There are many flattering adjectives that come to mind when trying to describe the former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. The Chicago native, who is a Princeton University and Harvard Law School graduate, won the hearts of Americans for her unwavering support and dedication to her husband’s campaign and subsequent time in office. This made them an admirable couple, a power couple if you like, as she served as a role model for women all across the world.
The wife of the 44th President of the United States further remained a source of inspiration to many and ranks high on the list of former first ladies who effectively used their unmandated office to champion social causes and do advocacy work. Mrs. Obama was particularly known for advocating for physical activity and healthy eating, something that she herself lived by. This was evident for everyone to see through her toned body and how it perfectly fits into her elegant dresses, allowing her to be considered a fashion icon.
Michelle Obama’s Advocacy For Healthy Living
Since time immemorial, American first ladies have used their unmandated office to promote causes dear to their hearts. For Michelle Obama, she advocated for several issues that included poverty awareness and education. The most important of them was, however, people living a healthy lifestyle, particularly women and children.
For this cause, she launched the Lets Move! campaign to combat childhood obesity and encourage kids to get physical and make better choices regarding nutrition. The major inspiration behind this initiative was said to be her own kids. Michelle revealed in her early years as FLOTUS that she was worried when her family pediatrician warned her of the increasing body mass index of her daughters. This was a call to be more focused on her family’s nutrition and she thought to extend the concern to kids around the nation.
With a vision to cut childhood obesity in America by 5%, the campaign aimed to reduce obesity in future adults by catching them young. The idea was that if they can succeed in getting kids to adopt a healthy lifestyle now, it would become a routine to them as they grow older. The initiative was further able to influence cleaner school lunches as well as improve access to healthy foods and make it affordable.
How She Stays Fit – Diet and Workout Routines
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When I was at the White House, I often hosted bootcamp weekends for my close girlfriends. It didn’t matter that we were all at varying fitness levels. Our bootcamp weekends were a reminder that if we want to keep taking care of others, we need to take care of ourselves first. And even though I’m no longer at the White House, I've continued this tradition and wanted to share some photos. My girlfriends have been there for me through all kinds of life transitions over the years – including a pretty big one recently! – and we’ve done our best to stay healthy together. Whether it’s a bootcamp or a walk around the neighborhood, I hope you and your crew can find some time this summer to be healthy together.
Becoming America’s first African-American first lady came with a lot of challenges for Michelle Obama. Even before she assumed the position, she was already a victim of body shaming. Foul-mouthed critics of her husband and those who aimed to bully her constantly spoke about how her shoulders were too broad and how she looked too muscular to be a woman – a typical stereotype that often plagues black women who are said to be unfeminine.
Michelle paid deaf ears to these comments and kept on working out to remain healthy. The issue about her feminity, or lack of it, rose again in the summer of 2013 after the late TV show host Joan Rivers joked that she was a trans woman. The next year, a 24-minute short documentary titled “Irrefutable Proof That Michelle Obama Is a Man” was released.
Unfazed by all this, Michelle Obama continued to make fitness a top priority. When she was a resident of the White House, she hosted Bootcamp weekends with her girlfriends where they’d come together to work-out as a team, something she still does to this day. She has actively used her Instagram account to inspire women into fitness by posting photos of herself sweating it out at a gym.
From some of the photos she has posted, Michelle includes workouts like lunges, crunches, and glute bridges into her routine. She told PEOPLE that she mixes things up by also including yoga, heavy cardio, and weight lifting.
In regards to diet, Michelle Obama reveals that she does not obsess much about the food she eats but that she makes sure to eat lots of vegetables and fruits. She told Everyday Living that eating right is all about moderation. She, however, does get treats once in a while but is careful not to let them turn into habits.
While at the White House, Michelle planted the White House Kitchen Garden, becoming the first first lady to have an organic vegetable garden since Eleanor Roosevelt. The garden also included a beehive that honey served in the White House was gotten from.
Evolution of the Style and Image of Michelle Obama
In the early months of her husband becoming president of the United States, Michelle Obama received huge public support as she was noted as being graceful and warm. Her fashion choices further put her on the radar as she began appearing on the “Best Dressed” and “Most Influential” lists of reputable media houses.
Mrs. Obama made big statements with her fashion choices which were nothing close to being over-the-top but were however somewhat iconic as can be seen in her first official portrait. She raised a few eyebrows for choosing to wear a sleeveless Michael Kors black dress in the picture, however, her choice would soon become a trend among women who did not mind flaunting their toned arms.
In addition to wearing items from luxury labels, Michelle made sure to remember where she comes from by also including less-pricey pieces from J.Crew and Target as well as other African-American labels in her wardrobe.
When her days as the first lady of the U.S. came to an end, Michelle Obama appeared more relaxed with her outfits although she still was able to maintain elegance. She has since been spotted with ripped-jeans, off-shoulder tops, gowns with unconventional necklines, edgy pantsuits, and jumpsuits, with some mildly revealing her cleavage.
In December 2018, Michelle broke the internet when she wore a yellow dress and thigh-high dazzling-gold Balenciaga boots to one of the stops for her Becoming book tour. Mrs. Obama has since then continued to make fashion statements with her outfits much to the admiration of the people she inspires.