Beyonce VMAs 2011 MTV
Beyonce is a role model says Michelle Obama - but not everyone agreesGetty

Michelle Obama has provoked online outrage after describing Beyonce as a role model. The US first lady found herself at the centre of a social media storm after gushing about the singer in a birthday message on Twitter.

On 4 September, she wrote: "Happy birthday to the one and only, Queen [B]! Thank you for being a role model for young girls around the world, @Beyonce. –mo"

Unfortunately, the message did not go down well with a lot of people, who said they were disappointed Obama has chosen to put the Destiny's Child star on such a pedestal. A number of critics pointed out the 34-year-old songstress dresses provocatively, dances suggestively on stage and in videos, while some of her tracks feature "sexually explicit" lyrics. Some even went as far as to drudge up her husband Jay Z's violent past.

But it was not all negative. Some fans agreed with Obama and highlighted the fact that Beyonce is one of the industry's biggest success stories and "body confidence" is a great example to young girls struggling to love themselves.

Beyonce has built a good relationship with the Obamas over the years. In 2009, she performed At Last as the presidential couple danced during the inauguration celebration and in 2010, the singer joined the first lady on her mission by releasing a video of her dancing with students to Move Your Body in a school cafeteria.

Although it did not get the desired response, Obama may have been simply trying to return the gesture after Queen B previously wrote an open letter, expressing her admiration and pride in the first lady. Back in 2012, the Single Ladies hit maker posted a handwritten letter to her Tumblr that praised the mother-of-two as the "ultimate example of a truly strong African American woman".

"Michelle is the ultimate example of a truly strong African American woman," she wrote. "She is a caring mother, she's a loving wife, while at the same time, she is the first lady. No matter the pressure, and the stress of being under the microscope, she's humble, loving and sensitive.

"She builds and nurtures her family, while also looking out for so many millions in so many ways. Michelle, thank you for every single thing you do for us - I am proud to have my daughter grow up in a world where she has people like you to look up to."