I am in the throes of reading michelle (with a deliberate lower case on the “m”) by author Liza Mundy. How Michelle Obama’s story is so enlightening, illuminating and familiar makes her an excellent case study of Pink Pill, Strategies for Living Well to the EXTREME.
With all her accomplishments–a graduate from not one, but TWO Ivy League schools–I found that with all her brilliance, she was (like me) deliberately misunderstood and misinterpreted by those who would wish to negatively label her and question her authenticity and intentions. I have not always handled this treatment well; so my curiosity on discovering what the first African American wife of the president of the United States intrigued me.
I want to share some of that with you.
Perhaps one of the most memorable misstatements recorded by Michelle was the comment she made when her husband was elected president. “For the first time in my adult life, I’m really proud of my country.” Her haters quickly pounced on that statement to point out that Michelle Obama grew up in a nice, middle-class neighborhood on the south side of Chicago that was a far, far away from the projects. She went to a magnet high school for the gifted. She successfully earned degrees in two Ivy League schools. When the Obamas entered the White House, they were bringing in 4.2 million. Yet…if you read her life’s story, you will learn that she saw with her own eyes the discrimination based on race, as white families fled the neighborhood her family moved into in en masse. By the time she entered Princeton, conservatives were bemoaning Affirmative Action and openly questioned the intelligence of blacks as a whole. Her roommate, who was white, had a mother who lobbied to get her reassigned–much to her future shame. Both the mother and daughter would “express contrition and confirm that indeed, the joke had been on her. Here she was trying to protect her daughter from the influence of a young woman who would grow up to be a potential first lady. She said she regretted it.”
And that’s pretty much how Michelle has handles the haters. In an interview with Oprah, she said this: “I like me. I’ve liked me for a very long time,” Obama said. “I learned early on how to get the haters out of my life. You have to surround yourself with people who uplift you. The best revenge is success and good work. That tends to shut ’em up.”
Indeed. Peoples’ low expectations, bigotry, and hatefulness will be muted over time when you continue to rise and don’t stoop to their level. When I think about the lies people have told on this woman–from being a black supremacist to really being a man–she is a living, breathing Pink Pill study.
With all of her accomplishments and intelligence, Michelle has a cultural fluidity that allows her to seamlessly into the highest echelons of society while still being relatable to “common folk.” She is a lady, but she’s also a “sister girl.”
One of the exercises in the Pink Pill curriculum is the selection of a muse–a woman who expresses class, decorum, self-containment, intelligence, and femininity. Women in our private group selected some AMAZING women–legends both living and gone. However, I think it will be even more interesting and interactive to go through the study as a group. In future weeks, we’ll examine women who have been both successful and unsuccessful living Pink Pill life and use their experiences as lessons for our own. After Michelle, we’ll cover Aubry Hepburn, Eartha Kit, Billy Holiday, Melody Hobson, Oprah Winfrey and that’s just a start.
If you are a black woman and want to enroll in Pink Pill and join our private support group where we will be conducting these studies, click here.