Ink Approval

Michelle Obama Reverses Stance On Tattoos, Calling Them A Mark Of 'Individuality'

The former First Lady told Kelly Clarkson that forms of expression should no longer be “politicized.”

Michelle Obama speaks about individuality on 'The Kelly Clarkson Show.'
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Michelle Obama and her husband, Barack Obama, used to be totally against tattoos — and would make sure their daughters, Malia and Sasha, were very aware of their stance. But nowadays, Michelle says she’s embraced body ink and treats it as a mark of “individuality.”

While promoting her new book, The Light We Carry, during an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, the former First Lady, 58, said tattoos are forms of self-expression — which should never be “politicized.”

“I’m grateful to this generation that is owning every part of themselves,” Michelle said, noting that, unfortunately, she never wore natural hairstyles or braids while in the White House in order to avoid further division in the country.

“We need to create a broader definition of who's American, who counts, what beauty is," Michelle, explained. "It only helps our kids. We don't know who they're going to become and we want to make sure there's a space for them whoever they choose to be."

The mom of Malia, now 24, and Sasha, 21, said that kids should be able to express themselves freely with no limits.

“It shouldn’t be politicized,” she said of self-expression. “Most kids who are wearing tattoos and piercings, [or] they've got long nails — their value system is about individuality.”

Michelle Obama on self-expression and individuality.

Clarkson, 40, added that tattoos used to be seen as “bad,” and that she was scolded by her own mom when she came home with one as a young woman.

“My generation, tattoos meant something totally different,” Michelle agreed. “We used to threaten our kids that if you get a tattoo, we’re going to get exactly the same kind and show it on TikTok or whatever. Take the cool all away.”

Michelle joked that they used to threaten to make ink so “uncool” that “Barack Obama’s gonna have a heart on his shoulder.”

But now, she sees the benefit to letting kids be who they are. As for watching her children grow into adults, she has one request: learn to make stronger martinis!