"The fact that they've got a tall gorgeous mum who has some curves, and that their father appreciates, I think is helpful."
In an interview with TIME magazine, President Obama shared how he hopes the fact that he loves his wife’s “curves” will foster a positive body image for his two daughters, Malia, 17 and Sasha, 14.
Obama also shared how he has seen the effects of race on body image problems for young girls and women.
“I mean some of this is just gender issues, generally. I mean when you’re a dad of two daughters you notice more,” he said. “When I was a kid I didn’t realize as much, or maybe it was even a part of which is the enormous pressure that young women are placed under in terms of looking a certain way.”
African-american girls in particular, according to Obama, put more pressure on themselves to choose the right clothes and hairstyles.
“That pressure I think is historically always been harder on African American women than just about any other women, but it’s part and parcel of a broader way in which we socialize and press women to constantly doubt themselves or define themselves in terms of a certain appearance,” said Obama. “And so Michelle and I are always guarding against that.”
“The fact that (Malia and Sasha) have a tall gorgeous mum who has some curves, and that their father appreciates, I think is helpful,” continues Obama.
“What both white, Latino, black children are seeing as representative of beauty is much broader than it was when I was a kid,” he clarified. “You just didn’t see that much representation. And that’s healthy and that’s encouraging. But it’s still a challenge.”
He went on to praise Beyonce and other celebrities for contributing to a more positive culture when it comes to standards of beauty and having a positive body image.
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