The Impact of Michelle Obama

The Impact of Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama takes on an Education Crisis with #62MillionGirls
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If you’ve been on Twitter in the last few weeks, you may have seen the hashtag #62MillionGirls. Thousands and thousands of people on Twitter, from Stephen Colbert to Beyoncé, are posting their high school yearbook photos and speaking out about how an immense amount of girls worldwide do not receive the education many of us have, if any at all.

The First Lady Michelle Obama recently launched an initiative called Let Girls Learn with incredible goals in mind. With Let Girls Learn as her vehicle, Mrs. Obama hopes to put those 62 million girls in school by means of funding education projects such as scholarships, safe transportation, and suitable bathrooms so girls don’t have to stay home when they menstruate. Mrs. Obama lays out all of her ideas in an article she wrote recently for The Atlantic.

The First Lady goes on to spell out that these actions of education funding only go as far as that specific society’s culture will let it. Mrs. Obama makes a point in saying that, while the funding of these projects “are absolutely necessary to solve our girls’ education problem, they are simply not sufficient.” In order for the safe transportation to avoid sexual assault to work, there needs to be an idea that the rape of these young girls is not acceptable. In order to get the remodeled bathrooms to function for their purpose, there needs to be an elimination of the stigma and shame around menstruation.

The First Lady has spent this last week in the Middle East attempting to address these issues with a variety of audiences. An article in The Washington Times briefly summarizes her trip. Mrs. Obama spoke at an education conference in Qatar, urging many world leaders to back up and support global education opportunities for girls. She reiterated her points from her Atlantic article saying, “If we truly want to get girls into our classrooms, then we need to have an honest conversation about how we view and treat women in our societies… And this conversation needs to happen in every country on this planet, including my own.”


In the First Lady’s article, she not only talks about what needs to be done, but she also discusses the impact that the education projects will have on the world. If these girls are able to attend a school and acquire the education, they are more likely to marry later in life, leading to lower maternal mortality rates. Funding education for their girls can also be extraordinarily beneficial for a country’s economy as well. Mrs. Obama writes “studies have shown that sending more girls to school can boost an entire country’s GDP.”

Perhaps the best point Mrs. Obama made is in the passage where she writes, “when educated girls become healthy, financially secure, empowered women, they’re far better equipped to advocate for their needs and aspirations, and challenge unjust laws and harmful practices and beliefs. So really, this can be a virtuous cycle.”

Let Girls Learn is an incredibly important initiative for the growth of equality and economy on a global context. Providing 62 million girls with an education seems very basic, but will have a lasting impact on our world.

Michelle Obama taking on programs such as this is not unique to just her time in the White House. Throughout the years we’ve seen some awe-inspiring First Ladies take hold of the political influence their title holds and use it for bettering our nation and the world. Perhaps most notably, Eleanor Roosevelt took on the U.N. as a delegate with her strong activism while still living in the White House. More recently, we saw Barbara Bush take on the cause of family literacy in the early 1990s. In Hillary Clinton’s time as First Lady, it became controversial when she tackled healthcare. Many felt that President Clinton was “allowing” her to take her role too far.

Being First Lady of the United States is an incredibly influential position to have in American politics, and Michelle Obama has utilized that position in an incredible way to create many helpful programs impacting children both here in the U.S. and globally.
Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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We're All Thinking It, I'm Saying It: Too Many People Are Running For President

I'm all for options, but man, do we really need 24? I mean, I can barely pick a flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins let alone a potential President.

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There are, currently, 23 Democrats running for President. On the Republican side, there's, of course, Trump, but only one other candidate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld. Democrats have a whole range of people running, from senators to congressmen, a former vice-president, and even a spiritual advisor. We can now say that there are DOZENS of people running for President in 2020.

Joe Biden has been leading the pack for quite some time now. He was even leading polls before he announced his campaign. Although he is the frontrunner, there really is no big favorite to win the nomination. Biden has been hovering around the mid-30s in most polls, with Bernie Sanders coming in second. Other minor candidates in the hunt are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris.

After the surprising defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats have become electrified and have a mission to take back the White House after winning back the House of Representatives in 2018. There are so many people running in 2020, it seems that it will be hard to focus on who is saying what and why someone believes in something, but in the end, there can only be one candidate. This is the most diverse group of candidates ever, several women are running, people of color, the first out gay candidate, and several more.

There could be a problem when it comes to debate time. I mean, the first debate is next month. Having around 20-plus people on stage at the same time, debating each other kinda sounds like a nightmare. How can someone get their point across in the right amount of time when someone else is going to cut them off? Debates are usually around an hour and a half. So, if you divide it up, each candidate would get just under five minutes to speak. That would be in a perfect world of course.

Democrats seriously believe that they can beat Trump in 2020. They say they have learned from the mistakes of 2016, and have the guts and the momentum to storm back into the White House. By July of next year, there will be only one candidate left. Will they be able to reconcile the divide during the primaries? We will see. It will surely be a fun election cycle, so make sure to have your popcorn ready and your ballot at hand to pick your favorite candidate, no matter what party you lean towards.

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