On Wednesday, Essence released their final photoshoot featuring Barack and Michelle Obama as President and First Lady. The special collector’s edition of the magazine hit newsstands Friday and the issue is dedicated to honoring the grace and power the Obama’s have displayed during their eight years in office. But as the beautifully curated photoshoot spread across social media on Wednesday, one detail stood out. Or, should I say, poked out?
Sorry Barack, but we have to talk about the weapon of mass destruction your administration has somehow managed to keep classified for the past eight years.
We knew when you took office that Michelle was the most stylish and photogenic First Lady since Jackie O, but no amount of STEM education could have prepared us to process the angle on that arch. So you have to pardon the staring and sharing.
You see Barack, there’s a very good reason Michelle’s bottom was the apple of the Internet’s eye this week. Like your marriage, your kids and your signature fade and bop, everything your family does is cause for some level of pride and celebration. As the first family of color to live in the White House, you are all symbols of Black excellence. Your mere existence in such a— for lack of a better term— White space normalizes feelings, features and behaviors that have made us all feel marginalized by America’s Eurocentric culture at some point or another. So no, we will not stop admiring your wife’s blessings. Or applauding your daughters’ carefree responses to 24/7 media scrutiny and secret service surveillance.
“I think when it comes to black kids, it means something for them to have spent most of their life seeing the family in the White House look like them” — Michelle Obama
B, Watching the First Family thrive under the unprecedented pressure of being the first (free) Black people to live in the White House has been inspiring on many levels. You still need to teach Malia how to hit the L when the feds are watching, but you’ve all done an incredible job of representing the nuclear Black family in the age of social media and Cosby rape allegations. So are you really surprised that your wife’s donkey has become more politically symbolic than the Democratic donkey?
Don’t lie, Barack. I know you took an extra second to admire that image when you got your issue. So how can you be mad at us? We know that Michelle is an Ivy League grad with majestic poise. But is it possible to make her posture and posterior the object of our affection without objectifying her? Those who say no seem to be working with the same flawed logic that says Beyoncé or Kim Kardashian can’t be feminists because of they embrace their sexuality.
See bro, the Internets’ objectification of your wife actually represents an emancipation for the Black female figure. Her butt isn’t popping or twerking in g-string, it’s sitting in the Oval Office, wrapped in a thousand-plus-dollar gown. It’s a symbol of solidarity for all the well-endowed corporate women and boss ladies who’ve been made to feel abnormal by White America because of their voluptuous shapes. I’m just shocked she was able to keep that thing under wraps for this long.
Maybe it was a political chess move. As Chimamanda Adichie suggests, Michelle’s hips may be as politically significant of a symbol as her hair:
“I’ve often said that if Michelle Obama had natural hair when Barack Obama was running for president, he would not have won… Because her natural hair would have signified certain things to people. It would signify that she’s some sort of militant, neo- Black Panther, frightening” – Chimamanda Adichie
Her “Let’s Move!” health campaign and your “My Brother’s Keeper” mentoring program are both important legacies to leave behind for the Black community as you prepare to exit the White House. But please don’t underestimate the power of your wife’s curves, your waves or your daughters’ DGAF’ness. I don’t know about the other pervs on social media, but I would never disrespect you or your wife by attempting to feel her American dream in real life. I just don’t want my president to be mad at me for pouring out a little drink and raising my head to the man upstairs in honor of his lady’s, um, power and grace.
We cool, Barry? – CoupCoup40Cal