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First Lady Fierceness: Michelle Obama on Becoming, Barbie, Boxing & Being a Strong Woman

The beloved Former First Lady gets personal about her childhood, her marriage and creating a world of empowered women

Michelle Obama - Photo by Rich Fury/Forum Photos
Michelle Obama - Photo by Rich Fury/Forum Photos

Former First Lady Michelle Obama is one of the world’s most inspiring women, and in her new book Becoming: Michelle Obama, she is even more personal, more candid and inspirational.

In the book, she opens up about her childhood in Chicago, her romance with former President Barack Obama, life as the first African-American family in the White House, and some of her most private struggles and triumphs, including her miscarriage and marriage counseling during those rough patches.

To promote the instant bestseller, Michelle is touring cities across the country for sit-down interviews, including the first one she had in Chicago with Oprah Winfrey. For her Los Angeles stop, she sat with “Black-ish” star Tracee Ellis Ross at The Forum to talk about the book and share personal anecdotes and reflections.

Ten percent of ticket sales from each stop are being given to local charities, schools and community groups in each city of the tour.

Below are some of the highlights from Michelle’s interview in LA with Tracee.

Michelle Obama with Tracee Ellis Ross - Rich Fury/Forum Photos
Michelle Obama with Tracee Ellis Ross – Rich Fury/Forum Photos

On whether or not she cooked at the White House:

“Not once. And I’m good with that. I can do it, but I’m good not doing it.”

On the kind of kid she was growing up:

“I was kind of a feisty kid from day one.”

Oh the business of Barbie:

“I was fastidious about my Barbies. I liked my space, I liked my privacy and I liked to be in my own imagination.”

“I thought about going outside with the other kids but then I’d look out the window and be like, ‘Hmm…messy.’ I was like, let me just stay in the house and control these dolls.”

On the importance of positive male role models:

“My father always included me. When my brother learned something, I learned something. When he got his first pair of boxing gloves, I got my pair of itty bitty boxing gloves. And we’d go down in the basement and learn how to do some jabs.”

“I had a very loving father who treated me as an equal. He never talked down to me. My brother was taught to respect me.”

“Becoming,” by Michelle Obama- Crown Publishing Group

On becoming a strong woman:

“We [often] look to the mother, but it’s very much the men in their lives. Men, don’t underestimate the role you play in helping girls feel loved and secure.”

On having a voice:

“I was allowed to have a voice, I was allowed to be feisty, no one shushed us. We were encouraged to speak our minds, and do it respectfully.”

Get your own copy of Michelle Obama’s Becoming on Amazon. 

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Written by Mar Yvette

Mar Yvette is an on-air host, lifestyle expert, writer and editor with 10+ years of experience working with some of the world’s most recognized media companies.