The Michelle Obama Hair Project

Fellas, um … It’s about to get girly up in the piece, so … if you’re feeling a little awkward, go look at the lovely women in my Great Wall of Sexy and make some suggestions as to who I should add to that wall.


Now, let’s get down to business … Michelle Obama’s HAIR!

We all know how we feel about Michelle’s hair. It’s thick and healthy. It’s a lovely dark brown. And since this campaign began we’ve seen a variety of looks from a bob with a killer flip to a sleek chin-length bob. To it pinned up, accentuating her cheek bones, to a few, less appealing looks, but a girl can’t bat a thousand every time.

In a recent thread we were discussing what we’d like to do to Michelle’s hair if we ever got a hand on it. So, you know me. I decided to take Michelle and do what I did with my old black Barbies — come up with some FIERCE hairdos.

Here are some of my suggestions and why I think Michelle could rock it well. Feel free to offer your own observations and opinions in the comments below.

*Click to see larger pics

I really liked the layering in this look. Michelle’s hair is thick enough to really pull it off and it looks low maintenance. I don’t think the eye swoop could be as dramatic since Michelle is trying to be First Lady, not the world’s hottest mom. But I think it would frame her face just nicely.

This one is almost too short for me, but since Michelle recently cut her hair she could do a slightly longer variation of this. Side note: Why do all the hair style models freak me out a little? Is it just me and my generalized weirdness? Anyone else?

This look is especially sleek. I like it a lot. I think it would make Michelle look pretty slamming considering her hair is so much thicker than the model’s. She could do a lot with it especially with that shorter haircut.

I wasn’t too sure about the one on top. Michelle’s hair is too short now to do this. But I’ve never seen Michelle with really curly hair. I’m just curious to see how it would look. Serena’s look is definitely fun and doable. She could pull that one off a little better than the first curly look.

It may be just me, but this is BY FAR my favorite cut. I mean, it is just fierce. It’s too sexy though. I mean, Michelle would look ferocious with this ‘do, but I think it may distract some folks. This is some sexy, but business-like hair. Hell, I kind of want this hair style if I wanted to wear my hair permed and straight and short.

But that look may be too black for the White House. But I can dream about my Michelle Obama Barbie.

26 thoughts on “The Michelle Obama Hair Project

  1. I like the first one the best for her. I think some of those shorter looks might look out of proportion on such a tal statuesque woman. I feel like the only women I know with short cuts like those are petite to begin with. Is that just me?I especially agree w/you that the final one, the one you like the best is way too fierce for a possibly future First Lady. I think she looks excellent in the photo in the montage in the black dress w/ the pearls and the mike, where her hair flips out on the bottom. If she goes to the WH, she’s going to get the same sh*t Clinton did about managing to be feminine and not scaring the sh*t out of dudes and a lot of ladies everywhere. She’s got incredible style, but I think she needs a softer hair look for political purposes.Btw, I’m not as sold on all her outfits all the time, but damn those ruffles in Puerto Rico were amazing. I have a big round butt, and my dream is to pull of a pencil skirt, but every time I try one on, I can’t get over how tight it is (even if maybe it’s supposed to look that way). Her ruffles and fitted skirt look in the PR photos was amazing, and made me long to pull it off. (I’m tall too, but can’t really do ruffles. Feels falsely feminine on me.)

  2. That ‘do Serena is rocking is exactly what I was talking about. Loose but polished. If it can make Serena look good, you know Michelle would look fierce. No offense to Serena fans, but she ain’t exactly a looker without her makeup, lighting, and a wig.

  3. I don’t like the hairstyles you picked. They are too high maintenance, Danielle, and when your perm starts growing out that is when it looks stringy. You don’t have our texture. Michelle has kinky hair that looks super-super processed. It looks like it requires upkeep and can’t handle to much style. It’s bone-straight. Black Women are obsessed with these hairstyles that only look good for maybe a week and then it makes them look like a “Black Person trying to impersonate a White Woman’s hairstyle”. I wear my hair natural and the only time I think I looked good with a perm is when I had a bob…a full healthy bob. Not a stringy one of thin, overprocessed hair. But it gets like that when you are pushing to emulate “White” and “Others” more natural looks. When the new growth kicks in, you look like a fraud.There are several people…most of us…walking about with hairstyles that don’t fit our African faces. So when I think about Michelle, that is how I see her. She for so long before the campaign had that “Chicago power helmut” and then as the campaign started we saw the forced flip. Yuck! It only looked good fresh…and that goes back to why we should not be putting shit on top of our heads that don’t go with who we are.I think however she did look good when she had some weave put in to thicken and make her mane look fuller. It was the style she wore on the Cobert Show and when she was talking to about being proud for the first time in her life. I felt okay with weave at that point because she was not faking her hair length…she was just filling it out.I don’t know why she took it out and cut it. It seemed to be a low maintenance look and it didn’t look stringy for permed hair. So that’s my take. She was channelling youth with the fuller blunt shoulder cut but she and Barack look older now with him stopping coloring his hair and she putting the helmets back on. She looked more intouch with Whites with the helmuts. And she looked to elite with sleek hair.I think with her there is as much politics of hair going on in this campaign.I like her anyway she comes but my preference is nothing forced. Since she is not like most of the Black female pundits with fake hair down their shoulders. That is what is great about Amy. She is not frying her scrap to look less Black. She is redeeming there. Too many of the young twenty-something pundits are dealing with cultural insecurities on camera. Can’t stand that fake shit on their heads.

