Twitter was certainly buzzing Tuesday night about Michelle Obama. The FLOTUS’ speech inspired a reported 28,000 tweets per minute, smashing the numbers posted by both Mitt and Ann Romney last week. Praise was lavished generously and without filter from thousands of viewers who were glued to the television while the First Lady spoke. Tweets ran the gamut: how amazing her hair looked; who made the dress she was wearing; how inspiring she was; retweets of her words; and, of course, declarations of adoration. As I finished dabbing the tears in my eyes, (and consoling myself for not being Michelle Obama), I watched the twitter dialogue slowly transition in to a sort of ‘state of Black relationships’ debate. This isn’t entirely surprising considering the Presidential family continuously makes us swoon with their seemingly perfect White House family photos and proclamations of undying love. Who wouldn’t want what they have? But this particular thread of combative commentary caught my eye. This is how the conversation on “First Family Envy” went down:
Men seem to idolize Michelle as a sort of Claire Huxtable character come to life, confirming that women like her, do indeed exist. Adding more fuel to the “marry me a Michelle” dialogue was the First Lady’s touching anecdote about Barack picking her up in a broke down hooptie on their first date. Cue the tweets calling Michelle Obama a down a** chick” and “ride or die.”
Shortly thereafter, Black women began to tweet in rebuttal, calling in to question whether or not Black men who desired a “ride or die” chick like Michelle Obama would know what to do with her. See below:
It seems to me that there is a common thread here: Black men want women who believe in their potential; and Black women want men who desire an accomplished Black woman to help them achieve it. The image of the President and First Lady as a strong, successful Black couple is extremely powerful and a welcome contrast to many of the examples of Black love currently on television. One of my favorite tweets was courtesy of @Qpid901: “You want a Michelle but you actin like Steebie J.” Ha! Others referenced Tiny & T.I., Fabolous and Emily B., and various other reality TV couples as examples of the anti-Barack and Michelle. For those who suggests that the images of Black love on reality TV aren’t influential, on Tuesday night, Black twitter made it abundantly clear that they very much are.
Anyway, I was both curious and amused at how the conversation developed. If everyone is looking for their ‘Michelle’ or ‘Barack’ why all the contentious dialogue? Is it that deep down we believe the first family is an anomaly, or, are we not looking across the gender lines and working to build something beautiful together? Has the dialogue around Black relationships become gender-partisan, so to speak? How can everyone find their Michelle or Barack? Sound-off in the comments and tell us what you think!
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