Why Michelle Obama said bye to her bangs

First lady Michelle Obama speaks at the Disabled American Veterans National Convention in Orlando, Florida, August 10, 2013. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

First lady Michelle Obama opened up about her hair, her own political future, and race relations in America during an interview with Parade published Thursday.

When Obama debuted a new hairstyle in January, complete with bangs, style connoisseurs and politicos alike were enamored of her new 'do. Today, the bangs are no more - replaced by a softly layered style more reminiscent of her older haircuts.

The first lady told Parade her decision to shed the bangs was more about comfort than anything else. "You know, it's hard to make speeches with hair in your face," she explained.

Obama also explained her recent joke that she feels like a "single mother" given how busy her husband is with the duties of the presidency.

"When you have a husband or a partner who's either traveling for work or has huge responsibility ... and I give my husband credit - he knows who their friends are, he knows what their schedule is. But he's not making the calls to the dance studio to figure out what classes they're taking next year," she said. "I think it's important for both parents to shoulder that [responsibility]. I tell my kids, 'I am thinking about you every other minute of my day.'"

And as the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington approaches, the first lady said she has "immense hope" about the future of race relations in America. She also said that having an African-American family in the White House has helped move America in a more tolerant, open direction.

"Children born in the last eight years will only know an African-American man being president of the United States," she said. "That changes the bar for all of our children, regardless of their race, their sexual orientation, their gender. It expands the scope of opportunity in their minds. And that's where change happens."

She said that the country is ready for a female president, "It's just a question of who's the best person out there."

When the interviewer raised the possibility of President Hillary Clinton, Obama laughed and said, "She hasn't announced anything, so I'm certainly not going to get ahead of her."

But as she played coy about Clinton's future, she seemed more certain about her own. Asked whether she'll ever run in her own right, she offered a simple "No."

Despite her lack of interest in elected office, the first lady, who will turn 50 in January, sees a long, rewarding life ahead of herself. "I have never felt more confident in myself, more clear on who I am as a woman," she said, reflecting on her upcoming birthday. "But I am constantly thinking about my own health and making sure that I'm eating right and getting exercise and watching the aches and pains. I want to be this really fly 80-, 90-year old."

  • Jake Miller

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