On January 17, 2020, former First Lady of the US, the charismatic and influential public figure Michelle Obama turned 57. Needless to say, the Internet was flooded with wishes for her on her special day.
Celebrating the day, Former President Barack Obama put up a rather sweet throwback photo of his wife. He posted it alongside a love-filled note: “Happy birthday to my love, my partner, and my best friend. Every moment with you is a blessing. Love you, Miche,” Obama’s message for his wife was heartwarming and personal and it chose to step away from the times we are in to a nostalgic moment of timeless bliss. The birthday message went viral in a rather appreciative fashion. Joining him in greeting her on her special day were thousands of fans and several dignitaries, including First Lady to be, Dr. Jill Biden.
However, the one post that proved to be the icing on the cake for the day was the one put up by the birthday girl herself. Michelle Obama reciprocated the well meaning wishes of everyone rather warmly. However her post steered clear of the timeless nostalgia that enveloped her husband’s post. Instead she worded her post in a manner that immediately connected her to the millions of Americans for whom 2020 turned out to be a nightmare in more ways than one. As the Former First Lady very strongly addressed in her podcasts throughout 2020, the past year had been very rough and dispiriting to many. As she says, it was not just the pandemic or the quarantine that was making her ( and many like her) suffer mentally. The racist undercurrents following Geoerge Floyd’s death and the way the Trump administration ran the country in its aftermath was hypocritical and deeply suffocating, to say the very least. She had downright condemned the happenings as being spiritually debilitating and a cause for slow-consuming depression.
The current Instagram post linked it all up in a candid yet unmissable way. Using a black-and-white photo, which highlighted her natural, curly hair, Michelle took the opportunity to evoke once again everything that has been tormenting most Americans the past year. Not only does the photo draw attention to her cultural and racial roots, it is also one that rejects artifice and hypocrisy. It is a picture of pride and of embracing one’s identity. She captioned her post with gratitude towards one and all before putting out a reminder for everyone to make time for themselves despite all the happenings around them. She wishes her followers joy despite the unsettling political and pandemic situation all around.
“Thank you all for the lovely birthday wishes!” She wrote. “I know this past year has been difficult for us all on so many levels, so I just hope you all are taking care of yourselves and finding joy in the smallest moments. Love you all.”
The Birthday Girl’s message, especially in the light of all that happened in the capital in January 2021, resonated with most of her followers.