Michelle Obama Wore Her Hair Straight Because Americans "Weren't Ready" for Her Natural Hair

The nation was "just getting adjusted" to having a Black family in the White House.

Former first lady Michelle Obama is recounting her time at the White House and how she had to wear her hair. While those two things may seem disparate, she insists that the styles she chose were considered and intentional, because she thought that much of America wasn't ready to see a Black woman with her natural hair in the White House. Obama said she decided to straighten her hair as the American people were "just getting adjusted" to having a Black first family, the Washington Post reports.

Michelle Obama Marthas Vineyard Film Festival

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"Nope, they’re not ready for it," she said, referencing the general American public. She explained that she thought that her hair would take focus from more important issues and could even be politicized, so she decided to just keep it straight for most of the Obama administration.

"Let me keep my hair straight," she said. "Let's get healthcare passed."

She went on to say that it's something that Black women deal with all the time, even if they're not walking the hallowed halls of the White House. She likened it to other office "rules," like wearing pantyhose and the "appropriate" length for skirts.

“We deal with it – the whole thing about, ‘Do you show up with your natural hair?’” Obama said. “That’s the African American experience ... but women in offices that are worried, ‘Should I wear skirts? Should I wear pantyhose?’ I hate pantyhose.”

She also noted that the entire family lived under constant scrutiny. It wasn't just what they were doing and saying that made headlines, it was also what they wore and how they presented themselves. Both she and her husband, former President Barack Obama — as well as their daughters Sasha and Malia — were under fire for every little thing they did.

"They tripped out when Barack wore a tan suit," she reminded us, just in case anyone thinks that something as simple as a hairstyle would pull focus from politics. "The great indignity, the scandal of the Obama administration."

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