Michelle Obama is not letting her kids’ tattoos stress her out.
The former first lady was seen on The Kelly Clarkson Show This week, speak with the American Idol alum about how she’s recently relaxed her stance on tattoos, as well as all forms of self-expression.
“We need to create a broader definition of who’s American, who counts, what beauty is,” Obama, who is mom to Malia, 24, and Sasha, 21, explained. It’s good for our children. We don’t know what their future holds, and we want to make sure that there is space for them to be the person they choose.
She noted that forms of expression shouldn’t be “politicized” as they’ve been in the past.
“Most kids who are wearing tattoos and piercings, they’ve got long nails,” she shared. “Their value system is about individuality.”
The Becoming author acknowledged that while she was growing up, “tattoos meant something totally different.”
That’s why, she joked of her and Barack’s past responses to their daughters getting inked (which Sasha has reportedly done), “We used to threaten our kids that ‘if you get a tattoo, we’re going to get exactly the same kind and show it on TikTok or whatever.’ Take the cool all away … We’re going to make it so uncool, Barack is going to have a heart on his shoulder.”
Obama has long spoken about how she’s handling her daughters growing up. A personal essay from 2019 People reflecting on the lessons she’s learned about parenthood, the Higher Ground producer noted the importance of allowing her daughters to explore.
“I see now how important that kind of freedom is for all children, particularly for girls with flames of their own — flames the world might try to dim,” she wrote at the time. “It’s up to us, as mothers and mother figures, to give the girls in our lives the kind of support that keeps their flame lit and lifts up their voices — not necessarily with our own words, but by letting them find the words themselves.”
Interview with April Ellen DeGeneres ShowObama was elated at the progress of her daughters into young women.
“They wouldn’t always be in that bubble of the White House, so they had to learn to make their beds, they had to learn how to drive, they had to learn how to be compassionate, independent, responsible people,” she said. “So that they entered the world as responsible, compassionate, capable people, and I think they are amazing young women because of that.”
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