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The Attack on Michelle Obama and Healthy Eating

Throughout history, First Ladies of the United States have had social platforms, or issues that they wish to address during their husbands' presidential tenure. Usually, these causes are non-controversial and key to shedding light on ails that are prevalent at that time. Rosalynn Carter was an advocate for improved mental illness care; Nancy Reagan created programs to reign in drug and alcohol use among minors; Laura Bush made extraordinary strides in promoting literacy;  Michelle Obama put her hat in the ring to take on childhood obesity...

Harmless, right? Not for Michelle. Only a year after the establishment of her Let's Move campaign (a comprehensive program dedicated to address childhood obesity and familial health), rhetoric has tightened with the consensus of 'who does she think she is, telling us and our kids what to eat?' Sigh.

What developed from a gardening press event, sponsored by Mrs. Obama at the White House with BeBe's kids youth, evolved into making deals with retail conglomerate, Wal-mart, to provide healthier foods and reduce the cost of produce. While many of us raised our eyebrows at the seemingly superficial WallyWorld partnership, I acknowledge that it was a major step. And with a little under two years remaining in this term to effectively get her message out - I can see things progressing to an even grandeur scale. Prayerfully, addressing more of the root causes of obesity.

Now, as this movement continues to expand, it has pulled at the insecurities of a few. Many are misconstruing this national conversation, to be a national insult:
"Instead of a government thinking that they need to take over and make decisions for us according to some politician or politician's wife's priorities, just leave us alone! What she is telling us is she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat. Get off our back, and allow us as individuals to exercise our own God-given rights to make our own decisions," former Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin spoke last year.
Even as a rational 'pro-small government' Conservative, I do not believe that there is absolutely no place, for the government to address certain matters. It's their job to protect and work on behalf of the people. Sure, it would be awesome and ideal, if they didn't have to be involved ... but, our declining health and substandard eating habits have opened the door for them to make a presence. Especially as they find themselves footing the bill (ahem, HCR). Arguably, they did have a hand in pushing that figurative door open, but that's another post. Either way, this is not the time to be dismissive or condescending to the tasks at hand. Poor health is increasingly contributing to psychological, physical and even economic downturns of citizens and should not be ignored.

Even with the unbiased positive factors of this movement, there are extremist who don't have a solid argument - but still down play the cause. They bring up the most idiotic and trivial points to prove that the obesity epidemic is made up. And the rest attempt to scare us into believing that the feds are trying to control our lives and our kitchens. Take GA Rep. Paul Broun's warning, following the CDC's reports about our lack of fruit and vegetable consumption:

Contrary to belief, we will not be force-fed fruits and vegetables. FBI agents are not going to be dispatched to our homes, to ensure that we're completing daily push-up drills. While healthier options in public schools are moving into reality, it's still just a suggestion to families. If you want to fill little Om'unique up with Twinkies, that remains your prerogative. Just a thought however - with healthier, stronger, nutritionally-conscience children, our nation may be able to rebound from being so dependent on the broken health care system? Possibly, less of them would need tax-payer supported medical care in adulthood? But that's just how I think.

Outside of the message, the fight has become a personal one, aimed at the face of this initiative - Michelle Obama. THIS, in my opinion, is the underlying point of resistance. Take radio host Rush Limbaugh's latest jab at Michelle Obama's dinner, which included ribs:




I'm sorry, I see Michelle Obama's physique stunting on some of my peers', including mine and we're in our mid-twenties. Newsflash, Rush: not everyone aspires to be a Sports Illustrated model (my height and affinity for one-piece swimsuits sealed that fate). Further, I'm fine with someone who doesn't look like a bikini beach babe, being on the front lines of health awareness. I'm even #Team Regina Benjamin, our beloved plus-size Surgeon General! You know, I actually admire that the First Lady has balance in her diet, which allows for a rib here and there. Perfection is not the point of the Let's Move initiative. There is no healthy lifestyle program that I've ever come across, to where you were expected to only do X-Y-Z, lest you bring shame to yourself and void your overall objective. If that's the basis for which you find Michelle Obama or others unfit to spread the word on health, you're foolish boots.
As seen on PruneJuiceMedia.com / @PruneJuiceMedia
Keeping it all the way real though, I'm aware that there are those who simply detest the Obamas. Any cause Michelle would've put her name and efforts behind, would've been met with push-back. While I'm passionate about nutritional accessibility, education, promoting better choices and can become alarmingly offended (read: sensitive) to see matters such as this being attacked - I unfortunately see that the people striking her and this movement don't even believe half of the things they're saying to refute it. They're throwing rocks at the message, to spite the messenger - as proven in the above illustration. Here's to hoping some of those rocks ricochet and knock some sense into those folks.

~PC

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