ENG: Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is the wife of the 44th and incumbent President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Obama attended Princeton Universityand Harvard Law School before returning to Chicago and to work at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met her future husband. Subsequently, she worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Throughout 2007 and 2008, she helped campaign for her husband's presidential bid. She delivered a keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and also spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She is the mother of two daughters, Malia and Sasha.
As the wife of a Senator, and later the First Lady, she has become a fashion icon and role model for women, and an advocate for poverty awareness, nutrition, and healthy eating.
First Lady of the United States
With the ascent of her husband as a prominent national politician, Michelle Obama has become a part of popular culture. In May 2006, Essence listed her among "25 of the World's Most Inspiring Women." In July 2007, Vanity Fair listed her among "10 of the World's Best Dressed People." She was an honorary guest at Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball as a "young'un" paying tribute to the 'Legends,' which helped pave the way for African American Women. In September 2007, 02138 magazine listed her 58th of 'The Harvard 100'; a list of the prior year's most influential Harvard alumni. Her husband was ranked fourth. In July 2008, she made a repeat appearance on the Vanity Fair international best dressed list. She also appeared on the 2008 People list of best-dressed women and was praised by the magazine for her "classic and confident" look.
At the time of her husband's election, some sources anticipated that as a high-profile African-American woman in a stable marriage she would be a positive role model who would influence the view the world has of African-Americans. Her fashion choices were part of the 2009 Fashion week, but Obama's influence in the field did not have the impact on the paucity of African-American models who participate, that some thought it might.
She has been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy due to her sense of style, and also to Barbara Bush for her discipline and decorum. Her white, one-shoulder Jason Wu 2009 inaugural gown was said to be "an unlikely combination of Nancy Reagan and Jackie Kennedy". Obama's style is described aspopulist. She often wears clothes by designers Calvin Klein, Isabel Toledo, Narciso Rodriguez, Donna Ricco and Maria Pinto, and has become a fashion trendsetter, in particular her favoring of sleeveless dresses that showcase her toned arms.
She appeared on the cover and in a photo spread in the March 2009 issue of Vogue. Every First Lady since Lou Hoover (except Bess Truman) has been in Vogue, but only Hillary Clinton had previously appeared on the cover. In August 2011 she became the first woman to appear on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, as well as the first person to appear on the cover in 48 years. The media have been criticized for focusing more on the first lady's fashion sense than her serious contributions. She has stated that she would like to focus attention as First Lady on issues of concern to military and working families. U.S.News & World Report blogger, PBS host and Scripps Howard columnist Bonnie Erbe has argued that Obama's own publicists seem to be feeding the emphasis on style over substance. Erbe has stated on several occasions that she is miscasting herself by overemphasizing style.