Michelle Obama’s new second-term portrait has bangs & covered arms: pretty?

Here’s is Michelle Obama’s latest official portrait, now with extra bangs. I believe this is FLOTUS’s second “official” portrait because every president and every first lady gets a new portrait for each term. Pres. Obama did his second portrait a few months ago. There’s actually a reason for the president to get an official portrait – that’s the portrait which will hang in every federal government building in the world. I’m not sure why Michelle needs an official portrait…? Maybe it’s just “what’s been done forever and ever.”

The portrait was done by Chuck Kennedy, and in the first moments of the big reveal, Us Weekly has already pointed out that Michelle has chosen to keep her arms covered up this time around, unlike her first term portrait (below):

I kind of like the first-term portrait more, arms and all. Her arms are amazing. GAH. And obviously, the biggest difference with this portrait is that Mobama’s hair has changed dramatically because of mid-life crisis bangs. Incidentally, I’ve heard a lot of theories that the bangs aren’t really hers, that she’s just wearing a wig. I don’t know… I really don’t. It wouldn’t surprise me if Michelle was wearing some weaves or maybe some clip-on extensions sometimes, but I don’t think she would go full-on wig, right?

Here are some more photos from the White House Flickr page:

Photos courtesy of the White House’s Flickr page.

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111 Responses to “Michelle Obama’s new second-term portrait has bangs & covered arms: pretty?”

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  1. LadyMTL says:

    I like the outfit in the first portrait and the hair in the second. I’m normally a bangs-hater too but I think her new ‘do makes her look so much younger and “softer” (for lack of a better word), so I approve. :)

    • sally says:

      Yea. I really like the bangs in the second and the outfit in the first. Now can someone talk about her hair in terms of why the first lady and her daughters can have their natural hair? i wonder what the response would be if they didn’t get relaxers. I doubt it would be good.

    • Alexandra Bananarama says:

      I want to say the softer look is from a filter, but I could be wrong. The bangs are great and I also normally hate them.

      The lines around her smile looks awesome.

      How can people hate this woman?!

    • gogoGorilla says:

      I totally agree with this. I really like the bangs on her (I didn’t at first, but they have grown on me). I ESPECIALLY like that the bangs replace that wild cowlick she had going on in the first portrait. Scary.

      I also wonder about the politics of the covered arm. You’ll recall that there was such a big to-do about how muscular she was during the first term. I wonder if she was trying to look softer or give people less to critique? Whatever, I wish she had kept them uncovered, because they.are.beautiful.

  2. kixendawn says:

    Actually, i think either her hair is in better condition now or it could possibly be a wig. She doesn’t strike me as a wig type of lady, but i do see a difference in the hair itself. Either way, i like it!!
    Also, those arms!!!!

  3. Post-It's says:

    I love her bangs. Step aside, haters.

  4. RHONYC says:

    i like that she covered up the guns for this photo. looks appropriate. ;-)

  5. Ree says:

    I love the first picture, the second one…not so much! (not that she cares what I think :) )

  6. The Original Mia says:

    I like her hair better now that the bangs are growing out. Both portraits are so pretty.

  7. Reece says:

    The differences are cool. My one critique, why didn’t they straighten her dress out for the turn around shot? That’s all I’m looking at.

  8. PHD Gossip says:

    Absolutely certain it’s a wig. ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN. No telltale part.

    • Tiffany says:

      You are ABSOLUTELY WRONG. When I wear my hair like that you do not see a part. The thicker your hair type the less you see parts. I get so sick of you people on here that thinks that every black person with hair wears weave or a wig! White men started the wig phenom and it was a sign of prestege but yet when some of you discuss it in regards to black women it is opinined in such condescending overtures. The majority of black women in my family and black women that I see on a day to day basis at my job have long hair and it is theirs. And for the record most black women who wear weaves or wigs are not ashamed to say so. Only these uninformed posters make it out to be some type of conspiracy. Megan Goode, Laura London, and many more are very open about their hair choices.

