Is Beyonce a Good Role Model?

In an interview with People magazine to promote her new gardening book, when asked if she could be anyone in the world, the first lady replied "Beyonce."

While I thought it was a slightly odd response, (after all, I couldn't picture Hillary Clinton saying, "Lady Gaga" or "Madonna") I assumed that maybe I was simply being too square. I then shared the article featuring her response with a family member and African-American friend, both of whom are fans of the first lady, and another friend who is not African-American but is a die-hard Beyonce fan. Without sharing my own thoughts first, I asked for theirs. They all reacted with varying degrees of horror.

They were not alone. A quick look at the comments on predominantly African-American news sites, where commenters tend to be fans of the first lady, Beyonce, or both, made it clear that many found the first lady's response troubling, and some found it downright embarrassing. [Read more]