  4. andrea: The problem is she is never going to rock a natural on the trail or if she becomes first lady. It just ain’t gonna happen. So I kept trying to mitigate the damage. How could it be short and cute without look ridiculous?Either way, 99 percent of all black hairstyles are high maintenance. Even my natural involves quite a bit of work if I want it to look half decent. Unless you wear a short natural, you’re going to have to deal with some hair wrangling.I think Michelle has accepted the perm long ago and just needs something that looks nice, like how she did on The Colbert Report. Or she should wear it up and pulled back more.A wrap is her friend.But I don’t know the genesis of her hair. I come from big hair people with a big afro daddy and a big afro mommy who gave birth to big hair children. Perms worked OK for awhile, but in the end they are too damaging for anyone’s hair.And I guess you can’t take a hot comb on the trail.

  5. I swear, some of y’all ain’t gonna be satisfied until the day she steps up in a Beyonce Weave..So, I’ll ask again..LEAVE MICHELLE AND HER HAIR ALONE.

  6. Fall back on the Fierce Hairism until AFTER the election…On January 20 im all for the fierceness. Breaking out the heavy Hairtillery will only give the idiots on the idiot box more to talk about.

  7. rikyrah: I’m sorry. I will NEVER stop playing Barbie with Michelle. She is my dream doll! She is better than when Barbie started making better black dolls in the 80s and my mom purchased every one she could find for me and Baby Sis. I will have has many hair fantasies as I want, it tell you!WOOOOO-HOOOOO! Makeovers!inkognegro: I agree that Michelle should not make any major changes until she gets the job.I’m mean, until Barack get the job. Yeah, yeah. That’s what I meant to say.

  8. I like that you said she would not rock a natural. It seems that the perms has become our default natural…if you want to get ahead, get a man, and rise in certain circles. Most people I know hot-comb their hair to do away with the damage of perming their natural kinks. They want to keep them at times when they don’t want to look “acceptable” and European. They also don’t want bone-straight over-processed helmut hair. But as well I do know the perm is easier eventhough it leaves a green lining on our scalps. That is what a Spelman art student told me that was a finding. Because Black Women’s Health cannot garner massive funding in research and development, the fact goes under the radar. But as she said it was a finding that the chemicals contributed to this anomaly.A perm is less maintenance than a natural but a natural is healthier for your body. The hot comb is still our friend. It doesn’t require permanent alterations and rearrangement of divine genetic coding. Water and Humidity in alliance reminds us where we come from and our limitations on forgetting who we are.Hail to the hot comb!…our ambassador and soveriegn lobbyist of our nationstate, Kinkland.

  9. Rikyrah,No one is picking on Michelle! Get over your insecurities. People are just helping her with feedback about style.I would think you worked for the campaign and should appreciate the research done here. Now they can go back and develop. Danielle is doing her a pro-bono favor.People love Michelle’s style. Hair is and has always been all of our monkey on our back and if we were strong enough to admit it, we would admit the dynamics of this politicking of hair.It wasn’t until a few years ago that Oprah wore braids in public. When she wore them in her magazine, that was momentous. However no one noticed her declaration.So get over your fears! Some people aren’t afraid to talk about taboo things. No one is tearing Michelle apart. If it wasn’t for Black Snob I would not even know what she looks like or what is going on with her. You just want everyone to handle The Obamas with kid gloves. That is dysfunctional and regressive. Cultish too.

