Michelle Obama has never steered us wrong in the advice department. She’s given advice on dating and education, she’s given us mottos like “When they go low, we go high,” and now, she’s sharing her advice on cultivating a positive body image.
In a candid interview during Oprah’s wellness-focussed tour, Oprah asked Michelle, “What do you appreciate most now about your body today?” Michelle kept it real and said, “It’s mine, all mine. And it’s a healthy body that works every day, and I try hard not to judge it.” And although this may seem easier said than done, Michelle explained that she came to this realisation when she accepted that her body is different and spent time getting to know her body.
As we go through life, our bodies change as a result of puberty, having children, naturally ageing, and other factors out of our control. It’s easy to forget that change is normal, but Michelle reminded us that “We’re not machines. What this body is at 56 — I can’t do the same thing that I did when I was 36. It’s not the same body.” Instead of thinking negatively about her body and how it’s transformed, Michelle’s focus is on discovering the balance she needs to ensure she’s taking care of her body as best as she can and that “it will serve me well as I get older.” This means not comparing her body to how it looked or performed in the past, or to others, she told Oprah.
“We have to embrace change.”
When she noticed her daughters beginning to judge themselves because of how their bodies had changed, Michelle simply explained that they were getting older, becoming women, and that they shouldn’t expect their bodies to look the same forever because “You don’t have a child’s body.” Michelle admitted that we can be too hard on ourselves as women, especially when it comes to ageing and the changes our bodies go through. She said she’s judged herself, too, but said that “we have to embrace change.”
Her perspective on having a positive body image is refreshing and one to keep in mind if you ever find yourself being critical of your body. Our bodies serve a purpose greater than aesthetic alone, and it’s important we focus on having strong, healthy bodies to keep us functioning at our best now and in the future.