Polls now confirm it! Michelle Obama is the country’s most admired woman. This recognition is about much more than looks, but they play a part.
In her record-setting memoir “Becoming,” Mrs. Obama confesses to having been initially frustrated by the public’s interest in her appearance as first lady. “It seemed that my clothes mattered more to people than anything I had to say,” she explains. Over time, she found ways to make an asset of what she calls the “hawkeyed attention paid to my image.”
The decisions Michelle Obama made in creating her public persona reveal how carefully she had to navigate a cultural landscape determined to confine women, especially women of color. Her facility for navigating racism and sexism has always drawn admiration from some Americans, especially black women, because their experiences at school, work and other realms have required the same of them.
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