She exudes class and eloquence through her speeches, is a pop-culture icon and it goes without saying the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama embodies the epitome of a role model for women.
Throughout her eight years in the Whitehouse, Mrs. Obama’s targeted initiatives included advocating for service members and their families, promoting higher education and fighting childhood obesity. She opened up the White House doors to different cultures and innovative projects, setting the tone for fun and creativity across the globe.
“The way she blended purpose with policy and fun was masterful,” said her husband, President Obama.
During the one-hour interview that aired Monday, Michelle Obama spoke with Oprah about the 2016 election, the challenges of living in the White House and the transition to becoming a private citizen.
The emotional turning point during the interview was when Mrs. Obama and Oprah talked about the 2016 election. During a campaign rally in October for Hillary Clinton, Mrs. Obama reacted to the news of the 2005 leaked video of President-Elect Donald Trump speaking in vulgar language about women by saying, “it has shaken me to my core.”
When Oprah asked the First Lady about her reaction to the election, her response was “The past election was challenging for me as a citizen to watch and experience. It was painful.” She goes on to say how meeting the Trumps on November 9th was pleasant, and that her team will be there to help the next first family transition into the White House in a goal to help them succeed.
Although the outgoing First Lady said that she wouldn’t run for office, she also reminds us that she wasn’t born the First Lady. She is a Harvard Law School graduate who ran a nonprofit and opened the doors for herself where many doors weren’t yet opened for young women of color.
As for reflecting over her eight years in the White House, she talked about the weight being lifted off her shoulders.
Mrs. Obama also shared a lesson on dealing with critics who try to define who you are. When Oprah asked the First Lady how she felt about being casted as the “Angry Black Woman” stereotype, she replies, “That was one of those things where you just sort of think, ‘Dang, you don’t even know me.’” She goes on to say that the comments weren’t really about her, they’re about the people who write it. She deals with the people who write negative criticism about her by showing them who she is.
“I thought, let me live my life out loud so that people can then see and then judge for themselves. And that is what I want young people to do. Just live your life.”
There are a million ways I can think of how she lives her life out loud; but at the forefront, it’s the attitude of letting go of anger quickly, instilling hope instead of fear in our hearts and being an honest and authentic person.
If you didn’t catch the pre-recorded interview Monday night, tune in on OWN December 21st at 9p.m. ET.