*Some people can’t wait to jump on any opportunity to stereotype First Lady Michelle Obama...or African American women in general for that matter. Never has there been a First Lady so “together” that some folks have it as their goal in life to bring her down a peg. No sooner had the brouhaha surrounding the presidents’ ill-timed decision to participate in a ‘selfie’ with two other dignitaries while at the memorial for late South African president Nelson Mandela, did eyes turn to an apparently stoic Michelle Obama, who did not appear to join in on the occasion.
Perhaps she was caught up in the moment. It was a memorial after all.
Disrespectful social media comments ranged from quips saying FLOTUS was going to make POTUS sleep on the couch after this and FLOTUS is jealous of the attention being paid to the pretty blonde, Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Even the folks at the Daily Mail jumped in to give their take on the situation: “It seems that the frosty faced First Lady was so unimpressed with her husband’s behavior that she eventually put an end to the fun.”
Of course the photographer responsible for the shot, Roberto Schmidt, a photojournalist for Agence France-Presse, tried to put it all in perspective by telling the truth:
“…photos can lie. In reality, just a few seconds earlier the first lady was herself joking with those around her, Cameron and Schmidt included. Her stern look was captured by chance.”
Schmidt also said that Obama’s behavior was in keeping with the general mood at the service:
“All around me in the stadium, South Africans were dancing, singing and laughing to honor their departed leader…the atmosphere was totally relaxed – I didn’t see anything shocking in my viewfinder, president of the US or not.”
To the haters and detractors looking to place Michelle Obama in some stereotypical mold I say, “You’re going to have to try a lot harder” to ruffle this woman’s feathers.