Michelle Obama On White House Pressures: 'Prison-Like'

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  • Michelle Obama
    (Photo: Official White House photo by Pete Souza)
    First Lady Michelle Obama presents Best Picture via satellite at the 2013 Oscar Awards.
By Emma Koonse , Christian Post Reporter
July 3, 2013|11:15 am

Michelle Obama made waves after revealing a candid take on life in the White House this week.

The First Lady of the United States was speaking to former First Lady Laura Bush while in Africa on Tuesday when she unveiled

Obama appeared at the George W. Bush Institute's first annual African First Ladies Summit where she first relished her role as First Lady.

The wife of Barack Obama said that first ladies "have probably the best job in the world, because while our husbands… have to react and respond to crises on a minute-to-minute basis, we get to work on what we're passionate about," according to Politico.

However, Obama shed rare light on the complexities of living under public scrutiny. The First Lady even jokingly compared the White House to a prison.

"There are prison-like elements, but it's a really nice prison," she said. "You can't complain. There are confining elements."

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Obama and Bush agreed that First Ladies strive to shift the public's attention off of themselves and to more meaningful topics, and even shared laughs over the media frenzy over Obama's fringe haircut earlier this year.

"While people are sort of sorting through our shoes and our hair, whether we cut it short or not," explained Obama before Bush interrupted, saying: "Whether we have bangs."

The audience then erupted in laughter.

"We take our bangs and we stand in front of important things the world needs to see," continued Obama, according to The Washington Post. "And eventually people stop looking at the bangs, and start looking at the things we're standing in front of."

"We hope," added Bush.

"That's the power of our role," replied Obama.

The First Ladies' exchange took place during the Obamas' African tour and while former President Bush met with President Obama at a wreath-laying ceremony at a memorial in Dar Es Salaam for victims of the 1998 terror bombing of the U.S. Embassy.

The African First Ladies Summit was not the first time Mrs. Obama discussed dealing with public scrutiny. Following the uproar over her presentation at this year's Oscar Awards, the First Lady explained that the people's reactions were natural while on the "Today" show.

"That's just the nature of life," said Obama at the time. "I mean, we live in a time when there are bloggers and tweeters and 24-hour news and everyone has a voice in this town square, and it's a big one."

Obama, who is currently wrapping up a national tour promoting her "Let's Move" anti-childhood obesity campaign, continued to explain that it is impossible to please everyone.

"It's a part of the culture," added the wife of President Barack Obama. "It's not really about me, I just happen to be in the public eye and along with everybody else in the public eye, you're subject to conversation, opinion and all that sort of stuff. There's nothing new about that."

 

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