Words: Elle Griffiths
Since she left office in January, we’ve had a huge Michelle Obama-shaped hole in our lives.
But yesterday, we got our fix.
The former First Lady had been keeping a low profile until a picture emerged of her sporting her natural hair and quickly went viral among her legions of fans.
Praise was heaped upon the Chicago native for embracing her natural hair after eight years of wearing it straight during her two terms as First Lady.
Several social media users expressed how important it was for them to see a high profile black woman wearing her hair naturally. But some also lamented the fact Michelle hadn’t done so earlier, while in office, which would have made a more powerful statement.
The natural hair movement has seen a resurgence in the US in recent years with numerous celebrities and black women in the public eye opting to embrace their hair’s natural state rather than apply chemical straightening treatments.
Read More: Uncovering the natural hair movement
And commentators have previously speculated about the politics of FLOTUS’s hairstyle choices, with author Chimamanda Ngzoi Adichie telling Channel 4 news that a potential First Lady with natural hair would have cost Barack Obama the election.
But when Obama’s hairstylist gave an interview to The Root back in 2015, he explained Michelle had actually been natural for years- he simply straightened it with a hot iron.
And, amazingly, he predicted that Michelle might debut her curly look on holiday. When asked if he thought the then First Lady would ever be seen completely natural in public he replied; “I don’t know. Maybe on vacation she will.”
It is currently not known where the picture was snapped, but the Obamas are believed to be holidaying in French Polynesia while the former President takes time out to write his political memoirs.
The much-loved political figure recently ruled out a Presidential run, herself, telling Oprah Winfrey: “If I was interested in it, I would say. I don't believe in playing games.”
She explained that eight years in the White House had been long enough and she did not want to force her children to be faced with more sacrifices.