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First Lady

When Michelle Robinson married Barack Obama in 1983, she did not foresee “First Lady” as a title she'd bear. A title that carries an unwritten job description and an unspoken code of conduct. ‘First Lady’ is the unofficial title given to the wife of the President of the United States or if the President is unmarried, to the woman who is the designated to host events at the White House.

The old adage, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression", comes to mind and has an unmentionable number of people commenting and judging First Lady Michelle Obama. She has been the topic of many magazine articles, blogs and talk shows to name a few, most commenting on her style of dress, behavior and mannerisms. She has been described as,” the woman who has the right to bare arms “– because she has attended events by wearing garments with no sleeves or a dress without a blazer. She greeted the pope by wearing a black veil and when she met the Queen of England, she unconsciously touched the back of the queen. What a buzz this caused, to touch the queen. Perhaps her manner of dress or gestures may not be appropriate in an etiquette book, but time is on her side.

She will learn the etiquette of many cultures when traveling to various countries and hosting dignitaries in the White House. She will be placed in situations that many of us will never encounter. Most of the experience will come from on the job training and consultations with the Office of the Chief of Protocol. She is America's Lady and will continue to be a role model of not only our young girls here in America, but throughout the world. If she is unsure on how to react in a situation, she can always rely on, it is always appropriate to be a Lady First that is First Lady.

LaDonna G. Carter is an etiquette consultant with Elements of Society.Looking for solutions to your etiquette dilemmas or for a seminar? She can be contacted via web or follow her on twitter @etiquette2u.

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