Michelle Obama : America’s former and, some might argue, most adored First Lady. For eight years she served this country with grace, class, and intelligence, shining a light on important topics and forging a path toward lasting change. She was outspoken on causes that served women and children as well as the rights of every American to easy access to healthy food. Her speeches inspired millions -even our incoming First Lady- but she often let her actions speak for her. And for that she may have been one of, if not the best, First Lady the United States has ever had.
When her husband first took office, the amount of criticism and insults hurled her way because she was Black were unimaginable (calling her an ape in a dress was the most common one). Instead of acknowledging the bigots and bullies, Mrs. Obama focused on improving the country.
In 2010 she launched Let’s Move! a community based program that aimed to curb childhood obesity through exercise and healthier school lunches for kids. She teamed up with the U.S Tennis Association, helping them build or refurbish 10,000 tennis courts across the U.S, to help get kids moving and fit. She appeared on late night shows and at schools, encouraging kids to dance their way to fitness while simultaneously dancing her way into their hearts.
But the former FLOTUS knew that being healthy didn’t just consist of exercise, it was also what people put into their bodies. Before 2008, school lunches across the country were fat-full and unhealthy. Soda and french fries were common, and ketchup was considered a vegetable. As soon as she could, she made it her husband’s priority to pass the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, to prompt schools to serve healthier food, and lower the cost for low-income kids.
She also set her sights on food outside of school, partnering with organizations such as the American Beverage Association to make labels more clear on all foods. In addition to this, she got companies like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola to start marketing healthier beverages to children and got a commitment from Wal-mart to lower the prices of fruits and vegetables. She also created a plan with 16 major companies -including notable ones such as Hershey- to cut down 1.5 trillion calories in their food by 2015, a feat they achieved three years ahead of schedule.
She made herself vital to this nation and its people. Instead of just talking about change, actually started it.
Although she and her husband both faced an astounding amount of hate and insults, especially from fellow politicians, the Obamas just let the haters hate while they did their own thing. They saw some of the most important problems facing this nation: equal rights, childhood obesity, and veterans-and they immediately took action. In a time when the country was divided and in a major crisis they made sure to put the needs of the people first, and did a great deal of good for this country.
Over the decades, First Ladies have come and gone, some, like Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford, leaving their mark on the nation, and others simply playing the part. Michelle Obama’s many wonderful contributions to this country as FLOTUS has not only influenced this generation, but future ones as well. Her legacy will continue to last as the woman who made America great again.
Good start. In order to take it to the next level it needs a clearer purpose beyond just listing the great things that she did. I like the very last line where you tie it to what a great American actually looks like. I think that this idea should be incorporated throughout the piece. Talk about how in a time when the nation seems so divided, we should look to the FLOTUS for example of what it means to look out for all Americans. Also talk about how she’s a model for how a person should face criticism with class, taking the higher ground and ignoring pettiness and cruelty. Even though you’re talking about all that she did, you should talk about how she is an example of how we should move forward in the days ahead.