Home > Whatever > Michelle Obama, would you please stop the hopscotch?

Michelle Obama, would you please stop the hopscotch?

Being a concerned citizen of the Asian world, I’ve followed with great interest news about President Obama’s trip to Asia. So far, I’ve been fed reports of two seemingly different trips – Barack Obama’s, and Michelle Obama’s.

Barack Obama’s mission seems straight-forward (i.e., finding a way to export US products) and no doubt challenging, because as one commentator notes, the world (Asia in particular) is reviewing its relationship to the U.S. The fruit of his effort remains to be seen.

Michelle Obama’s agenda is not spelled out as clearly. (To be fair, she never says she has a separate mission.) Somehow she just manages to come across as having one – winning the heart of local people. Seems like she does — by high fashion showcasing, Bollywood dancing, antique shopping, and playing hopscotch with the kids.

Being an interested woman of the Asian world, I gotta ask, what the heck?

First Lady Michelle Obama plays hopscotch with needy children in Mumbai Saturday, the same day the President announced $10 billion in trade deals with India.

I don’t know if it’s the First Lady’s fault to highlight her presence in such a way, or the news media’s fault to pay attention to — and praise — such aspects of her activities. It just bugs me no end to think, first of all, that you can halt traffic of half the city to clear your path, then play hopscotch with a few selected kids for a few minutes, and come across as warm and relatable. And second of all, that diplomacy can be attained that easily through such shallow photo-op events.

Personally, I like the First Lady when I listen to her. She has a way with words. She projects ease while still aggressively and confidently getting her message across. She’s definitely not relatable to all women. But she’s an inspiration to those who wish to stand on their own feet, with or without a man. To me, she usually achieves that effect by being reasonable and intelligent in the way she perceives thing, not by trying to be a fashionista, a dancer, a shopper, or a baby-sitter.

I hope and suspect a lot of other women of the Asian world agree with me on this.

So please, Michelle Obama, stop playing hopscotch. Just find a way to sit and talk substantially if you care. Get people moving, not to some Bollywood trance music but to some call to meaningful actions. Like, put and end to the perception that women wow the world when they dress glamorously.

Or, if you can’t afford the time, just stay still. You’re not helping women around the world by acting cute.

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Categories: Whatever
  1. Anonymous
    10/11/2010 at 6:32 am

    I coudn’t agree more. Everybody seems to like her just as she is “like us”. You must be different from us you First Lady!

    Ma ban Ly coi chung bi “lenh bat khan cap” vi dam chi trich de nhat phu nhan!

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