Why Michelle Obama Believes It’s Okay If You Choose Not To Marry Or Have Kids

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images.
How does Michelle Obama inspire girls and women everywhere? Let me count the ways. This summer, the first lady delivered one of the most acclaimed speeches at the DNC, toured the world to promote girls' education, and even found time to join Snapchat and sing along to Beyoncé. Now, in a sit-down interview with Variety, she continues her message of female empowerment. This time, the first lady mentioned the importance of representing women and people of color in TV shows and films. After all, as a little girl, The Mary Tyler Moore Show had a great impact on her. “She was one of the few single working women depicted on television at the time. She wasn’t married. She wasn’t looking to get married. At no point did the series end in a happy ending with her finding a husband — which seemed to be the course you had to take as a woman," she told Variety. She added, "But she sort of bucked that. She worked in a newsroom, she had a tough boss, and she stood up to him. She had close friends, never bemoaning the fact that she was a single. She was very proud and comfortable in that role." Seeing this strong, female character on TV influenced Obama's worldview. She said, "I was probably 10 or 11 when I saw that, and sort of started thinking, 'You know what? Marriage is an option. Having a family is an option. And going to school and getting your education and building your career is another really viable option that can lead to happiness and fulfillment.'" So, there you have it. If she hadn't gone on an ice cream date with a certain lawyer turned president in 1989, she would have been just fine.

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