Barack Obama never shies away from praising his gorgeous wife Michelle Obama, and his latest compliment comes in regards to her position as a body-positive role model for their two daughters, Malia and Sasha, not to mention young women around the world. The president of the United States spoke about how important this is at a time when girls face so much pressure to “look a certain way” while chatting with ballet dancer Misty Copeland for TIME magazine.
“That pressure I think is historically always been harder on African American women than just about any other women,” he said. “But it's part and parcel of a broader way in which we socialize and press women to constantly doubt themselves or define themselves in terms of a certain appearance.
“And so Michelle and I are always guarding against that. And the fact that they've got a tall gorgeous mom who has some curves, and that their father appreciates, I think is helpful,” he added.
The head of state also spoke about how Misty, the first African American to be named the principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater, broke down social barriers to excel within the bitterly competitive world of ballet.
“Misty is a great example [of] somebody who has entered a field that's very competitive, where the assumptions are that she may not belong. And through sheer force of will and determination and incredible talent and hard work she was able to arrive at the pinnacle of her field. And that's exciting.”
Addressing the “huge obstacle” she had to tackle growing up African American, Misty said she credits these tough times with giving her “this fire” that pushed her to become one of the best in her field.
The duo both agreed that these days social media has been a useful platform to incite conversation about racism and discrimination in the country, but pointed out that they still have a long way to go to overcome prejudices.