By Joanne Rosa
Michelle Obama is more than the former First Lady of the United States of America. Michelle is an intelligent woman who earned two Ivy League degrees (and the only FLOTUS to have this level of education), launched numerous initiatives to better the country’s youth, raised two confident daughters, and stood
behind alongside her husband, former POTUS Barack Obama during his two terms as President. When all is said and done, the people are left wondering how Michelle did it all. She heard us, and answers in her new memoir Becoming.
Becoming will reflect on the wonder that is Michelle Obama, as she transformed into the woman we know and love today. “I’m thrilled to share with all of you the cover for BECOMING,” Michelle shared along with her book cover on Instagram. “The process of writing this book has been so personally meaningful and illuminating for me. As I prepare to share BECOMING this fall, I hope you’ll also think about your own story, and trust that it will help you become whoever you aspire to be. Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”
Prefacing the cover of Becoming, Michelle shared four personal memories and photos that played key roles in making Michelle the phenomenal woman she is today. The Chicago native’s first photo revealed a young Michelle perched next to her mother and father. “My father, Fraser, taught me to work hard, laugh often, and keep my word. My mother, Marian, showed me how to think for myself and to use my voice. Together, in our cramped apartment on the South Side of Chicago, my family helped me see the value in our story, in my story, and in the larger story of our country.”
Michelle made it evident that her parents were a big part of making her the success she is today, especially her mother. A week prior to sharing the personal photo and memory of her parents, she expressed the love she has for her mom. “It’s impossible for any picture to truly capture what my mother, Marian, has meant to me,” she said regarding her photo shared on Mother’s Day.
This isn’t the first time Michelle (or Miche as mama Marian called her) told the world how much of an influence her mom has in her life. “Your unconditional love has made me who I am today,” Michelle captioned in an Instagram photo on Marian’s birthday July 29.
In 1985, Michelle graduated from Princeton University with a BA. As the first person in her family to go to college, the road to her degree wasn’t easy by any means. “I know that being a first-generation college student can be scary, because it was scary for me,” Michelle detailed of her picture as a young adult on Princeton’s campus in the early 1980s. “I was black and from a working-class neighborhood in Chicago, while Princeton’s student body was generally white and well-to-do. I’d never stood out in a crowd or a classroom because of the color of my skin before. But I found close friends and a mentor who gave me the confidence to be myself. Going to college is hard work, but every day I meet people whose lives have been profoundly changed by education, just as mine was.” Michelle reminds us that she’s been through those uncomfortable moments in life as many of us have. Her advice to those still studying in college “is to be brave and stay with it,” as she did.
Michelle understands that life is a wild ride. She wanted her partner in life to be down and ready to handle all that life would throw at them. Barack Obama was that life partner for Michelle. Twenty-five years ago on October third, Michelle officially became Mrs. Obama. She captioned her 2017 anniversary photo “A quarter of a century later, you’re still my best friend & the most extraordinary man I know.”
In a more recent post, Michelle unveiled a never-before-seen photo of her and Barack’s wedding day, as well as the unexpected truth behind it. “You can’t tell it from this photo, but Barack woke up on our wedding day in October, 1992 with a nasty head cold. Somehow, by the time I met him at the altar, it had miraculously disappeared and we ended up dancing almost all night. Twenty five years later, we’re still having fun, while also doing the hard work to build our partnership and support each other as individuals. I can’t imagine going on this wild ride with anybody else.”
In the face of Michelle’s efforts to better the country she lived in, family was always a main priority. Michelle and Barack’s daughters Malia and Sasha were a driving force to make things better, and a solace when it got tough. “Home has always been where our family is… It hasn’t mattered whether we’re lounging on a couch in Chicago’s Hyde Park or, as we are here, in the White House. We did our best to make the White House a comfortable place where our girls could climb trees and host slumber parties, where we’d have dinner together as a family, and where we tried to live by the values our parents instilled in us.” Michelle was-and still is-working mom goals.
The Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, described Becoming as “a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling… chronicling the experiences that have shaped [Michelle]—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 world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms… BECOMING is an unusually intimate reckoning from a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.”