In a rare ESSENCE exclusive moderated by TIME reporter Maya Rhodan, President Obama and American Ballet Theater prima Ballerina Misty Copeland spoke candidly about their personal experiences with racism and shared their opinions on the importance of activism and social movements like ‘Black Girl Magic’, as well as their aspirations for young men and women of color in the future.

President Obama on Young Women & Body Image:

“…when you’re a Dad of two daughters, you notice more…the enormous pressure that young women are placed under in terms of looking a certain way….and that pressure I think it historically always been harder on African-American women than just about any other women.”

“And the fact that (my daughters) have a tall, gorgeous Mom who has some curves, and that their father appreciates, I think it’s helpful.”

Misty Copeland on social activism and ‘Black Girl Magic’:

“…to have movements like ‘Black Girl Magic’, I think it couldn’t be more positive for a young Black girl to see that it’s okay to be yourself, it’s okay to not have to transform and look like what you may see on the cover of a lot of magazines. That you are beautiful, that it’s possible to succeed in any field that you want to, looking the way that you do. With your hair the way it is.”

Watch the entire video in its entirety here.

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