Michelle Obama at the O2

Left to Right: Tangy Morgan, Deirdre Joy Smith, Angie Greaves, Yvonne Thompson | Image Credit: PAL Associates

She touched down on UK shores again and just mesmerised the 02.  TV host, comedian and friend to Michelle, Stephen Colbert, fronted the event.  The main question was ‘who are you Becoming’?  And when looking at your life experiences are you on the road to your goal? 

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson shared her story of growing up on the South Side of Chicago, studying at Princeton University and Harvard Law school, and working at Sidley Austin law firm where she met intern Barack Obama.  They dated, married, raised a family and went on to become the first Black family in the White House.  Sounds like a fairy tale doesn’t it?  But every fairy tale has a villain who needs to be slain. 

Michelle suffered more than most during both campaign trails and was even referred to as ‘an ape in heels’, can you believe this is the 21st century?  So how does she deal with negativity?  In her own words ‘when they go low, we go high.  Lead by example with hope and never fear’.  As former First Lady she’s been one of the most visual, active and inspirational.  What is it about Michelle fever and her global appeal?

Michelle will always be a First Lady

Throughout her husband’s presidency and afterwards, Michelle has remained a visible vocal first lady. Michelle’s approval rating has stayed surprisingly high at 70% for many reasons.

  • She launched Let’s Move!, bringing together community leaders, educators, medical professionals, parents, and others in a nationwide effort to address the challenge of childhood obesity. 
  • In 2010 she passed The School Lunch program with bipartisan support. The program provides free and reduced-price meals to more than 21 million low-income children, and now requires districts to serve more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy products.
  • The First Lady worked with the US Tennis Association to build or refurbish more than 6,200 kid-sized tennis courts across the country, signed up more than 250,000 kids to complete their PALAs, and trained 12,000 coaches to help kids learn the sport of tennis.
  • Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden came together to launch Joining Forces, a nationwide initiative calling all Americans to rally around service members, veterans, and their families and support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities.
  • In 2014, Mrs. Obama launched the Reach Higher Initiative, an effort to inspire young people across America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university. 
  • Mrs. Obama joined President Obama, in 2015, to launch Let Girls Learn, a U.S. government-wide initiative to help girls around the world go to school and stay in school.

“You know, we all knew she was brilliant and cute and strong and a great mom,” he said, “but I think the way in which she blended purpose and policy with fun so that she was able to reach beyond Washington … was masterful.”

Barack Obama

How is she different than other First Ladies?

There have been a handful of First Ladies that have changed the world as we know it…

Eleanor Roosevelt was an extremely important first lady. She acted as chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights, fought for New Deal proposals, civil rights, and the rights of women. Eleanor was on the board of directors for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She was a leader in the formation of the United Nations at the end of World War II. She helped draft the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and was the first chairman of the UN Human Rights Commission.

John F Kennedy’s widow spent two decades as a book editor. Jackie Kennedy spent much of her time as first lady working to restore and refurnish the White House. Once complete, she took America on a televised tour of the White House. She was revered as first lady for her poise and dignity.

Hillary Clinton, of course, became a dominant political figure in the Democratic party, a senator, a secretary of state and a two-time presidential candidate. She was appointed the head of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. Further, she spoke out on women’s and children’s issues. She was selected to be Barack Obama’s Secretary of State. In 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first female presidential nominee of a major party. ​

But Michelle Obama is also now carving a niche as a hyper-prominent former first lady and her post-White House career is probably only beginning. Still just 55, Obama, a former lawyer and hospital administrator, is breaking the mould of her predecessors. Betty Caroli, a historian and biographer of first ladies, said: “Her book is certainly different from previous first ladies’ books, if you compare the past six or seven. Their pattern has generally been 70% life in the White House and 30% growing up. Hers is the opposite.

Is race a constant factor for her?

This extremely accomplished student who went to Princeton and Harvard, then became a successful lawyer and executive while raising two young children, then went on to become the first lady of the United States, says she was always asking herself — “Am I good enough?”

“Being the first black anything is gonna be hard,” she told Robin Roberts during an interview with Good Morning America, “I knew, as the first black first lady, I couldn’t presume anything … I’d have to earn my grace.”

Why does it cost so much to see her?

Many are wondering why the tickets cost so much. As much as she wants to speak out to people everywhere, you could be paying up to 2000 pounds for a meet and greet ticket. This is highly unusual for an author… she’s definitely getting the rock star treatment.

Although some fans have complained about the high cost, 10 percent of tickets at each event are being donated to local charities, schools and community groups.

Other fans are absolutely fine with the ticket cost.

“I don’t want to hear a single word about Michelle Obama’s ticket prices,” one fan wrote. “She worked for this country for FREE for eight years. Get that money, Mrs. Obama.”

Washington Post

She even has advice for Meghan…

What do you think about Michelle Obama and her book tour? It was amazing to hear and see her in person, it really was. She is so polished and poised and inspiring, I wish you all could have a chance to see her. Would you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this… join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.