I just recently saw the Huffington Post slideshow of the Obamas’ Greatest PDA Moments. It is what it sounds like—a collection of the best pictures of Michelle and Barack doing the couple thing: hugging, sometimes kissing in front of the kids. They are so totally cute, and it’s good to see two Black people really in love, especially in a world where married Black women are supposedly going extinct. As the product of a separated mom and dad and as someone who is currently in a relationship with a wonderful Black man, I have to say it is refreshing to see these kind of images, finally in “real” life, outside of the world of Cliff and Claire Huxtable.
Then, just this week, I had a great conversation with one of my favorite girls about how perhaps Michelle and Barack are the new threshold for Black love. You meet someone, you date for a long time and you think, “is this person my Barack?” “is this person my Michelle?” We use them as the prototype for that perfect mate. And they are a barometer by which we measure our love or like for our significant others.
A man says to his girlfriend, “girl…I think you’re my Michelle.” I’ve heard this recently and it is just about the cutest thing anyone has said to me.
Now, part of me understands that this could go awry…like if men start dropping Michelle’s name as part of a pick-up line. Today, I am discussing this comparison in the context of steady dating, marriage, etc.
So I wonder if the Obamas are becoming the gold standard for the way a Black couple should relate to each other and to the world. It used to be Will and Jada but when you see a couple who could be the President and First Lady, it gives a certain level of distinction that another celebrity couple just wouldn’t bring. They seem loving and warm without going on cute overload necessarily.
I mean, look at them. How can you see this and not think that perhaps our views about Black love and relationships are changing?