One of Michelle Obama's goals as First Lady was to not be photographed in a bikini

Emily Gulla
·2-min read
Photo credit: BET Awards 2020 - Getty Images
Photo credit: BET Awards 2020 - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

It's no secret that body shaming still exists, and it can be especially prevalent for celebrities and people in the public eye.

And it turns out even the former First Lady of the US, Michelle Obama, isn't unaffected by the prospect of coming under scrutiny when it comes to body shaming.

In fact, her husband Barack Obama has reportedly revealed that one of Michelle's goals as First Lady was to never be photographed by the paparazzi in a bikini or swimming costume, presumably partly down to the prospect of receiving harsh comments and not wanting her privacy to be violated.

In his new memoir The Promised Land, Barack tells a story of how he and daughter Sasha were once heading on a trip to the beach, with Michelle refusing to go with them. He goes on to say that Michelle had vowed that as First Lady she wouldn't be photographed in a swimsuit.

Barack has since told Vanity Fair, "She [Michelle] was serious. 'This is one of my main goals as First Lady. I will not be photographed by the paparazzi in a bathing suit,' [she said]. And she succeeded."

Photo credit: Mark Wilson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mark Wilson - Getty Images

Indeed, Michelle wasn't photographed in a swimming costume during the time that she was First Lady from 2009 to 2017. However, she was pictured by the paparazzi wearing a white bikini top in 2018, after Barack Obama's presidency ended. Of course, the pictures of Michelle simply going about her life still sparked some negative comments online, including comments on her body and weight.

Michelle was also on the receiving end of criticism back in 2009 when she chose to wear a sleeveless dress. Meanwhile, others have noted that Barack Obama didn't receive the same kind of criticism or negative comments when he was pictured shirtless on the beach.

Double standards still exist when it comes to body shaming, and it's sad that women in the public eye need to be so conscious of it. Michelle isn't the only public figure consciously avoiding being photographed in swimwear, with celebrities like Love Island's Molly-Mae saying that the paparazzi have stopped her from wearing a bikini on holiday.

Regardless of who they are, no one should have to avoid wearing what they want to.

Cosmopolitan UK's December/January issue is out now and you can SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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