Entries in Michelle Obama (120)


Michelle Obama Promotes Healthy Living with Rap Album

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Michelle Obama is an accomplished lawyer, mother of two and, of course, the first lady. And now, she’s adding hip-hop artist to her impressive resume.

The first lady is lending her star power to a new rap album to inspire people to live healthier, more active lives.

Before you get your hopes up too high, no, the first lady does not actually rap on the album. But she is playing a speaking role in a new song titled “Everybody,” featuring Jordin Sparks, Doug E. Fresh, Dr. Oz and the Hip Hop Doc.

Obama teamed up with Partnership for a Healthier America to make the album as part of her Let’s Move! healthy eating initiative.

The record, Songs for a Healthier America, features music by Matisyahu, Travis Barker, Artie Green, Ashanti and Monifah, among others, and includes songs titled “U R What You Eat,” “Veggie Luv” and “Hip Hop F.E.E.T.”

The music videos released with the album will reportedly be distributed to New York City schools before being circulated more widely.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Michelle Obama Makes Light of President’s Failures in Graduation Speech

iStockphoto(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Delivering her only speech at a high school graduation this year, first lady Michelle Obama joked about the failures her husband, President Obama, has encountered in life as she told a graduating class of high school seniors in Nashville, Tenn. Saturday that in order to achieve success in life, they must first experience failure.

“When something doesn’t go your way, you’ve just got to adjust. You’ve got to dig deep and work like crazy, and that’s when you’ll find out what you’re really made of during those hard times, but you can only do that if you’re willing to put yourself in a position where you might fail, and that’s why so often failure, is the key to success for so many great people,” Obama said at the graduation ceremony for Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School.

“Oprah was demoted from her first job as a news anchor. Now she doesn’t even need a last name,” she said.  “And then there’s this guy Barack Obama. … I could take up a whole afternoon talking about his failures, but he lost his first race for Congress, and now he gets to call himself my husband.

“All jokes aside, the point is that that resilience and grit, that ability to pick yourself up when you fall, those are some of the most important skills you’ll need as you make your way through college and through life,” she said. “I want you to tell yourself that no matter what challenges you face that you will commit yourself to achieving your goals no matter where life takes you.”

As a student introduced Obama, he noted that his own mother found inspiration in the first lady and her well toned arms.

“Now my mom’s arms look better than mine,” the graduate said.

“I would love to see your mom’s arms. Where are they?” Obama asked as she started her speech and asked the graduate’s mother to stand.  ”Yes! I love that, and she’s showing them off too!”


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Michelle Obama Gets Second "Vogue" Cover

Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy(WASHINGTON) -- First lady Michelle Obama is once again the cover lady for the April issue of Vogue magazine.

President Obama and the first lady are interviewed in the article, in which they discuss their lives as parents and their marriage in the spotlight of the presidency.

Though the president initially discussed the pressure exerted on political families by things like expensive campaigns and late working hours, the first lady shifted the focus to kids Sasha and Malia Obama.

“Ninety percent of our conversation is about these girls: What are they doing?  And who’s got what practice?  And what birthday party is coming up?” says Mrs. Obama in the story.  “You know, I mean, it is endless and it gets to be pretty exhausting, and if you take your eye off the ball, that’s when their lives become inelastic.”

The first lady was previously on the cover in April 2009.

The issue will be available on newsstands March 26.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Fashion Designer Calls Michelle Obama’s Clothing ‘Dreadful’

Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert(NEW YORK) -- From the attention-grabbing bangs, to the high-end Jason Wu dresses, to the colorful J. Crew ensembles, first lady Michelle Obama is considered by many to be a style icon in her own right. But one famous fashion designer – Vivienne Westwood – is unimpressed, describing Obama’s fashion sense as “dreadful.”

“Don’t talk about her.  It’s dreadful what she wears,” Westwood told the New York Times earlier this week.

“I don’t want to talk about it.  Really, I can’t.  She’s a very nice-looking lady, but it’s a nonstarter regarding clothes that suit her,” Westwood added.

Westwood, a 71-year-old English fashionista who designed for the punk rock band the Sex Pistols, heaped praise on another first lady for her style.

“Jackie Kennedy was a different matter altogether,” Westwood said. “It just has to suit her and be something that makes a human being more glamorous.  That’s what fashion is there for.  It’s there to help, not just to make you look more conservative.”

