As part of the International Women’s Day celebrations, Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States, decided to join a famous graffiti artist in spray painting a wall in Washington D.C. The act was a way of honoring her Let Girls learn Movement for adolescent girls. By doing this, Michelle Obama raised a lot of controversy as most people claimed she was revealing the ghetto in her. This is because most of the time street graffiti is considered illegal and those who did not like the idea called this a ‘classless’ act.
Mr. Brainwash, the graffiti artist behind the event combined it with the White House. This got Michelle Obama showing interest in taking part by leaving hearts to the wall by a can of spray paint, together with her signature. They should have known the knowing the difference of benchtop and floor drill press brands since they used it too. The program for Let Girls Learn aims at helping 62 million girls across the globe acquire education. The event was marking a one-year anniversary of the initiative. Training is also provided for Peace Corps volunteers. Michelle Obama therefore decided to leave a permanent mark on the street in honor of the initiative.
As part of the event, Michelle Obama welcomed adolescent girls from “Girl Up” for a motivational trip dubbed “The Girls’ Lounge Let Girls Learn bus on the South Lawn of the White House”. She gave a speech concerning the importance of education amongst girls all over the world. She also saw solidarity for total involvement of the private sector industry. Samantha Power- The U.S Ambassador to the United Nations was also present to grace the occasion whose main objective was “women empowerment”. It is after her remarks that she viewed Mr. Brainwash’s murals and made her contribution of hearts. Spray painting of the murals was done live during the event in honor of the 62 million girls that do not have access to education.
Graffiti has for a long time been considered a ghetto activity as most of these writings are found in ghetto communities where there are high crime rates. Even though people use graffiti to express social or political messages, it has brought about a lot of controversies and those who engage in the activity sometimes find themselves in trouble with the law enforcement, city officials and those writers who have an aim to display and appreciate work in public locations. In relation to Michelle Obama, her involvement in graffiti work left many in shock.
The graffiti artist from Los Angeles, Mr. Brainwash, was however impressed by Michelle Obama’s participation by calling her ‘real and gifted’. A large number of people also turned out for the big thing. Critics of her act claim that as the First Lady, she was setting a bad example. For instance, one of those is quoted anonymously “I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait until we have a president with a spine and a first lady with some form of class again. America is sick of this”. In her defense, some agree that it was just a way of appreciating art while empowering girls and women.