  10. andrea: As I’ve sad once before, the perm has become so ingrained in black culture that most women don’t even acknowledge it is a form of assimilation into white culture.Whenever I start a new job I always wear my hair straight for the first three months until I get healthcare. Then gradually the curly-do comes out until it’s in full two stranded twists, make shift dreds, curly-wurly splendor.Michelle can’t go natural because she’s going for the ultimate assimilationist role — First Lady. There’s so much pageantry and courtesy involved. She can’t come off as edgy and while it shouldn’t, some people take natural hair as “militant.” People don’t like dreds. They don’t like ‘fros. I think that’s stupid. I can’t help how the hair grows out of my scalp. No one is making every white woman at my office dye their hair red. But what can you do?Still, I love to see powerful black women with natural hair. Just let those curls, naps, Grace Jones, Alek Wek bald, whatever run free. It’s awesome.

  11. Andrea,I believe I’m way more protective of Michelle than I ever have been of Barack. Her crucible is no less difficult, IMO. You don’t think she doesn’t get it, especially with the hair issue? As someone who went natural four years ago, I just have a deep empathy for those who don’t, or, as you accurately state in Michelle’s case, can’t go natural.I just like it the length that it is, and would feel disheartened if she showed up one day with a Beyonce weave. She’s trying to do that Black Corporate Woman thing, and I get that. That said…she should back away from the Jackie Kennedy look. I don’t like any of the styles BlackSnob chose…I only halfway like the Serena look. Of the pictures that BlackSnob has chosen, the ones I like the most are:1. I love the upsweep in Vogue.2. The one of her in black, with pearls, with the mike in her hand.3. Iowa Win Night in the blue dress4. The Colbert Show, but I’m still not a fan of the Jackie O style. Hair is so damn political for us, on a good day, it really becomes irrational when it actually DOES become political, in actuality.Geesh.

  12. Andrea and Black Snob,Just want to thank you for your debate here. It’s been awhile since I’ve written about Michelle, and you’ve given me food for thought on a Michelle Update Post. I don’t think the position she’s auditioning for is any less rough on her. I’m going to have to think on it, because you’ve both challenged me.

  13. At my job in the DC office every Black woman now has natural hair. And this is at that large infamous organization where we pretty much so look like Ann Taylor clones, no open toe heels, pantyhose, and pearls. I just happen to like pearls so much I wear them without the gripes. And I dress pretty boring now that I left chasing fashion behind in my early twenties. But when it comes my and our hair in the office, the Black females are natural…even the Spelman grad working within the office’s grantee organizations’ hub.Now in the Philly office, all the Black women there have perms. Go figure!It’s strange how the confidence level and politicking is more strained there to be Brown and have to assimilate to the standard of Philadelphia’s old Blue-Blood culture and in Washington, an even as stuff regimented evironment, the Sistas of the organizations ain’t perming.I think we have policed ourselves and watched those that looked the part get ahead so we think that is the where the bar of measure is but that is not empirical data. That is in our heads. It’s been beaten there to pad our insecurities that the reasons we did or did not get “the job” had to do with our naps showing.I got my job with long dreadlocs and then I cut them and was wearing an afro everyday. I used headbands to accentuate my feminity and solidarity to meet the office culture of presenting delicate vibes via my strong hair. They loved it. And when I cut it all off, they loved it. When my co-worker would wear hers big like Eryka Badu’s stage look, they loved it. These fears are in our heads to fortify our insecurities and for some, desires. The other day the highest ranking Black, a female, the other day was worried about her natural curly ponytail being too much and I told her that she looked fine. She was senior to me but she had that mess in her head (mind). She is te head of her division and she is haunted by her wild and expressive natural curls that want to get out and free themselves.My…we self-medicate (perm) to tame ourselves so others will like us when they will like you if they simply like you. If they never liked you, it was not because of you. It was that you felt you had to trick them into liking you.I’m not perpetuating that shit. I want to know if you don’t like me and if I am being held back, it makes me stronger and it teaches a lesson that not everyone is comforming to lose themselves and erase themselves to fit the conformity of what is not best for them or their children.Did you see when Chris Rock’s wife was on that MSNBC David Wilson special talking about how her daughters were questioning why their hair was not long like their White friends? She, with all that weave, was trying to tell her daughters to be proud of their natural length. That…that there is the hypocrisy. We want to self-congratulate ourselves as promoters of Black self-love WITH CONDITIONS. I would have to deal with trying to correct that bamboozled shit in the classroom that haunted the tween Black girls obsessing over distracting issues their own mothers perpetuated by not saying, “Enough”.I am not one for natural hair websites and their mourning circles about the same ole’s shit like this issue is new but I hate bone straight hairstyles on beautiful women who look African doing that oppressive, regressive assimilated shit to themselves and their daughters. I wasn’t pushing that Michelle had to wear twists either. That is wear people go when they don’t like the evidence of the issues. I just would like to see some nappy edges once in awhile. The reason most of our little girls and even grown women are missing 1 to 2 inches of their hair edges is because of serial perming to not look so damn Negro. I love my nappy edges! I wear them everyday with my pearls.

