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Our first lady Michelle Obama, who has showed a display of class and elegance in and out of the White House, recently told People Magazine that if she could be anyone else, she would choose to be R&B diva Beyonce. Out of all the black men and women who have been pioneers, leaders, and fighters in this society–including herself– Michelle Obama said she would be Beyonce. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, why would she want to trade it in to be a singer?
“Gosh, if I had some gift, I’d be Beyoncé. I’d be some great singer,” Mrs. Obama told People magazine in an interview released on newsstands last week. “The power of music, being able to play an instrument. … It looks like musicians just have the most fun.”
Because fun is an important factor to look for when choosing a role model for your kids. I thought we were past the “all black kids want to be singer, rappers, and athletes” stereotype.
Look, I’m not hating on Bey, I’m actually a huge fan of her music and her performances are always full of art and energy. She has it all–Grammy’s, a beautiful baby, a famous rapper husband, and a reported net worth of over $300 million.
But what work has she done outside of the entertainment world, primarily work that helps our communities and children? And please don’t give me a list of charities she tossed a few dollars to over the years, or tell me how she and Jay got soooooo many gifts for baby Blue Ivy, they had to give a lot of them away to charity. Even Brad and Angelina do work in Africa.
I guess I expected my first lady to name someone who has directly influenced changes in the world we live in. Notice when Mrs. Obama explained why she would be Beyonce, she highlighted Beyonce’s ability to “play an instrument.” There are so many philanthropists, writers, and even other artists to choose from who have given their time and put in physical work to causes worldwide. R&B singer Alicia Keys, just to name one, is a well-known ambassador for Keep A Child Alive, traveling to Africa and speaking to children and teens who have lost their parents to AIDS. She’s also a spokesperson for Frum Tha Ground Up, a charity focused on encouraging and motivated our young people to be successful.
Our first lady is blessed to be in a position where she can constantly influence young people in our nation. So many people look at the Obamas and say, “If they can do it, I can do it too,” to whatever dreams and goals they may have. I’m not saying Beyonce isn’t a positive icon, I was just hoping for more in the answer to this question. Why not name someone outside of the entertainment business as role models for our children? Name someone they may not have heard of, so they can learn more about their history and contributions to our country? Someone who can inspire them to learn more about causes they can contribute to in their community? Or is that too cliche?
It should be noted that Beyonce is as big of a fan of Michelle also. Beyonce contributes to Michelle’s “Let’s Move” campaign, targeted at childhood obesity. In an open letter that Beyonce posted on her website, she praised the Obama as the ultimate example of a strong African-American woman.
To each its own I suppose.
This answer is better than naming Tami Roman or Evelyn Lozada for sure.
Follow me on Twitter @srenae89