It’s not often—or ever—that we get to see a First Lady of the United States sit down to discuss the intimate and intricate details of her life for more than two hours straight. And it’s certainly historic for a former First Lady to sell out a twelve-city international stadium tour to discuss said details. Then again, Michelle Obama has been one of the most uncommon and historical figures of our time; a true legend. Despite all her legendary and record-breaking achievements, she is using the tour and her new book, Becoming, to remind people of her humanity, with a clear message that anyone—even a little brown girl from the Southside of Chicago—can change the world. Here’s what we learned when we went to the Washington, D.C. stop of the tour.
Even Michelle Obama herself has prayed to God to “Get Her Period This Month.”
Headlines have swirled about Michelle divulging that she used IVF to conceive both of her daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama after struggling to get pregnant. Michelle reflected an experience that many women deal with, yet is “never talked about.” She even revealed that she had the all-too-common experience of assuming that after years of using contraception and trying not to get pregnant in her twenties (as many women do), she was surprised at how difficult it was to conceive. She joked about going from many nights praying to God “please let me get my period this month,” to spending nights praying that she will be able to have children. Thanks to IVF, she now has two disarmingly beautiful daughters.
Surprisingly, she is not her mother’s favorite child.
Early on in her conversation with moderator Valerie Jarett, she highlighted that she’s never been her mother’s favorite child—even after becoming the First Lady. Despite taking her mother on trips to Paris and China, she highlighted that she too struggles from the common complaint of being her mother’s “second favorite.” Nonetheless, in her memoir, Becoming, she highlights how her older brother Craig is also her personal favorite—as many of her earlier life decisions were rooted in following his footsteps (including her decision to go to Princeton University).
When she gave up trying to impress people, she got everything she wanted.
After giving birth to her second daughter, the former First Lady found herself often overextended as a working mom. Thus, when courted by a prestigious hospital for a position as its Vice President, she barely had the energy to try to impress the hiring managers. In fact, she revealed that she showed up to her job interview with her nursing baby in tow! After nailing the interview, she demanded everything women are coached to ask for including “all the money I wanted,” “flex [working] time,” and a ‘no questions asked policy’ if she ever needed to drop everything to accommodate her family. The experience nailed her a high-profile, high-paying job and a new outlook on why it’s important to be yourself and ask for what you need.
With Barack, it was not necessarily love at first sight.
The former First Lady also taught the women in the room a valuable lesson about assuming that all love comes at first sight. Upon initially learning about Barack and speaking to him on the phone, Michelle was convinced that he would be a “nerdy Black guy” who lacked “flavor.” Having never heard of a Black guy from Hawaii with such a unique name, Michelle assumed he would not be her type based on all the recommendations her colleagues made about him. Even after getting to know Barack, she insisted it would be “tacky” to date him since she was technically his “mentor” at their shared law firm. Thanks to a little determination on our 44th President’s end, Michelle eventually gave him a chance and the rest was history.
But now, her husband can still make her blush.
In an unexpected turn of events, at the culmination of the evening host, Valerie Jarett introduced a special guest who had come to support Michelle in the launch of her new book. That guest? The 44th President himself, Barack Obama. After more than five minutes of screaming excitement throughout the stadium, it became clear that Michelle herself was beaming inside. As he handed her a bouquet of flowers with a kiss on the cheek, he began speaking about how she is a “one-of-a-kind” woman who has changed his life. Needless to say, everyone in the crowd found a true sense of hope in everlasting love, as Michelle sat by blushing as her husband professed his endless love for her.