As the 44th president Barack Obama continues to move into his next phase of life, one thing is still the same: he’s been married to the same woman, former First Lady, Michelle Obama, for 29 years, we reflect on how he loves–and I mean loves–his wife. While he was in office, the president sat down with TIME magazine along with ballerina Misty Copeland to discuss body image, empowering young women, and fatherhood.
But it wasn’t your usual “we need to look at ourselves like this” sort of comments the President said that have people talking. It’s what Obama had to say about his own two daughters and the messages they’re getting about beauty right in their own home that was genuinely heartwarming. He and first lady Michelle Obama make sure to cultivate a healthy sense of self in the house. The president said that it’s also helpful that his girls’ mother is a role model for a body type that isn’t the mainstream but is nonetheless loved by him.
“[There’s an] enormous pressure that young women are placed under in terms of looking a certain way. And being cute in a certain way. And are you wearing the right clothes? And is your hair done the right way? And that pressure I think [has] historically always been harder on African-American women than just about any other women,” Obama explained.
The President said he learned all of this from his daughters.
“I mean, Malia’ll talk about black girls’ hair and will have much opinions of that,” Obama said of his daughter. “And she’s pretty opinionated about the fact that it costs a lot, it takes a long time, that sometimes girls can be just as tough on each other about how they’re supposed to look.”
“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,” he continued.
“And the fact that they’ve got a tall, gorgeous mom who has some curves, and that their father appreciates, I think is helpful.”
There’s more: “I do think that culture’s changing for the younger generation a little…