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Michelle Obama: 'My bangs set off a national conversation'

First lady Michelle Obama dances with school children during a debut of a school exercise program on Feb. 28 in Chicago.
First lady Michelle Obama dances with school children during a debut of a school exercise program on Feb. 28 in Chicago.Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

Untroubled by criticism that she has gone too far to be in the spotlight lately, Michelle Obama dismissed the microscopic attention paid to her every move as simply a sign of the times.

"My bangs set off a national conversation," she said Thursday, speaking to a crowd of school administrators, teachers and officials in Chicago. "We've got a lot of talking going on...everybody's kitchen table conversation is now accessible to everybody else. It's absolutely not surprising."

The first lady, who has been taking heat for her recent "charm offensive" (including her presentation of the Best Picture award at the Oscars), acknowledged that this new reality means the most mundane events — like a haircut — can spark national news.

She said she knows that her family's every move is scrutinized, and shook off critics' negative comments.

"I don't think about that stuff," she said. "There's no logic in that...it doesn't have anything to do with me. Anyone in this position has a huge spotlight and in modern-day media, the spotlight just gets more intense. I don't attribute this to me or Barack. The culture has just shifted."

Mrs. Obama made the comments while in Chicago on a stop for her "Let's Move" campaign to promote more physical activity in schools. After addressing the crowd, she then donned exercise gear to dance around with more than 6,000 kids.

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