      • Mia says:

        Thank you! Lord. It’s obvious it’s her hair. If there is by some small chance she has any kind of false hair on her head, she MIGHT ( its a very strong might, because i truly cant tell) have a track of hair or two in the back for fullness. But I can definitely say with certainty its her hair.

      • Suzanne says:

        Calm down Tiffany…you’re reacting on the defensive…white verses black BS again. Quit making everything about blacks and discrimination. Enough already. You got your 1/2 black president in the WHITE HOUSE..so stop with the racist card.

      • Basse Krokke says:

        Suzanne– You’re freaking unhinged. And when a nutcase like you says you don’t like our president, us sane people are RELIEVED. You are a racist, and you’re disrespectful. But, we don’t expect more from idiot Republicans like you.

      • MonicaQ says:


        Because racism died in 2008 am I right? /sarcasm.

        That’s her hair. Period. If it was weave, she’d say so. Hell even the queen of Yaki herself Beyonce admits when she has weave in. The three times I’ve had extensions I’ve said so myself. It’s obvious when you do have it because you ain’t going to show up bald headed one day and Pocahontas the next.

      • Jackie Jormp Jomp (formerly Zelda) says:

        re: Suzanna

        Can’t tell if trolling…or racist…?
        Hm. Tough call.

      • Marie Antoinette Jr. says:

        I agree with you Suzanne. Now stating that the FLOTUS is wearing a wig is “racist”? On a thread that is ABOUT the FLOTUS’s hair no less! Sheesh.

        Will this PC/walking on eggshells crap never end?

      • Tiffany says:

        It is not white v black BS I am bringing up. Check ALL post when it is a black women with some length to her hair and it becomes a post about whether or not she has a wig. That is NOT done with ALL white celebs. Only the ones such as Brittnany and Lohan..

      • Marie Antoinette Jr. says:

        I just don’t think that speculating on whether or not the FLOTUS is wearing a wig is a racial issue.
        I guess I just don’t get it.
        I’m white and exactly her age and my hair is falling out :-( and if I could afford a custom wig or hair piece or whatever I’d get one too!
        For the record, I DON’T think she is wearing a wig. I think she probably takes care of her hair like she does her fitness and her children and her husband. And consequently her hair is in perfect shape just like the rest of her!

      • Jackie Jormp Jomp (formerly Zelda) says:

        @Marie Antoinnette

        I don’t think that the wig speculation is racist.

        This sentence so trashily hurled out:
        ” Enough already. You got your 1/2 black president in the WHITE HOUSE..”
        That’s racist.

    • Emma - the JP Lover says:

      Why are you so certain it’s a wig??? It’s not nearly as ‘shinny’ as a wig (when blacks get a shinny thin-haired perm their hair has usually been severely damaged during the perming process).

      When I ‘did’ get my hair permed it looked like hers. Are you saying it’s a wig because it’s straight? Any black woman with a small or medium comb attachment for their blow dryer and a large diameter electric curler can achieve the same look.

      Why do people assume every black woman with hair that is shoulder length or longer has a weave or extensions? We all knew a few black girls with really long hair when we were kids (and I’m 58-years-old, so these black girls weren’t all ‘mixed race’ either). Do some of you think those girls simply stop growing hair when they become teenagers and young adults?

      The ability to grow long hair and the rate it grows–even for blacks–is about genetics, health, and habits. Even coarse, curly, textured hair will grow beyond split ends if it’s washed, conditioned, and combed regularly.

      I can understand whites speculating about whether or not Michelle is wearing a wig, but is there really a black woman commenting here who ‘truly’ can’t tell that’s her hair???

    • tabasco says:

      who gives a sh*t if it’s a wig/clip-ins/whatever?

      • MsAubra says:

        Even if it was a wig/extensions/etc it’s her decision to wear it as she would like. I can already see alot of the black bloggers getting saddened about how they think she pioneered “self hatred” in black women. It’s ridiculous. Having said that, it’s possible to be black and have thick and healthy hair and not have a visible part. There are black women who care for their hair and not just style their hair. I seem to remember an article about how her hair is natural and that a blowdry method is used to acheive the bounce to her hair.

