Mrs. O and Beyoncé: A Problematic Love Fest?

This writer says the first lady sends a dangerous message in calling the pop star a role model.

Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images; Getty Images
Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images; Getty Images

(The Root) — Maybe you’ve heard about the ongoing love fest between Michelle Obama and pop star Beyoncé Knowles. Their public girl crush stems back to at least April 11, when Beyoncé posted an image on her blog of a handwritten note, fawning all over the first lady. “Michelle, is the ultimate example of a truly strong African American woman,” Beyoncé wrote. “I am proud to have my daughter grow up in a world where she has people like you, to look up to.”

Mrs. Obama responded in kind via Twitter: “Thank you for the beautiful letter and for being a role model who kids everywhere can look up to. –mo”

Really? That raised my arched brows, but I assumed FLOTUS was being extraordinarily gracious after Beyoncé’s flattering open letter. I mean, Bey did lend celeb power to Mrs. O’s Let’s Move! initiative; she belted out Etta James’ “At Last” for the Obamas’ inaugural dance; and she and her husband, Jay-Z, have been fundraising for President Obama’s re-election campaign.

FLOTUS and Bey’s latest round of gushing began when Mrs. Obama told People magazine last week that if there was anyone in the world she would trade places with, it would be Beyoncé. On Tuesday she was at it again. While promoting her new book, American Grown, on Good Morning America, she fawned over Bey once more. “I love her to death,” said Mrs. Obama, a bona fide role model.

This love fest has gone too far for my liking. I’m no one (and neither are you) to police the first lady’s musical tastes, but this continued public endorsement of Houston’s Finest rubs me the wrong way. I am not a Bey hater, but I am an observant onlooker.

By all accounts Bey is humble and hardworking, and I know firsthand that she puts on one helluva stage show. She sings well. She’s rich and beautiful, and her jet-set lifestyle seems fabulous from the outside looking in. Beyoncé is undeniably talented. But … she is also several things I would never want a young girl to aspire to or emulate.