The White House has not responded to a request for comment.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Michelle Obama’s Image Altered By Iranian News Agency

The First Lady in the pre-touchup photo. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(NEW YORK) -- A semi-official Iranian news agency called Fars altered an image of Michelle Obama at the Academy Awards to appeal to their more conservative readers.

An image was Photoshopped to show Mrs. Obama with covered shoulders and chest– a stark contrast from the sleeveless silver gown that she was wearing by designer Naeem Khan on Sunday night.

Although modest by American standards, the designer gown, which exposed the shoulders and partial chest of the first lady, violated the codes of modesty enforced in many Muslim countries.

Patrick Ventrell, deputy State Department spokesperson, wouldn’t comment on Michelle Obama’s manipulated photo but he did say that the State Department has seen images and statements manipulated in the past by the Iranian government.

“We’ve persistently seen Iranian news agencies, whether they’re partially or fully state-run, use fabrication and use other means to distort images.”

Ventrell continues, “It’s something that we’ve seen in the past here in this department. We’ve seen photos manipulated. We’ve seen official statements manipulated. So there would be nothing new. It wouldn’t surprise me.”

And he is right, as Michelle Obama certainly isn’t the only female figure that has been covered up by Middle Eastern media. In 2011, images of supermodel Gisele Bündchen were digitally altered to cover the model, who was starring in a new H&M campaign. The photo alterations were made to ads running in Dubai.

Singer Mariah Carey’s outfits were also modified in Saudi Arabia where her album shots were Photoshopped to more closely align with the values of the Muslim culture.

Michelle Obama wasn’t the only thing that bothered Iranians about the Academy Awards this year. According to the Washington Post, Iranian media has also criticized the best picture of the year Argo as an unflattering portrayal of Iran.

Mehr News produced a headline criticizing Affleck’s acceptance speech. The headline read, “After distorting history, Ben Affleck continues to show a bleak picture of Iran: Iranians live in terrible circumstances.”

And The Asriran news website published remarks suggesting the film has anti-Iranian inclinations.

Though Argo, which focuses on the Iranian hostage crisis from 1979 to 1981, has not been shown in any Iranian cinema, Iranian media called the award a “political” win.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


First Lady Busts a Move in ‘Evolution of Mom Dancing’

Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Michelle Obama showed off her dance prowess on Friday night with a satirical rendition of the “Evolution of Mom Dancing.”

Appearing alongside late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon, who himself was dressed as a woman, the two went through awkward attempts at boogie moves through the ages, including “raising the roof” and the “electric slide.” The two minute dance-off concludes with the first lady soloing hip-hop’s “Dougie.”

The Evolution of Mom Dancing was itself a parody of a series of popular dance videos by comedian Judson Laipply. His Evolution of Dance series has garnered hundreds of millions of views on YouTube.

The first lady was on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to promote her “Let’s Move” initiative, which focuses on nutrition and exercise for American youth. This month marks the program’s third anniversary. On Tuesday ABC News’ Good Morning America will air an interview with Obama detailing a new partnership of the anti-obesity campaign. She will also be on the Dr. Oz Show Thursday.

During her appearance with Fallon, Obama was asked about her plans after the White House and whether she would consider presidential run of her own with another former first lady, Hillary Clinton.

“You know, I have my eye actually on another job,” she joked. “And I hear that when Jay Leno retires that The Tonight Show position is going to open and I’m thinking about putting my hat in the ring.”

“I got my hat in the ring,” Fallon replied, although he laughed and said he’d back down to a challenge.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Big Bird’s Revenge: Muppet Teams Up with First Lady

Theo Wargo/WireImage(WASHINGTON) -- Four months after Mitt Romney famously pledged to cut funding for the large yellow Muppet, Big Bird is dancing in the White House to promote the first lady’s healthy living initiative.

The Sesame Street character and Michelle Obama have teamed up in two new public service announcements to encourage kids to eat healthy and get active.

One features Big Bird with the first lady in the White House kitchen looking for a healthy snack to eat (Big Bird opts for a similarly-colored banana). 

In the other, Big Bird shows off his dancing skills while exercising in the East Room.

“Look, Mrs. Obama, I’m getting moving right now by jogging… Now I’m jumping to get moving… And now, I’m dancing,” he says as he sings to himself.

“Good for you, Big Bird,” Mrs. Obama says.

The PSAs are being released as part of the third anniversary celebration of Let’s Move!, the first lady’s initiative to encourage children to live healthier lives.

