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Photo of Barack and Michelle Obama in Essence Magazine

In 10 Tweets, This Woman Perfectly Explains the Deeper Meaning of the Obamas' Essence Photo

Essence magazine recently revealed a photo of the president and first lady from inside its October issue. People went wild once it hit the internet, saying the picture conveyed how much they love each other.

But Michelle Obama's body also stole the spotlight, with many pointing out her curves and highlighting her shape, one that is often representative of women of color.

In a series of tweets, writer Nichole Perkins explained why this is so significant and powerful. She began by saying how, when the Obamas first moved into the White House, their "blackness" resulted in unwarranted and thinly veiled criticism.

(Indeed, Fox News anchor ED Hill was fired in 2008 for saying the Obamas' victory fist bump could be seen as a "terrorist fist jab.")

Perkins pointed out how the fact that the image ran in a black magazine is reflective of the message it's sending: Michelle is comfortable with the world seeing the shape of her body.

The first lady shouldn't be made to feel ashamed of her shape — nobody should — and embracing it will likely have a major impact on other women, especially black women and girls. The president himself commented on this back in March during a conversation about body image with Time's Maya Rhodan, saying, "When you're a dad of two daughters, you notice more. And that pressure I think has historically always been harder on African American women than just about any other women."

You can read quotes from the Obamas about their impact on black families in the October Essence article.

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