Michelle raise her voice above an "appropriate" decibel level? Michelle Obama doesn't seem to be anything like the image of black women that we see on TV and in films. Who is the real Michelle Obama? Get ready for it:
Michelle Obama is totally normal. A normal, well-educated wife of a politician and mother of two.
Like the fictional Huxtables before them, the Obamas serve as an example to both blacks and non-blacks through their upper-middle-class regular-ness.
And even though Michelle will probably never gain acceptance from some of her critics, Samuels still sees her life in the spotlight as a way for Americans to see a "regular African-American woman" in action, showing "what we think and what we face on a regular basis."