Merci Mrs Obama!
When I created The Soul Edition my ambition was to give a better representation of certain issues, some artists, entrepreneurs, models, designers, places, that are not usually represented in mainstream medias. The Soul Edition answered a need expressed by many of you dear readers.
I do really believe that representation matters, especially for women and young women. The people who inhabit our media have an impact on our lives. They help to shape who we are, who we aspire to be, and how we view the world. Young girls developing minds are that little bit more unquestioning about what they see and hear on their screens. Or, of equal import, what they don’t see and hear.
‘If she can’t see it, she can’t be it’ used to claim actress Geena Davis. I couldn’t agree more!
That is why having a black First Lady -and of course a black President- at the white house was so important . For eight years Michelle Obama never stopped to be a true inspiration for American girls, American women, girls and women around the world. Her presence was a way to tell young girls: don’t listen what they say, I did it, sky is the limit and you can do it too.
Born in South Chicago, Michelle Obama is by far the most academically accomplished first lady of American History. She skipped second grade, graduated salutatorian at her magnet high school for gifted students, went to Princeton (graduating cum laude) and then Harvard Law School. She became a talented lawyer.
“Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them. (…) And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”
She definitely succeeded in her mission to empower girls and to empower women. She is and will remain for decades a role model. For eight years she was the voice of those who do not have one. We remember her campaign to bring back the high school girls abducted by Boko Haram in Chicko in north Nigeria. Her Lets Girls Learn program which ensure adolescent girls get the education they deserve, is a true success.
Considering the title of role model Michelle Obama used to say:
“We have to push past the doubters, when we succeed, we have to reach back and help others.…We have to be role models, but to do that we have to be vulnerable and tell stories in human ways … you have to tell about your own fears and missteps .If all they see is Michelle Obama the first lady, it is too unapproachable. These girls look at you and think, ‘There is no way I can be like her.’ I want them to know I am them and they are me,”.
When I was invited at The White House in 2013 when I was filming my documentary film about Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation 150th anniversary, my only regret was to haven’t met her in person even if I was glad to meet President Obama of course. But life is long … To sit and have a chat about empowering women with her is on top of my list. One day maybe!
See some of our The Soul Edition‘s team favorites looks of First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama …
… and some of the team’s favorites magazine covers! What do you think?
Carole Bienaimé Besse
Cet article est disponible en: Français