This was a rough week. In fact, that’s probably understatement of the year. It was more than rough. It was devastatingly awful. I remember waking up on Tuesday morning feeling hopeful and eager, ready to mark history and usher in a welcomed change for our country. But by Wednesday, those emotions subsided and anxiety, hurt and anger quickly took hold. To think we have taken as many steps forward as we have, only to be pulled backwards an infinite amount was too much to bear.
Whenever I can’t mentally process an event in my life, I look for inspiration and uplifting words in a myriad of places, whether it be my favorite television shows, social influencers who feel like BFFs in my head, podcasts, books, you name it. So as I sat down ready to get my life listening to this week’s The Read (if you’re not hip, get on it), color me elated when I saw Vogue released the first snaps of its December 2016 cover featuring none other than First Lady Michelle Obama. While the thought of her and President Obama leaving the White House behind is one I’d rather skip over, I was beyond myself staring at her beaming face on the latest issue of the fashion bible. It was like the universe knew exactly the pick me up I needed.
And however bittersweet the next few weeks’ transition will be for all of us, I’m comforted in knowing our First Lady was the example of grace, sophistication and poise that we could always look up to. Her mantra of going high when others go low is one that she has exuded publicly for eight years. When I think of the type of woman I aspire to be as I tackle obstacles in the next phases of my life, Michelle Obama is the prime role model. She embodies black girl magic in everything she does and I couldn’t be more proud of the lasting impact she’ll have.
If you’re anything like me, you need a few reasons to smile right about now. So take a look at FLOTUS on some of the best covers of this year. Plus a few quotes that will make you fall even more in love with her before she leaves 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Vogue Magazine, December 2016
On ignoring the naysayers:
“So there are a lot of people who will try to step on your confidence based on their assumptions about who they think you are. For all of you sitting here, with those doubts in your head—because those whispers of doubt, they stay with you for a very long time—ignore them. . . . I still carry that with me today, as First Lady of the United States, because there are people who don’t think I should be doing that either.”
T Magazine, October 2016
InStyle, October 2016
On being her own woman:
“I tend not to worry about the trends, because what works for an 18-year-old selfie queen may not for a 52-year-old First Lady who is a mom of teenagers she is trying to be a good role model for.”
Essence, October 2016
On the lasting impact she and husband Barack will have on younger generations:
“I think when it comes to Black kids, it means something for them to have spent most of their life seeing the family in the White House look like them. It matters. All the future work that Barack talked about, I think over these last few years, we’ve kind of knocked the ceiling of limitation off the roofs of many young kids; imaginations of what’s possible for them. And as a mother, I wouldn’t underestimate how important that is, having that vision that you can really do anything—not because somebody told you, but because you’ve seen and experienced it. I think that will be a lasting impact on our kids.”
Variety, August 2016
On being relatable and true to herself:
“I have never been afraid to be a little silly, and you can engage people that way. My view is, first you get them to laugh, then you get them to listen. So I’m always game for a good joke.”
Seventeen Magazine, May 2016
On not having all the answers and that being totally okay:
“I always tell people, the question of what you want to be when you grow up is one that you will eternally be answering. I’m still asking myself that question! What am I going to do when I leave here? How do I want to impact the world? I’ve gotten used to the fact that I don’t have to know. I’m always going to be discovering new parts of myself, and you’ll find that you will be too.”
The Verge, March 2016
On how she’s built trust among the public over the years:
“People can get to know me directly. They can see that I’m kind of silly sometimes, that I care. They can feel the passion, [and] they don’t have to have it filtered through another source. And young people in particular like that.”
I’m already sobbing. Simply gorgeous.
Briea L. Curington