TODAY   |  February 28, 2014

First lady on daughters: ‘We don’t talk about weight’

In Friday’s installment of TODAY’s weeklong “Love Your Selfie” series, TODAY correspondent Jenna Bush Hager asks Michelle Obama about how she talks to her daughters about body image and self-confidence. “We talk about health. We talk about what’s on the inside,” the first lady says. 

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> morning of "love your selfie." jenna is back with more of her interview with michelle obama .

>> good morning, guys. that's right. when it comes to truly loving your body, it helps to live a healthy life. the first lady has been a fighter in the battle against childhood obesity. and this week, i joined her on a campaign trail for her "let's move" campaign. this week, i've been with the first lady from miami to maryland. as she gave me a rare opportunity to join her in the air and on the road.

>> hello. now we're in the motorcade headed to the airport.

>> reporter: to celebrate the fourth anniversary of her let's move campaign. promoting health in ore nation's schools. children's wellness has always been her main focus as first lady.

>> you're raising two teenage girls in the spotlight. i speak from experience, it's not --

>> you know a little bit about that.

>> not always that easy. how do you talk to them about eating healthy but also give them confidence about their body image ?

>> i mean, i -- we don't talk about weight, physical appearance. we talk about health. we talk about what's on the inside. so we keep our messages really simple and practical. this campaign isn't about how kids look. it's about how kids feel.

>> you practice what you preach .

>> i try.

>> you do. i saw you doing yoga. what do you do to keep your family healthy?

>> you know, i try to model the behavior that we talk about all the time. i want my girls to grow up to be strong, healthy young women who aren't afraid to exercise. and they see it as fun.

>> growing up, did your mom talk to you about eating healthy and body image or something you've learned as an adult?

>> when we were growing up, it wasn't an issue because our natural existence was fairly healthy. you know, rarely did you go out to eat in fast food restaurants . we always had dinner at home. my mom always cooked dinner, we always had a vegetable. that's one of the reasons i've been passionate about "let's move," we know how to do this but we've lost our way as a society and as parents. and if we give parents the information, we can get them back on track, i know we can.

>> in miami , we've seen them here, parents that want to protect their kids. and i know that now. and i'm sure you feel -- do you feel that way about your girls that you want to protect them?

>> oh, gosh. that's all i think about, you know, is whether my kids are happy and safe and growing up and whether they're learning values. you know this. now that you have a child. that's all you ever think about.

>> parents deserve to have the information they need to make healthy choices for their kids.

>> reporter: while substance is more her style, sometimes bangs and biceps went out.

>> does that bother you about our culture that sometimes the line between substance and style is blurred?

>> it's always there. i'm not the first one to go through it. your mom, you know, it was the same thing for her. i still know what dresses she wore at state dinners . my philosophy has been, okay, if you're looking at me for whatever reason, let me make sure i'm standing in front of something really important so that while you're seeing my shoes, you may also see these kids jumping around in this preschool. so as long as the outcome is substantive, i'm okay with the means to the end.

>> it's a message she delivers with dance moves , like teaming up with jimmy fallon for some mom dancing. something i could use a lesson in.

>> well, since i'm a new mom and haven't yet mastered the mom dance, do you want to show me?

>> you want to stay low. just sort of move your shoulders. you can move your shoulders, don't want to go too far, you know. because if you get out of the pocket, makes things --

>> things get crazy.

>> you want to stay close .

>> stay in the mom dance.

>> stay in the mom dance.

>> in the mom zone. you don't wear the mom jeans when you do the mom dance.

>> i'm not a mom jeans kind of mom.

>> you are not.

>> you can do the mom dancing without the mom jeans . let's just be clear for moms out there. you don't have to have -- don't have to go there anymore.

>> did you hear that?

>> i learned how to mom --

>> what are you doing?

>> what is that?

>> it's mom fit dance.

>> yeah, we didn't want to get up and ruin our look, but you know, she's also filmed a cameo on "parks and recreation." we had a great day in miami . she was with amy poehler , it was quite hilarious.

>> how about being back at the white house ?

>> it was fun. although, i went to the wrong gate. and i blame that on my producer.

>> you didn't know your gate?

>> and the secret service there were like, you don't know where to go?

>> although, in fairness, you kind of never went through the gates we go through.

>> i said to them, you think i go through the press gates? i was hiding from people like you. this is me with the press pass thinking, is this for real? and -- i had my little suitcase. my little suitcase. kind of looked like, hi, y'all got a room for me? i'm going to move back in. i used to live here. this is my friend karen. got a room? it was a lot of fun. it was terrific.