Michelle Obama on the Move: What Will She Do Next?

Michelle Obama on the Move: What Will She Do Next?


Maggie Murphy, Editor in Chief

Lynn Sherr, Contributor

America’s most famous mom takes her fight against childhood obesity to the next level, gears up for parenting teenagers, and admits to hitting her stride as first lady. Read the Parade cover story below and watch an exclusive video message from Mrs. Obama:

Nearly five years after moving into the White House, Michelle Obama could not look more at home. Posing in the formal Green Room, she appears both relaxed and invigorated, embracing the undefined (and undefinable) roles of Spouse in Chief, Role Model in Chief, and Mom in Chief. But it’s the last one that makes the first lady shine brightest of all. Put her in a room with kids—whether her own or the nation’s—and she glows. In fact, at the second annual Kids State Dinner on July 9, Mrs. Obama beamed at the success of 54 students who won a nationwide competition, sponsored by Epicurious.com, to develop creative, delicious, and healthful recipes. An outgrowth of her Let’s Move! program to curb childhood obesity within a generation, the State Dinner (which happened at lunch) featured dishes like Lucky Lettuce Cups and Bodacious Banana Muffins, as well as an appearance by her husband, whom she playfully tweaked for admitting he’d hated vegetables as a kid. As she sat with Parade the following day, Mrs. Obama was regal in a magenta sheath yet so down-to-earth that she quickly fluffed the cushion of an antique couch between photo takes. No longer sporting the bangs that caused such a sensation (“You know, it’s hard to make speeches with hair in your face!”), the first lady spoke to us about her second-term goals for her childhood obesity fight, her maturing family, and her dreams for America’s children…

…As we approach the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, there have been a lot racial issues in the news, from Paula Deen to the Trayvon Martin case. What gives you hope about America today?

I have immense hope. We just finished our visit to Africa and spent time on Robben Island [where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years] with one of President Mandela’s cell-block mates. Mandela took a lot of the lessons from Dr. King’s time to heart as he sat in a prison cell and thought about how to pull that country to where it is today. To come back to the United States, with an African-American president who has been influenced by both King and Mandela, that is a reason to be hopeful about all that Dr. King sacrificed.

Do you think having an African-American family in the White House has moved the needle?

Absolutely. Children born in the last eight years will only know an African-American man being president of the United States. That changes the bar for all of our children, regardless of their race, their sexual orientation, their gender. It expands the scope of opportunity in their minds. And that’s where change happens. You know, laws and policies are important. But in the end, it’s how we’re living our lives…

Read the interview here.

Tags: , , ,