Michelle Obama and MTV celebrate 2017 College Signing Day
The former first lady steps back into the spotlight — in style, of course
Michelle Obama is officially back from vacation, y’all. We have seen her twice this week.
The former first lady glided onto the stage of the Public Theater in Manhattan on Friday to celebrate one of her signature events: College Signing Day, which is the day high school seniors post their college plans on social media.
She came dressed in head-to-toe monotone gray: V-neck T-shirt emblazoned with a Princeton Tiger (her undergraduate alma mater), flowy cardigan sweater, cropped denim pants and low-top Converse All-Star sneakers. It was an informal, casual look for the glamorous style icon, who was usually seen in public wearing glamorous day dresses, stunning formal gowns or hip athleisure attire during her eight-year tenure in the White House.
Leaving the public life has given the Obama family a new lease on their low-key-style life. The bottom practically drops out of Twitter whenever photos of the Obamas living their best beach and yacht life hit social media. Former President Barack Obama has been rocking his vacation suntan and open-collared shirts (sans neckties) with suits in his most recent appearances. Michelle’s hairstyles are still getting attention — these days for being worn natural or in twin pigtails under a sun hat. Malia Obama is setting street-style fashion trends by wearing short dresses, leggings and boots to her gap-year internship with film industry powerhouse The Weinstein Company.
This is the fourth year that Michelle Obama has headlined the College Signing Day event, which is a continuing part of her Reach Higher initiative and the Better Make Room campaign. Her appearance today comes only days after President Donald Trump’s administration denied reports about ending the former first lady’s 2015 global education initiative Let Girls Learn, despite the fact that future funding is in question, according to The Huffington Post.
The College Signing Day event was only the latest in a recent series of sightings of the former president and first lady. When the Obamas appeared May 3 at a community event on the South Side of Chicago to preview the design of the $500 million Obama Presidential Center, Michelle Obama donned a black-and-white print dress and kitten heels.
Michelle Obama was preceded onstage at Friday’s event by a procession of high-profile actors, singers, athletes and stars: event host Nick Cannon; Charlamagne tha God; Questlove and Black Thought from The Roots; journalists Tamron Hall, Soledad O’Brien and Robin Roberts; Jidenna; Michael B. Jordan; author, speaker and digital strategist Luvvie Ajayi; Zoe Kravitz; and Emeka Okafor. Many wore apparel with the name of their alma mater, and they all gave pep talks about the benefits of finishing college.
But to no one’s surprise, Michelle Obama was the star of the event. Her pep talk was equal parts “mom-in-chief” and ’round the way girl who studied hard, graduated double Ivy and helped her husband become the first African-American U.S. president. “I might not live in the White House anymore,” she told the college-bound students at the Public Theater, “but Barack and I are gonna keep on celebrating you all and supporting you and lifting you up no matter what house we live in.”
She summed up her talk to the students by saying, “We’ve gotta celebrate students going to college bigger than we celebrate the Final Four or the Super Bowl. The number of acceptance letters should be more important than the number of followers you have on social media.”