In a powerful three part video series by TIME and ESSENCE, TIME reporter Maya Rhodan sits down with President Obama and principal ballerina, Misty Copeland to discuss everything from Black Girl Magic to their own experiences regarding body image, skin color and race.
Both President Obama and Misty Copeland share their stories and lessons they’ve learned from being a minority constantly on the receiving end of racial discrimination.
Copeland recounts the subtle racism she experienced as the only black woman in most settings. Stating that, “being the only black woman allowed me to observe more, rather than react…and it taught me a lot.”
President Obama agrees, admitting that there is a constant pressure to be perceived a certain way, especially for young black women. He candidly shares his experiences as a father of two black daughters. He states, “I mean when you’re a dad of two daughters you notice more. When I was a kid I didn’t realize as much, or maybe it was even a part of which is the enormous pressure that young women are placed under in terms of looking a certain way. And being cute in a certain way…And that pressure I think is historically always been harder on African American women than just about any other women.”
The interview continues to explore how race, gender and social movements attribute to long-term success.
Watch the full version in the video below or read the full transcript on TIME’s website here.