Michelle Obama has always been a force – and source – of female empowerment.
In the most recent episode of her podcast on Spotify, the former first lady speaks about a range of health issues, including menopause and Western society’s view of a woman’s 'invisible years' – a term used to explain the way women "are increasingly treated as if they're invisible as they age," according to Psychology Today.
"Women of a certain age, we lose our value in society – unlike men, who gain value the older they get," the 56-year-old said in her conversation with Sharon Malone, a longtime friend and Washington, DC based obstetrician and gynecologist.
"Those images are propagated on television where you see the frumpy, funny old guy, with the young, vivacious [woman], or even if she's our age, she is perfect," Obama continued. "The woman always looks a lot better than her husband in the movies, and it's like well, how is she with him?"
Obama said there is a common feeling amongst women in her generation who feel as though they have to maintain the appearance of youthfulness to retain social currency.
"I've heard a lot of women my age feel like, as with each age, they feel less seen in a public place. You know, no longer do heads turn, because heads only turn in your twenties or thirties, or maybe forties.
"Women are rewarded for not looking their age."
The former first lady emphasised that this as a damaging mindset.