      • tabasco says:

        yeah, i mean, i understand, as well as i can as a white girl, that there are strong feelings out there about black women wearing natural hair, esp someone in Mobama’s position, and the concern(not unfouned) that for a black woman to be considered “beautiful”, she must have “white enough” features. white girls with weaves is not the same b/c it’s not as frought, but i do think it becomes at least a little less frought when you consider that these days loads of folks, regardless of race, are wearing various types of hairpieces. so i guess that really is my point in saying who the hell cares if her hair is entirely “real” or not? nobody’s hair is “real” anymore! :) and she’s a woman who likes fashion and enjoys experimenting with her look so i sez, go for it Mobama. there are certainly worse ways to have your midlife crisis!

        hell, i have straight black hair (caucasian/italian) about bra-strap length and i make occasional use of clip-in bangs, those thicker ponytail things, and the braided-hair headbands and ponywraps. those things are awesome for bad hair days (mine gets greasy)!! dry shampoo spray, a bun and one of those braided-hair headbands hide a multitude of sins!

      • Marie Antoinette Jr. says:

        Agreed 100%, tabasco!

    • Alexis says:

      Why are you so pressed to assert that Michelle is wearing a wig or weave?

      Are you out in front talking about JSimpson’s weave (or any other long-haired blonde in hollywood with the possible exception of Blake Lively), Duchess Kate, or any of the random starlets who wear those awful, obvious waist-length weaves with the waves in there? If not, then you are kind of suspect, given that you owe the same amount of respect to Michelle as Kate, and less to the others.

      PSA to all: It’s not obvious that there is any fake hair involved in MO’s new do. Black chicks have bangs all the time! And they can look healthy and good, esp. if you have a stylist at your disposal like Michelle does and have healthy hair habits! It’s possible that there are some tracks of weave in there, too. But unless you are going after Charlize Theron when she has longer hair (if you’ve ever seen Young Adult you know that Charlize needs to add weave to her hair for fullness), you sort of open yourself up to playing politics or (worse) the race card. You’re entitled to your opinion about weaves/wigs, but people are also entitled to judge your consistency in voicing your concern about them.

  9. claire says:

    I think she’s totally gorgeous and love the bangs. This portrait is much more intimate, confident. The photographer did a great job with this one. The background in the last one was way too bright and busy.

  10. Raised Brow says:

    She is KILLING me with the kitten heels. She looks frumpy in the last pic. Maybe just a bad fashion/hair/shoe day. All in all, I LOVE FLOTUS!

  11. daintyfeets says:

    I don’t like the bangs. I’m glad she covered up. It’s more appropriate for her position. It’s probably a wig.

  12. Faun says:

    I’m glad she covered up her arms. This is not a “Shape” magazine spread. Totally undignified, but what else is new.

  13. Paige says:

    I’d say it’s a wig. Or a helmut. Sorry I don’t like it all that much. I’d like to see her with her natural hair.

    • Raised Brow says:

      Sorry Paige, this is not a wig, nor is it a helmut. You’re quite the comedian this morning. I have to ask: why are you curious to see a black woman’s ‘natural hair’? White women (particularly celebs, who will be photog’d frequently) don’t rush to the red carpet wearing ‘natural hair’. No, they do not. They blow-dry, flat-iron, hot-roll, etc., all in the name to be ‘red-carpet ready’. Why on EARTH is it such a scandal for Flotus, or any other black woman to go through similar styling processes (we blow-dry, flat-iron, hot-roll, etc), yet are expected to reveal our ‘natural’ hair? If it’s a question of relaxing our hair, then your curiosity is further negated, as relaxers are not applied to be worn in a ‘wash n’ wear’ style. They are applied to help manage black women’s natural coily locks, making the styling process much easier. It’s a personal choice. I, for one, love my natural hair, and I wear it wild and sexy at the beach and whenever the mood strikes me. I don’t use relaxers because they damage the hair. Although, I also enjoy my tresses styled to be worn down my back in straight styles, just as white women do. Again, a matter of my mood. In summary, Flotus should be required to wear her hair ‘natural’ the same day white women decide to give up their styling tools.

