Yesterday Michelle Obama sat down to a sold-out auditorium at London’s Southbank Centre to discuss her new book “Becoming”. The memoir details the experiences that have shaped her – from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive, balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the White House.
Interviewed by acclaimed Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, she spoke on having ‘imposter syndrome’, commenting “It doesn’t go away, that feeling that you shouldn’t take me seriously. What do I know? I share that with you because we all have doubts in our abilities, about our power and what that power is.”.
On her husband, Barack Obama’s presidency, “We mistakenly thought that Barack Obama was going to erase hundreds of years of history in eight years – that’s ridiculous to think that could happen.”
Mrs Obama, who launched the Global Girls Alliance to promote education and advancement of girls, said of the “sisterhood” – “My advice to young women is that you have to start by getting those demons out of your head. The questions I ask myself – ‘am I good enough?’ – that haunts us, because the messages that are sent from the time we are little is: maybe you are not, don’t reach too high, don’t talk too loud.”
“My parents saw this flame in me… and instead of doing what we often do to girls who are feisty, which is to try and put that flame out, to douse it…because we’re worried about not being ladylike or being bossy, they found a way to keep that flame lit because they knew I’d need it later on.
“To have that flame lit in a girl means you have to value her voice and let her speak and learn how to use it.”
Mrs Obama hopes her book and tour will inspire people to become the very best version of themselves.
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