Michelle Obama Explains Why She's Never Been Afraid To Be 'A Little Silly'

by John Haltiwanger

America, we didn't deserve Michelle Obama.

She's not only intelligent, passionate and thoughtful, she's also hilarious, has killer dance moves and crushes it at carpool karaoke.

Not to mention she's a loving mother and wife, and pretty much every interaction she has with the president is adorable.

I repeat: We didn't deserve Michelle Obama. But we were definitely lucky to have her as our first lady.

She's the type of person who can deliver a speech that highlights the White House was built by slaves, yet still leaves you feeling inspired and hopeful about the values and direction of the country.

There are not many out there who could weave one of the more shameful aspects of America's history into a narrative about why it's still a source of light in the world.

Michelle Obama, however, is not like most people -- she's a remarkable individual.

But Obama's best quality is arguably her authenticity, which is perhaps why she's been so effective at connecting with the public.

In a recent interview with Variety, the first lady shed some light on how she's attempted to reach the hearts and minds of the American people. She said,

I have never been afraid to be a little silly, and you can engage people that way. My view is, first you get them to laugh, then you get them to listen. So I'm always game for a good joke.

Indeed, it seems the first lady has always viewed laughter as one of her most powerful tools.

Michelle Obama told Variety she believes that by making people laugh through engaging with popular culture, she's been able to have a huge influence on the public consciousness.

In fact, the first lady described herself as a "product of pop culture." She said,

I view myself as being the average woman. While I am first lady, I wasn't first lady my whole life. I'm a product of pop culture. I'm a consumer of pop culture, and I know what resonates with people. I know what they'll get a chuckle out of and what they think is kind of silly. And whenever my team approaches me with ideas and concepts, we're usually like, 'Is this really funny? Are people going to understand it?'

Michelle Obama, who graduated cum laude from Princetown University, went on to earn her JD from Harvard Law and eventually became the first black first lady in US history, is clearly not an "average" person.

But maybe the reason she's viewed favorably by a strong majority of Americans (64 percent) is due to the fact she's been so effective at treating us as if we're all on the same level.

In other words, Michelle Obama has somehow managed to feel exceptional and approachable at the same time.

This is a rare quality, and it will likely be a large part of the reason she will be missed by many Americans when the Obamas depart the White House in 2017.

Citations: (Variety)