      • spinner says:

        It sure looks like a wig to me. I have been saying that since day one & why is it perceived as an insult?

      • Paige says:

        I uderstand what you are saying. But I think black women look so beautiful with the big curly hair. Like Beyonce’s sister. It’s simply my opinion that I think Michele Obama would look fabulous with her natural hair and this wig appears to look like a helmut to me. There’s not a hair out of place.

      • Raised Brow says:

        Ironically, Paige, Solange Knowles’ wild hair is a beautiful wig. Nothing ‘natural’ about it, except that it’s styled to look like a natural ‘fro. Solange’s wig is exactly what my hair looks like when I wash n’go, but to reiterate, I also love blowing my ‘fro out and wearing it in loose waves down to my butt. I have a feeling that if Flotus opted to wear her hair ‘natural’ for the WH official pic, there would be an uproar about it. Black chicks…we just can’t win.

      • Paige says:

        Raised Brow: Then I’m envious of you having the ability to wear your hair either way. I’m not American so I don’t know much about MO other than who she is. All I’m saying is black women with the big fro are very beautiful to me and MO would look gorgeous with one. IMHO. Disappointed to hear Solange’s is fake. Still looks good though.

    • doofus says:

      Except, Suzanne, that you’re NOT showing respect. In any of your posts. The only thing you ARE showing is that you dislike the Obamas, and apparently their “half-blackness”.

    • Jackie Jormp Jomp (formerly Zelda) says:

      It’s “helmet” guys. Helmet.

      Unless you’re referring to a German dude curled up on the First Cranium. If so, carry on.

  14. MollyB says:

    Love her. She looks amazing and is amazing. I am kind of glad she covered the arms. Don’t get me wrong–she has awesome arms but it seems like she always does the sleeveless thing and I like that she changed it up a bit.

  15. Guesto says:

    @faun – What the hell is undignified about exposed arms? Seriously. :roll:

    Although the new portrait is nice(ish), I much prefer the 1st one because it just seems so much more uncompromising and full of her personality. She looks incredible in it and the new one is a bit limp by comparison.

  16. cumber says:

    I like her hands. Her fingers are very beautiful.

  17. tabasco says:

    maybe she’s making a subtle statement in favor of “gun” control.

  18. Maritza says:

    She has a great body, including her arms. I think she looks good either way, at least it’s a nice change. I think Michelle Obama is the coolest first lady by far.

  19. KellyinSeattle says:

    I love her ring. Also, she looks lovely….off topic, but once I told a co-worker that she looked lovely, and she thought I said ugly, and wouldn’t speak to me…
    Anyway, I think Michelle Obama is superwoman.

  20. Mia says:

    I love the way the First Lady accessorizes with the choker like pearls. It’s a really classic, pretty, and feminine look. But I do think the dress in the first portrait compliments her more. She should ignore the ignorant haters and show her arms if she wants to.

  21. judyjudy says:

    I recently viewed a gallery of all the POTUS/FLOTUS portraits (at the LBJ museum). I loved it, especially the first ladies. I enjoyed seeing how the hair and fashion has changed over the years for women in that position (as opposed to magazine/Hollywood fashion trends).

    I love MB’s first term portrait. The second term seems more conservative which feels appropriate considering the current political climate.

  22. Krissy says:

    Awful, just awful.

    I’m fine with the bangs and she is a pretty woman but this picture looks like a school picture day quality. Her dress and necklace are crooked and HER EYES! One looks way bigger than the other to the point that my first thought was maybe she has some kind condition and I shouldn’t stare. Okay for a picture your kid takes, terrible for a professional FLOTUS portrait!

    • tmbg says:

      One eye being slightly larger than the other isn’t that rare. My grandma has it and I notice one of my eyes is a teeny bit smaller than the other one.

      I’ve noticed it on other people too. Maybe it’s like eyebrows, where they’re considered “sisters” rather than twins. One brow can have a naturally different shape than the other.

  23. s says:

    she’s amazing. I love the older picture, TBH. The ARMS! RAWR FLOTUS! I’m not a fan of the bangs, but I love her anyway.

