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Happy #BeyDay! Michelle Obama (and everyone else) wishes Beyoncé a happy birthday
Happy 34th birthday to the Internet’s most meme-able pop star.
Even the First Lady is a fan of the Queen—Queen Bey that is.
Everyone else is just hopelessly gazing with the hashtag #BeyDay but America’s most powerful women have been friends for years (much to the dismay of some Christian moms and conservative pundits). And Michelle has stated time and again, as she did in her tweet, that she’s glad her daughters Sasha and Malia have a role model like Beyoncé.
At the first inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009, Beyoncé serenaded the First couple with the Etta James classic “At Last.” In 2011, Bey provided the official soundtrack of Michelle’s “Let’s Move” campaign, to fight childhood obesity through fitness.
Michelle and Sasha were caught in a fan’s selfie at a 2014 concert, not the first one they’d attended. And back in August, Michelle even announced that, if she’d had to take another career path, she’d definitely be Beyoncé. (Wouldn’t we all, Michelle?) The media likes to document their mutual admiration and they provide plenty of opportunity.
While some expect the First Lady to be more concerned with her image given Beyoncé’s flashy style and provocative lyrics and dance moves, it’s easy enough to understand what they see in each other. In 2012, Beyoncé penned a hand-written note to Michelle, praising her for being “the ULTIMATE example of a truly strong African American woman.” The singer went on to express how proud she was to have her daughter, Blue, grow up in a world where there are women like Michelle to look up to. Aww.
Both women are accomplished, successful, community-focused, and working hard to make a difference in a world that hits black women with both sexism and racism.
As Mark Anthony Neal, a Duke University professor of black popular culture, stated in this Washington Post article:
“From the standpoint of black America, we would be hard-pressed to think of another time when we’ve had two such examples of what it means to be a successful black woman on their own terms.”
One of those terms seems to be friendship, in public and unapologetic. That’s something we should all look up to, especially since women trend toward being harder on each other than men do.
Happy birthday, Queen Bey. We all hope it’s a good one.
Photo via Asterio Tecson/Flickr
Marianne Kirby is a writer whose work focuses on women's issues and bodies. Her byline has appeared in the Guardian and xoJane, and she has appeared on the Dr. Phil Show and Radio New Zealand.