Former First Lady Michelle Obama is styled in Dior, Cushnie, Sally LaPointe, Ann Demeulemeester and more by Meredith Koop for images by Miller Mobley for ELLE US December 2018. As Michelle launches her massive, sold-put book tour around the publication of ‘Becoming’, her buddy Oprah sits down with the beloved American icon for the interview ‘Michelle Obama Is Still Optimistic’.
There are multiple passages to share, but we’ll go with the toast story. Michelle explains:
So here I am in my new home, just me and Bo and Sunny, and I do a simple thing. I go downstairs and open the cabinet in my own kitchen—which you don’t do in the White House because there’s always somebody there going, “Let me get that. What do you want? What do you need?”—and I made myself toast. Cheese toast. Then I took my toast and I walked out into my backyard. I sat on the stoop, and there were dogs barking in the distance, and I realized Bo and Sunny had really never heard neighbor dogs. They’re like, What’s that? And I’m like, “Yep, we’re in the real world now, fellas.” It’s that quiet moment of me settling into this new life. Having time to think about what had just happened over the last eight years. Because what I came to realize is that there was absolutely no time to reflect in the White House. We moved at such a breakneck pace from the moment we walked in those doors until the moment we left. It was day in and day out because we, Barack and I, really felt like we had an obligation to get a lot done. We were busy. I would forget on Tuesday what had happened on Monday. I forgot whole countries I visited, literally whole countries. I had a debate with my chief of staff saying, “You know, I’d love to visit Prague one day.” And Melissa was like, “You were there.” I was like, “No, I wasn’t. Wasn’t in Prague, never been to Prague.” She had to show me a picture of me in Prague for the memory to jog. So the toast was the moment that I had time to start thinking about those eight years and my journey of becoming.
Michelle Obama has been unusually open in her book ‘Becoming’, sharing among many stories the one about her miscarriage and conceiving both Malia and Sasha through IVF. Michelle talks at length about the challenges of the Obama marriage, cemented in the differences that have been overcome with much hard work and a deep love. In dramatic contrast to the image we have of Donald Trump, Michelle shares this vision of a late night, young man Obama — life before stardom.
This moment cracks me up: “I woke one night to find him staring at the ceiling, his profile lit by the glow of streetlights outside. He looked vaguely troubled, as if he were pondering something deeply personal. Was it our relationship? The loss of his father? ‘Hey, what are you thinking about over there?’ I whispered. He turned to look at me, his smile a little sheepish. ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘I was just thinking about income inequality.’ ”
That’s my honey. (Michelle says.)
I speak for tens of millions of ordinary people who continue to grieve for our loss of the Obamas as a brilliant fixture in our lives. Michelle Obama insists that hope must prevail. ~ Anne
“We have to feel that optimism. For the kids. We’re setting the table for them, and we can’t hand them crap. We have to hand them hope. Progress isn’t made through fear. We’re experiencing that right now. Fear is the coward’s way of leadership. But kids are born into this world with a sense of hope and optimism. No matter where they’re from. Or how tough their stories are. They think they can be anything because we tell them that. So we have a responsibility to be optimistic. And to operate in the world in that way.