Michelle Obama doesn’t appear to have the political genius of other first ladies around the world. In fact, the most powerful woman in the world is concerned with issues that, on first impression, are a waste of time and doomed to failure. The most commented and promoted of her “works” is “Let’s Move!” a campaign to end childhood obesity in the United States – with the purpose to solve “the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight.”
The campaign encourages better and healthier food in schools, better food labeling and more physical activity for children. In other words, the First Lady plays tag, and keeps fit by participating in all kinds of children activities – a fun project, and the ideal excuse to be around her own children as much as possible.
The First Lady promotes the Let’s Move project avidly, and she has an easy task. Every member of the media wants a feature with the First Lady, so if she chooses to speak about beets and treats, who cares? If her pretty face graces the cover of a magazine, her statements don’t need to be meaningful.
“Do we have a vegetable on the plate? Have we incorporated fruit? What’s the portion size? Portion sizes have gotten out of control.”
It’s not the portion size that’s really the problem, but the amount of junk food consumed in the US. It’s also what you put on the plate that matters, the way you combine certain foods. But Michelle Obama is not a nutritionist, so don’t expect to learn how to eat healthier from her interviews. She will only tell you to eat less, to add veggies and fruit (but no beets, she doesn’t like beets). She will also brag about waking up earlier than the chickens to hit the gym, and she is not too eloquent, but who cares?
“I always think, ‘Don’t think about how you’re feeling during the workout. Think about an hour and a half from now, how good you’re going to feel the rest of the day.’”
No rocket science, as you see, but this September issue of Ladies’ Home Journal will sell more copies, because Michelle Obama smiles from the cover.
What to expect next, from this PR spree? A Michelle Obama cooking book for starters. Then a Michelle Obama Let’s Move game for Nintendo and Wii, some online interactive games and more. Note that she already convinced the U.S. Department of Agriculture to revamp the famous food pyramid (to the dismay of its inventors over at Omnicom owned Porter Novelli.)
But will her efforts succeed nationwide, or will she end like The Naked Chef?
Remember that the First Lady wants Let’s Move to become her legacy: “I want to leave something behind that we can say, ‘Because of this time that this person spent here, this thing has changed.’ And my hope is that that’s going to be in the area of childhood obesity.”