Since her emergence on the national scene, Obama has been deemed radical, divisive and the adjective that no modern-day black woman can live without: angry. Thankfully, so far, she’s endured these demeaning accusations with a smile and shrug—at least in public. But if she does end up in the White House, continuing to dial back her straightforward, vibrant personality isn’t the answer. In the same way that Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy and Hillary Clinton each redefined what it meant to be First Lady, Michelle will forge her own path. Not only will she draw the usual criticisms, but she’ll be open to some new ones too. I eagerly await the public reaction if Sasha and Malia ever sport cornrows or afro puffs on the South Lawn.