Days before the inauguration, Michelle Obama joined a growing club of successful women who have opted for bangs, prompting a social media frenzy. A joke Twitter account named @FirstLadysBangs has earned more than 2,000 followers. During the inauguration weekend, President Obama called his wife’s bangs as “the most significant event of the weekend.” The first lady sported the style in her official portrait for the administration’s second term, suggesting that the bangs may be here to stay.
During a Skype interview with Rachael Ray, Michelle Obama told the TV hostess that the new cut was a form of midlife expression. “This is my midlife crisis, the bangs,” she said. “I couldn’t get a sports car. They won’t let me bungee-jump. So instead, I cut my bangs.”
Michelle Obama’s press secretary played off the comments as a joke while speaking to The Daily Beast’s Abby Haglage, most likely to dispel fears that the first lady is having a true identity crisis. The bangs didn’t receive a warm reception from everyone, however, as German designer Karl Lagerfield disparaged the style as “a bad idea.”
New York-based hair stylist John Barnett of the Bergdorf Goodman salon championed the first lady’s style choice as brave, as well as her choice to update her appearance without cosmetic surgeries.
“Many women I’ve known have had to be talked down from the ‘face-lift ledge’ during a midlife crisis,” he said, according to Daily Beast. “I was relieved when Michelle Obama made an innocuous decision to simply evolve her hairstyle!” Though he stopped short of calling bangs a replacement for those procedures, he mentioned the benefits of a proper style change, saying, “if done correctly, (sporting bangs or deciding to add color) can shave years off of a woman’s appearance.”