Michelle Obama is a people’s person
Michelle Obama is the 46th First Lady of the United States of America, and holds the distinction of being the country’s first African-American First Lady. She also has the distinction of being one of the most popular, and has been making a favorable impression on Americans and non-Americans alike with her go-getter attitude, hands-on approach to fitness, and above all, her down-to-earth nature, which serves to humanize her and make her less alienated from people. She maintains a balance between being the US First Lady and a regular woman, and her interactions with the public are warm and full of humor. On June 5th 2013, Michelle Obama was giving a speech at a Democratic fundraiser when an activist heckled her. While her husband’s strategy involved merely waiting for the heckler to finish what they had to say, Obama chose a different path; she confronted the heckler directly and offered her the microphone. Listen to me, or you can take the mike, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice,” she is said to have told the activist, who was escorted out amid loud applause from the attendees. Her reaction made headlines, and despite some criticism, Obama was once again, lauded as being a “real” person, an individual, who, despite her high position, was still capable of standing up for herself without politically correct PR mechanisms. As part of promotions for her “Lets Move” campaign against childhood obesity, Obama appeared on a number of popular talk shows, even inviting a popular talk show host to her residence for a sample workout which included a potato sack race in the White House corridors, a tug-of-war game inside the Office, and push-ups in the hallway. Her popular “Mom Dance” on the Jimmy Kimmel show where she is shown performing fun aerobic dance moves, has gone viral on the internet, with many lauding the First Lady’s friendly, hands-on approach. On the Ellen DeGeneres show, she is even shown to win a push-ups competition with the host, and goes on to joke about her husband’s dancing prowess. A poll carried out by Reader’s Digest magazine, chronicled the 100 most trusted people in America; Michelle Obama ranked at number 19, while her husband the President ranked at 65! Obama has two distinct reputations; one involves her being the “angry type”, and the other involves being the “hug type”. It is safe to assume that former First Ladies before her have never been categorized this way! Her demeanor has undergone a makeover since 2009 and she has in many ways discarded the aggression and replaced it with another unique strategy; that of greeting people with hugs and not handshakes. This human connection, coupled with her infectious enthusiasm, only serves to increase her popularity. It is natural that assumptions will be made regarding the difference between Obama the person, and Obama the persona with a carefully cultivated PR-perfect public image. However, it is obvious that some aspects of Michelle Obama’s character are not ploys to gain popularity. Her ability to break into a dance with young school children, her ability to stand up for herself, and her genuine enthusiasm for promoting healthy living is part of who she is, and the fact that it contributes towards making her a popular, genial people’s person, and an example of how a person can in fact, achieve the same high credibility and success that she has, by simply being true to ones self.