In Defense Of Michelle Obama’s Shorts

It’s been one year, five months, and 26 days since President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama left the White House for the last time. While the rest of the world seemingly crumbles around us, the Obamas, as Michelle told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, are adjusting well to life outside the spotlight. “The girls are good, Barack is working, we've got projects going, so we’re staying busy,” Obama said in February of what the family’s been up to. "We've had some fun."
But “we’ve had some fun” is putting it mildly. Now that Obama is out of the White House, she’s letting her hair down (literally) and flying all over the world — including a stop in Paris on Sunday for On The Run II. There, she took in Beyoncé and Jay-Z's performance from the side of the massive stage, dancing alongside Tina Knowles, Beyoncé’s mother. Her daughter, Sasha, was also in attendance. For the event, Obama wore a pair of drawstring high-waisted shorts and a white tank top under a voluminous white jacket. And though she looked like #goals, it didn’t take long for the detractors to, once again, compare her to current First Lady Melania Trump.
One Twitter user called out Obama for attending the concert, “celebrating Jay Z who beat his sister and sister-in-law.” They also shunned her attire. “Embarrassing entire US in shorts… former First Lady Michelle Obama,” @RickAndKim30yrs wrote. “Not even mother of Beyoncé is as classless as Michelle to wear shorts like a teenage fangirl. FLOTUS Trump = Elegance.” The fact that Rick and Kim are Trump supporters aside, this criticism is silly. Michelle Obama was the picture of elegance during her eight years in the White House. She used her fashion to not just show how relatable she was, but also to uplift emerging and international designers. Obama certainly never used her appearance to demean anyone in the ways Trump has with her controversial Zara jacket or “storm stilettos.”
But most importantly, Michelle Obama is a grown ass woman who is no longer working for the American people. As much as we wish she did, she doesn’t represent the entire United States. She is now living as a somewhat private citizen, who was hanging out with her friend and child at a Beyoncé concert. She looked good and more than appropriate for the occasion. Let her live. Like fashion critic Robin Givhan so eloquently wrote on Twitter: “It’s not necessary to insult previous FLOTUS in order to praise the current one. Fashion is not a competition. It’s personal expression in the public square. Have a lovely day.”

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