Michelle Obama has spoken openly about the challenges and expectations of her hair as the First Lady. Now that she’s out of the White House, those restrictions are (slightly) loosened, and we’ve had a few glimpses at Obama’s natural hair. This week, Michelle Obama wore her natural hair at Essence Festival 2019, and the audience response has been overwhelmingly positive. Black women’s hair has been policed and discriminated against for far too long: As usual, Obama is leading the charge to put an end to prejudicial thinking.
Obama appeared at Essence Festival for a keynote conversation with CBS anchor Gayle King, speaking on love, relationships and pulling off a successful marriage. Her advice was sound (isn’t it always?) but many viewers thought her natural curls made the strongest statement of all. With California recently passing the Crown Act, which bans employers from discriminating against people with natural hair, it’s a topic that’s fresh on the nation’s mind. Obama is making a powerful statement by appearing with her curls intact (with some new blonde highlights) — and viewers have taken notice. After years of “hair strategy” (a term Obama used to describe her White House hair regime on podcast 2 Dope Queens), her natural hair is back on display and better than ever.
Take a look at some fabulous pictures (and viewer reactions) below.
I AM FANGIRLING SO HARD OVER MICHELLE OBAMA’S NATURAL HAIR!!!!!!! LOOK AT THIS QUEEN ROCKING THOSE CURLS!!!!!!! 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/yRSSp84DUM
— Steph 🦒🛳 Donate to @RAICESTEXAS (@insteffable) July 7, 2019
— SouthernSTEMnist (@SwatiRayasam) July 7, 2019
— Noël Breaux (@NoelElaineOTH) July 7, 2019
— #StandWithSudan (@doowahh) July 7, 2019
Michelle Obama with her natural hair. That’s it, that’s the tweet 😍 pic.twitter.com/kll60FLlEA
— The Executive Tea (@executive_tea) July 7, 2019
Hearing Obama talk about the lengths that she went to to cover her natural hair while her husband was in office should serve as a wake-up call to people everywhere. It’s utterly ludicrous that this has been expected of Black women for so long, and that they continue to face discrimination (in employment and otherwise) for how their hair naturally grows. As Obama is so astutely demonstrating here, natural curls aren’t one bit less professional, appropriate or attractive than other hair styles — and neither are dreadlocks, box braids, twist outs, afros or anything else. Thank goodness California is taking legal action to recognize that truth; let’s hope the rest of the country follows suit.