Say what you will of her husband, Laura Bush has got to be one of the classiest women to ever grace the world stage. Her love and support for her husband is evident every time she speaks, every time you see them together – every time she mentions his name, it’s with pride and respect. Laura Bush brought dignity and charm and beauty to the office of First Lady. Real beauty – the stuff that’s created from within and emanated from her entire being, because it was simply who she was. Laura Bush is the kind of woman you hope your sons and brothers marry.
Now let’s move… to Michelle Obama. (See what I did there?) We give all due respect to Michelle in her position as First Lady. The stress on any family that resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is more than we can begin to imagine. I mean really, ladies; how many of you want to be critiqued daily by friend and foe alike for every outfit you wear, every place you travel, every move your children make – how would you and your family fare under a microscope? Probably not too great, huh? Even with the personal chefs and private jets, it’s not easy being the First Family. So we grant that to the Obamas.
That said, there are some things that are just standard codes of conduct which demonstrate a woman’s class, or lack thereof. Put it this way. If it’s not a good move for a female CEO, it’s probably not the best idea for a First Lady. You follow me? Let me give you a few examples.
1. Elite. Fake. Bitter. These are not terms that any woman wants to be labeled with, but each has been used many times by the media in correlation with Michelle Obama. Laura Bush, no. Michelle Obama, yes. Why? Because Michelle doesn’t speak from her heart. She doesn’t talk about the privilege of being First Lady, she acts like she deserves it. The world owes no woman anything, let alone to be wife of a President.
2. Woe is Me! There are few things in this world worse than a woman who complains. Proverbs 25:24 says, “It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” Perfect example, when Michelle Obama recently gave the commencement speech at Tuskegee University, she had the opportunity to say, “This is where I came from, and this is what I achieved through hard work – you can, too!” She had the chance to be inspirational, to use her platform to inspire young hearts to great things. Instead, she chose to focus on racial division, entitlements, and bearing life in an unfair world.
3. Unpatriotic. “For the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country…” No one can forget Michelle Obama’s outrageous statement during her husband’s 2008 campaign. Talk about vanity! How about narcissism? Nothing, nothing the United States has ever done had made Mrs. Obama proud to be an American – until Barack Obama was on the ballot. It’s hard to be any more self-centered than that. And self-centered is definitely not a good quality for a lady to possess.
4. Role model Much? The First Lady should be someone that girls in America admire and emulate. Michelle Obama can go dance Uptown Funk with Ellen and focus on being culturally relevant until I’m blue in the face, but cultural relevance’s got nothing on character – inner beauty. That old saying, “they don’t care what you know until they know you care”? It’s true even for the First Lady. The women of America could care less about your dance moves, Michelle. We want to see you be a good mom, a supportive wife, and a strong woman who loves her country (someone we can relate to). There’s also this little thing known as “Dress for success.” Modest and classy, that was Laura Bush’s wardrobe. And girls, I’m just saying. If you have to pick between Hillary, Laura, and Michelle’s styles… go with Laura. Please, please go with Laura.
5. Her “Mission.” Make your child’s school lunch as healthy, yet horrible as possible. In an attempt to force children to be fit and make wise choices, Michelle Obama’s entire focus as First Lady has been on fighting childhood obesity in America. (And rather unsuccessfully, I might add.) Laura Bush has literacy programs and volunteers in Africa. And even if only 10% actually goes to charity, Hillary has an entire Foundation working for good around the globe. In other words, those former first ladies are using their influence to impact real change. Michelle Obama is trying to play national mother with your children. It’s your job, parent, to see that your child eats right and gets sunshine and exercise. Yes, fighting childhood obesity is good. But teaching them character, teaching them how to make right decisions and exercise self-control, that’s better! Maybe Mrs. Obama can create a national school program that will teach our kids character, rather than dictate their dietary habits?
The bottom line is this. Michelle Obama has an incredible opportunity. She’s First Lady of the United States! Her influence is limited only by her own inhibitions. Michelle, as a fellow woman, I implore you – don’t waste your platform. You have been given a gift. Stop complaining about the past; remember that hope and change you once believed in? Where is it? That’s what you should be talking to our young people about. A better future, living for the next generation rather than for ourselves. If we live in the past, we’ll never move forward. As my First Lady, won’t you inspire me? Won’t you challenge me to be more, to do more, to live more? You have that power, but only for a short time. Make it count.
by Krystal Heath – follow her on Twitter!