Big Bird became a much-discussed -- and mocked -- topic on the campaign trail after the GOP candidate vowed to cut funding for public broadcasting.

“I love Big Bird,” Romney declared in a presidential debate in October.  “But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.”

The Obama campaign seized on the line and Big Bird quickly became part of President Obama’s standard stump speech.

“Thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird.  It’s about time,” the president quipped the morning after the Denver debate.  “We didn’t know that Big Bird was driving the federal deficit.  But that’s what we heard last night.  How about that?”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Michelle Obama Jokes About Bangs, ‘Mid-Life Crisis’

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- First lady Michelle Obama joked in an interview set to air Wednesday that her now-signature bangs weren’t a fashion statement but a result of a “mid-life crisis.”

“This is my mid-life crisis, the bangs,” the first lady, 49, said in a preview clip for Wednesday’s Rachael Ray Show. “I couldn’t get a sports car. They won’t let me bungee jump. So instead, I cut my bangs.”

The first lady made fashion waves when she first sported the bangs in a photo uploaded to her Twitter account on her birthday last month, just before inauguration weekend, and the president quickly admitted he’s a fan of the new hairdo, saying it was the “most significant” event of the weekend.
“I love her bangs,” Obama told supporters at an inaugural reception at the National Building Museum the night before the inauguration. “She looks good. She always looks good.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Hadiya Pendleton's Funeral Attended by First Lady Michelle Obama and City Officials

Scott Olson/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- First lady Michelle Obama and some of Chicago’s most well-known faces turned out on Saturday to attend the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl whose killing has become another symbol in the national debate on gun violence.

Hundreds filled the Greater Deliverance Temple Church of Christ to pay their respects to 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton’s family, but the mood in the room was upbeat, including renditions from the choir. Friends of the girl, who had been one of the performers at President Obama second inauguration just days before she was gunned down, read poems in remembrance.

Before the service, the first lady met privately with about 30 of Hadiya Pendleton’s friends and classmates, and then met privately with members of Hadiya’s family.

“As a mother and Chicagoan, the first lady was heartbroken to learn of the tragic loss of Hadiya Pendleton due to senseless gun violence,” said Kristina Schake, an aide to Obama. “Too many times we’ve seen young people struck down with so much of their lives ahead of them.  The first lady is traveling to her funeral on Saturday to offer her condolences and support to Hadiya’s family and loved ones.”

Pendleton’s shooting came in January among a string of recent high profile gun crimes. Chicago is also struggling through the throes of the worst homicide rates it’s seen in a decade, spurred by gang warfare.

“She was not too young to leave a mark, and impact her friends, her family, and even now the nation,” the Rev. Courtney Maxwell said of the student who had reportedly once participated in an anti-gang video.

In Pastor Eric Thomas’ invocation he thanked “the life of this beloved angel.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obamas Share the Love, Even for First Lady’s Bangs

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama used the first public remarks of his second term to address what he called the “most significant” event of this weekend: his wife’s much-talked-about new haircut.

“I love her bangs,” Obama told supporters at an inaugural reception at the National Building Museum.  “She looks good.  She always looks good.”

First lady Michelle Obama, wearing a black sequined cocktail dress and showcasing her new hairdo, also heaped compliments on her husband.

“Let me tell you, it has just been a true thrill to watch this handsome, charming individual grow into the man and the president that he is,” she said, as she reached out to playfully touch the president’s face, sparking laughter from the crowd.

Praising his compassion and courage, the first lady introduced the president as the “love of her life.”

Obama, who was sworn in for a second term in a small White House ceremony earlier on Sunday, kept his remarks short, noting he has another big speech to deliver on Monday.

“There are a limited amount of good lines and you don’t want to use them all up tonight,” he joked.

Because the Constitutionally-mandated date for the inauguration -- Jan. 20 -- fell on a Sunday this year, the traditional, public ceremony was delayed until Monday.

Saving the best for his official inaugural address, the president instead dedicated the bulk of his remarks to thanking supporters for their hard work and dedication to getting him re-elected.

“You understood this was not just about a candidate; it was not just about Joe Biden or Barack Obama.  This was about us, who we are as a nation, what values we cherish, how hard we’re willing to fight to make sure that those values live not just for today but for future generations,” he said.

“All of you here understood and were committed to the basic notion that when we put our shoulders to the wheel of history, it moves… It moves forward.  And that’s part of what we celebrate when we come together for inauguration,” he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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