Barack Obama has praised his wife for being a body-positive role model for their two daughters Malia and Sasha. During an interview with ballet dancer Misty Copeland for TIME magazine, the president of the United States spoke about how important it is for young girls to have strong role models, at a time when they face so much pressure to “look a certain way.”
“That pressure I think is historically always been harder on African American women than just about any other women,” he said. “But it's part and parcel of a broader way in which we socialize and press women to constantly doubt themselves or define themselves in terms of a certain appearance.
Barack praised his wife Michelle for being a positive role model to their two daughters Photo: Instagram/@thewhitehouse
“And soMichelle and I are always guarding against that. And the fact that they've got a tall gorgeous mom who has some curves, and that their father appreciates, I think is helpful,” he added.
The head of state also spoke about how Misty, thefirst African American to be named the principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater, broke down social barriers to excel within the bitterly competitive world of ballet.
“Misty is a great example [of] somebody who has entered a field that's very competitive, where the assumptions are that she may not belong. And through sheer force of will and determination and incredible talent and hard work she was able to arrive at the pinnacle of her field. And that's exciting.”
Ballet dancer credits her upbringing for giving her "this fire" to become one of the best in her field Photo: Getty Images
Addressing the “huge obstacle” she had to tackle growing up as an an African American Misty said she credits these tough times with giving her “this fire” that pushed her to become one of the best in her field.
The duo both agreed that these days social media has been a useful platform to incite conversation about racism and discrimination in the country, but pointed out that they still have a long way to go to overcome prejudices.