News and Views
Michelle Obama proudly shows off her new AARP card on her birthday and proclaims that she’s ’50 and fabulous’
Michelle Obama has proudly joined the AARP as her 50th birthday marks her automatic acceptance into the seniors advocacy group.
The First Lady posted a photo of herself holding a membership card to her Twitter account this morning, saying that she is ‘excited to join Barack in the 50+ club today’.
She can count herself among the senior advocacy group’s 37 million members and the $16 she paid to enroll in the group buys her a year-long subscription to their magazine as well as discounts on cruises, Denny’s meals and Kindle readers.
‘Not only is Mrs. Obama helping to change and reshape the way people look at aging in this country, but she’s also showing folks how great 50 looks today,’ AARP CEO A. Barry Rand said in a statement.
‘We’re proud to be able to call her a member of the AARP family and know that she will continue to set a great example to all by showing that age sets no boundaries on what you can achieve in life.’
In addition to celebrating with an extended vacation in Hawaii topped off with a party in her honor at Oprah Winfrey’s house, Mrs Obama will be feted this weekend at the White House where Beyonce is rumored to be included in the lineup.
‘I have never felt more confident in myself, more clear on who I am as a woman,’ she said of turning the big five-oh.
Though her confidence is high, the first lady and perennial fitness advocate says she just can’t rule out any future nips and tucks.
‘Women should have the freedom to do whatever they need to do to feel good about themselves,’ the first lady told People magazine in an interview hitting newsstands Friday, her birthday.
While she’s not intending to celebrate with her first Botox injection or eyelift, she says one or the other could very well happen one day.
‘Right now, I don’t imagine that I would go that route, but I’ve also learned to never say never.’
Her message to women is to be healthy. Mrs. Obama says she has never missed a health checkup, including mammograms and Pap smears. She’s also had a colonoscopy.
By her own account, she feels more relaxed now that President Barack Obama’s days as a candidate are over.
‘That layer is gone now. It gives me a little more room to breathe,’ she told an interviewer.
Nearly five years after assuming the first lady’s role following a bruising campaign in which she sometimes became a target, Mrs. Obama is showing increased comfort in what amounts to a volunteer position with a host of responsibilities and outsized expectations. Not to mention a sometimes-unforgiving spotlight.
‘I have never felt more confident in myself, more clear on who I am as a woman,’ the first lady told Parade magazine when asked about the birthday. She started the celebration last week by spending extra time with girlfriends in Hawaii after her family’s holiday vacation there. It was an early birthday present from the president. On Saturday, she’ll be toasted at a White House party where guests have been advised to come ready to dance, and to eat before they come.
Second presidential terms can be freeing for first ladies, just as they are for presidents, because there is no next election to fret over. But while Mrs. Obama is over the hump of her first lady tenure, with just three years remaining, it’s unclear if she will take on new or different roles.
Asked whether she has peaked at 50, Mrs. Obama joked that being first lady is ‘pretty high up.’ She said she’s always felt that her life is ‘ever-evolving’ and she doesn’t have the right to ‘just sit on my talents or blessings.’
‘I’ve got to keep figuring out ways to have an impact, whether as a mother or as a professional or as a mentor to other kids,’ the first lady said, noting that daughter Malia, now 15, will be in college when she and President Barack Obama leave the White House in January 2017. Daughter Sasha, 12, won’t be far behind.