  14. anonymous 4:14 PM: It doesn’t at all.I’m sorry, Anon. You’re at the wrong blog. This is a satirical based political/pop culture blog that occasionally tackles superficial content. Either join in the madness or go read a book!Rikyrah: Everything about blackness is political, which is very, very annoying. I’ll probably write about that in the future. But in all truth, the Michelle hair post was just about having fun. I’m glad we got a good debate going about it, but it purely was a girly, Barbie fantasy exercise for me.

  15. So black women “self-medicate” their hair to assimilate and get others to like us? Hmmmmmmmm….I feel like I’m back at Spelman where the girls with natural hair tried to make the girls with perms or presses or weaves feel like they were of lesser than or inferior in their consciousness and ended up looking like judgemental hypocrites in the process. I’ve met black women with natural hair who were some of the most “assimilated” people I have ever encountered. Likewise, I’ve met black women with permed hair who were very much in touch with their roots and culture. In the end, we’re all black women and how we wear our hair doesn’t make us better or worse or change what binds us……and Michelle rocks so she can wear her hair any way and I’ll still love her!

  16. Snob: You are hilarious.I like hair style number one. It is low maintenance, and Michelle seems like that would work best for her. But the Colbert wrap was simply fierce!I thought that I was the only one that did the hair trick to get the job. My friends tell me that I can win an academy award for working girl. The Snob nation will cringe, but for one interview that was paying close to six figs, I put in a “Korean weave” as you call it. Look like I was totally from the Caribbean, they loved it! I am a marketing consultant so I tend to lean a lot towards my self brand, when I am on a hunt for the dollars. Also, I wait about 4 to 6 months before I put the mouse in and wear it curly. I just have to because I am very brown, and it really freaks them out that my hair can be straight then curly, then back to straight again. I have to pace myself because it usually turns into a big to-do in the office.Oh and I also wait to talk (conversation) to any of the black people in the office for about 4 months too. Have you ever noticed that the white people are just waiting to see if we will all start talking to each other and hanging out?Side note: Once I waited about 3 months to have a real conversation with the black Admin that sat right outside my office and the VERY day that she was in my office chatting it up, some random white lady stopped at my door and said very perky like “whatcha doin”. It was weird. Another job my director told me that she like me because I was independent, which I took to mean, you don’t hangout with the others.Off topic, but not really.Everything black is political, so profound, so profound.

  17. Rikyrah,Those were great shots! Your hobby is proficiently welcomed at the right moment this time. Thank you!Snob,I’m estatic about the braids and ponytails on the girls. You think they read your blog (cough)? i.e. the comments about doing their hair and putting some ponytails in them…i.e. and looking like stereotypical Black Little Girls? (Know thyself)I think they read your blog just like so many do. You give Michelle buzz factor on the “It” meter and that has to count for the verging ideas and transition. She put the weave back in to fill it out. I said I liked that style.Uhm?Peculiar…coincidence? Naw, there is no such thing as coincidence.You are one of the OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN R&D FACILITIES on keeping them Black(er). Send them an invoice now!

  18. Hey, I was thinking a middle aged, middle class, white guy should comment on Michelle Obama.First of all, thank god the Obamas came along to shake things up, nothing but a reality check, ie; people of color ascending to power, is going to wake this country of stupified consumers up.Come what may in November, this nation needs Barack and Michelle to challenge everyones perception of equality. What working class American can condemn Michelle for being less than proud of her country? The founders of this nation would be outraged and sickened by the state of our government.The day that Michelle takes the stage (Jan. 2009) sporting an Angela Davis inspired Afro, I will know we as a nation have rounded a certain bend in the river of change. I will stand and cheer loudly in favor of her daring and pride. Please let this happen in my lifetime, listening to endless appeals from both Demos and Repubs. to stick to “traditional” values can only lead to more “Ronnie” worship. It sickens me to hear both Dems. and Repubs. gush over Reaganism. Change has to come soon, for all of our sakes, it is up to Obama to rescue this society. He will soon have the responsibility to do so. At this point I dont trust any politician, Demo. or Repub. I hope Michelle and Barack will change my mind.

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