  24. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    Umm.. resounding NO. Those bangs are wayy TMTH!! Hideous. First term portrait was far more flattering/attractive of her.

  25. erika says:

    Michele Obama has free reign to do whatever she wants (!!!) to me she is a Class Act-A!

    She’s gorgeous! intelligent, kind and just appears to me as a strong woman. Classy, classy…I’d even go as far as saying she trumps Jackie O in terms of style and manner. She’s updated, approachable and smart.

    I don’t think a day has gone by where I haven’t questioned what she looks like, for a 45+ yr old woman to be a style icon to me, she’s class!!!

    • Marie Antoinette Jr. says:

      Agree with you except for the Jackie O comment. Jackie was a debutante/socialite whose entire childhood/young adulthood was spent perfecting her style and manners. If it existed, today she would have earned a Ph.D in good taste and etiquette! ;-) That type of education doesn’t really exist any more in this country because these days American women of her status are expected to procure a great career as well as a great husband.
      Michelle is a career woman, and so fashion, decorating, entertaining–those are not her priorities like they were for Jackie. Not saying Mobama isn’t fantastic. Personally I love her. But she’s no Jackie Oh! :-D

  26. Agnes says:

    FLOTUS looks great! Love her in that color!

  27. blah says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the haircut is terrible? It makes her look masculine somehow…?

  28. tmbg says:

    Both are nice, but I like the second one. If her hair was a little less teased in the second one, it’d be perfect. I think she should show her arms. They’re amazing!

  29. roxy750 says:

    Love her haircut! Absolutely love it! This years picture looks great! Refreshed! Appropriate, confident, proud and beautiful all around! NO matter what side of the field you are on this woman is pretty awesome. And I’m a republican, but a woman first!

  30. daintyfeets says:

    For the record, I don’t like Jessica Biel in bangs, nor do I think they are attractive on LeAnn Rhimes. Just a person preference. Bangs look ok on a six year old with pigtails.

  31. some bitch says:

    Honestly, I don’t dig the bangs.

    That being said, Michelle Obama is a stunning woman. I’m much, much younger than her but have always been fond of her fashion sense. She always looks so classy and put together. And the kitten heels? As somebody just over 5’10″, I love them.

  32. Marco says:

    I love her a complete class act…

  33. minime says:

    I’m not an American but I love M. Obama! She is so gorgeous, educated, intelligent. I specially like how her hair looks on the 3rd and last photo (now that we talk about hair). Obama and his family are wonderful representatives of the USA…who can resist to them?

  34. anonymous fan says:

    wig or not it looks great.

  35. picopink says:

    It doesn’t matter to me if her bangs style is a wig. I don’t see what difference it makes. Maybe she wanted to try a different style without the commitment of cutting her hair. If I could afford a wig that looked completely natural, I would too. I don’t care for the way it looks in her new portrait though. I’ve seen recent pictures where the new hairdo looks really flattering. I like the way the new portrait show off her hands- they are really lovely.

  36. Tiffany says:

    I like both portraits. She has a very warm and welcoming smile, and I think they both capture that.

  37. Melvadear says:

    I like Michelle Obama WITH bangs just not THOSE bangs. I hate how they are crooked and the wisps of longer stray hairs. I definately do not think they are fake bangs. I also like the couple squiggley grays on top. I do not like the dress other than the navy color. I think it is about as flattering as a t-shirt. I wish she’d have worn something more classic, like what Jackie Kennedy might have worn. IMO, her bangs need to be straightened.

  38. Melvadear says:

    I also don’t like all the tight gathering in the armpits of the dress. It looks uncomfortable as hell and fits way too snug.

  39. pink giraffe says:

    She is so totally inelegant, and you’re lying to yourself and to everyone else if you think she looks in anyway even decent in those designer dresses she’s given for free.

  40. aquarius74 says:

    The first-term portrait if one of a powerful woman, married but free, strong and independant.
    The second-term portrait is one of a supporting wife. That’s much more restricting. It makes me think about Mrs Clinton having to teach how to make cookies to please the conservative voters.