Fashion is about so much more than just a pretty pair of pumps or the perfect hemline. For so many people across the country, it is a calling, it is a career, and it's a way they feed their families.
I have seen how leaders rule by intimidation. Leaders who demonize and dehumanize entire groups of people often do so because they have nothing else to offer. And I have seen how places that stifle the voices and dismiss the potential of their citizens are diminished: how they are less vital, less hopeful, less free.
You do not keep American democracy in suspense. Because, look, too many people have marched and protested and fought and died for this democracy.
As a mom, I know it is my responsibility, and no one else's, to raise my kids. But we have to ask ourselves, what does it mean when so many parents are finding their best efforts undermined by an avalanche of advertisements aimed at our kids.
I wasn't going to let one person's opinion dislodge everything I thought I knew about myself.
I could have spent eight years doing anything, and at some level, it would have been fine. I could have focused on flowers. I could have focused on decor. I could have focused on entertainment. Because any First Lady, rightfully, gets to define her role. There's no legislative authority; you're not elected. And that's a wonderful gift of freedom.
You may live in the world as it is, but you can still work to create the world as it should be.
You see, at the end of the day, my most important title is still 'mom-in-chief.' My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the center of my world.
When a father puts in long hours at work, he's praised for being dedicated and ambitious. But when a mother stays late at the office, she's sometimes accused of being selfish, neglecting her kids.
I've always been a closet jock. With exercising, the more you do it, the more you get into it. And the more you see results, the more you're pushing for the next level.
Value everyone's contribution and treat everyone with respect.
Look how I'm managing, I wanted to say in those moments, to my audience of no one. Does everyone see that I'm pulling this off?
Here in America, we don't give in to our fears. We don't build up walls to keep people out.
While budgets are tight right now, there are schools across the country that are showing that it doesn't take a whole lot of money or resources to give our kids the nutrition they deserve. What it does take, however, is effort. What it does take is imagination. What it does take is a commitment to our children's futures.
We can all agree that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, all children should have the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow and to pursue their dreams, because in the end, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children... These are the basic values that we all share, regardless of race, party, religion. This is what we share. These are the values that this bill embodies.
When trouble breaks out, our men and women in uniform, they don't just sit around thinking about it or talking about it -- they act. They put on that uniform. They leave their loved ones behind. They go out there. They give orders. They follow orders. They do whatever it takes to keep our country safe.
I have to be in tune. All the time. I have to be in tune with my husband, where he is, how he's feeling. I have to be in tune with where my family is.
Success is only meaningful and enjoyable if it feels like your own.
If we truly believe that every girl in every corner of the globe is worthy of an education as our own daughters and granddaughters are, then we need to deepen our commitment to these efforts.
For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction.
My husband will tell you one of the most frequent questions he gets from world leaders is, 'How's your wife's garden?'
Let Girls Learn issue has always been personal for me. I grew up in a working-class neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago where most folks, including my parents, didn't have college degrees. But with a lot of hard work -- and a lot of financial aid -- I had the chance to attend Princeton and Harvard Law School, and that gave me the confidence to pursue my ambitions.
Childhood obesity issue is critically important to me because it's critically important to the health and success of our kids, and of this nation, ultimately.
My mother's love has always been a sustaining force for our family, and one of my greatest joys is seeing her integrity, her compassion, her intelligence reflected in my daughters.
I mean, let's take the average spouse. You know, you show up in an employer's, you know, office, and it's shown that you've changed jobs every two years. Well, to many employers that could be viewed as a red flag. But the truth is, is that you've made those moves because you're serving your country, and each time you've found a career, and you've been able to provide for your family, and you've continued to volunteer, and on and on and on.
I felt Nairobi's foreignness -- or really, my own foreignness in relation to it -- immediately, even in the first strains of morning. It's a sensation I've come to love as I've traveled more, the way a new place signals itself instantly and without pretense. The air has a different weight from what you're used to; it carries smells you can't quite identify, a faint whiff of wood smoke or diesel fuel, maybe, or the sweetness of something blooming in the trees. The same sun comes up, but looking slightly different from what you know.
Slowly but surely, we're beginning to turn the tide on childhood obesity in America. Together, we are inspiring leaders from every sector to take ownership of this issue.
Everyone on Earth, they'd tell us, was carrying around an unseen history, and that alone deserved some tolerance.
A lot of young people think they're invincible, but the truth is young people are knuckleheads... Now young people can get insurance for as little as $50 a month, less than the cost of gym shoes.
When it comes to the qualifications that we should demand of our president, to start with, we need someone who will take the job seriously.
Meeting Nelson Mandela gave me the perspective I needed…that real change happens slowly, not just over months and years but over decades and lifetimes.
It's been so important that the Chamber of Commerce, for example, has hosted hiring fairs that are specifically targeted to military communities.
We were decades, still, from a time when a simple Google search would bring up a head-spinning array of charts, statistics, and medical explainers that either gave or took away hope.
That is my wish, hope, instruction for all of you: Take your education seriously, okay? Always do that. Because I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for my education.
I think that people are tired. They're tired of the same old kind of politics. People want a new tone to politics.
Focus on what you can control. Be a good person every day. Vote. Read. Treat one another kindly. Follow the law. Don't tweet nasty stuff.
Barack Obama was late on day one.
It wasn't so long ago that I was a working mom myself. And I know that sometimes, much as we all hate to admit it, it's just easier to park the kids in front of the TV for a few hours, so we can pay the bills or do the laundry or just have some peace and quiet for a change.
Although the circumstances of our lives may seem very disengaged, with me standing here as the First Lady of the United States of America and you just getting through school, I want you to know we have very much in common. For nothing in my life ever would have predicted that I would be standing here as the first African-American First Lady.
We are living in a time where we just don't have enough time. People are rushed. They're over worked, over scheduled. Not enough resources. ...But the thing that I want people to understand in this campaign is that families can make small manageable changes in their lives that can have pretty significant impacts.
It's all about, you know, continuing to get to know ourselves in a very diverse and complicated country that is America. It is a wonderful place to live. But because it is so diverse, our challenges are complex.
The lesson being that in life, you control what you can.
You don't have to be somebody different to be important. You're important in your own right.
Remember a few years ago when Congress declared that the sauce on a slice of pizza should count as a vegetable in school lunches? You don't have to be a nutritionist to know that this doesn't make much sense.
Barack intrigued me. He was not like anyone I'd dated before, mainly because he seemed so secure. He was openly affectionate. He told me I was beautiful. He made me feel good. To me, he was sort of like a unicorn--unusual to the point of seeming almost unreal. He never talked about material things, like buying a house or a car or even new shoes. His money went largely toward books, which to him were like sacred objects, providing ballast for his mind. He read late into the night, often long after I'd fallen asleep, plowing through history and biographies and Toni Morrison, too. He read several newspapers daily, cover to cover. He kept tabs on the latest book reviews, the American League standings, and what the South Side aldermen were up to. He could speak with equal passion about the Polish elections and which movies Roger Ebert had panned and why.
My happiness is tied to how I feel about myself.
At the end of the day my most important job is still mom-in-chief.
The arts and humanities define who we are as a people. That is their power -- to remind us of what we each have to offer, and what we all have in common. To help us understand our history and imagine our future. To give us hope in the moments of struggle and to bring us together when nothing else will.
Barack and I sat in the front row surrounded by young people of all different races and backgrounds, the two of us awash in emotion as Christopher Jackson and Lin-Manuel sang the ballad "One Last Time" as their final number. Here were two artists. One black and one Puerto Rican standing beneath a 150 year old chandelier bracketed by towering antique portraits of George and Martha Washington singing about feeling "at home in this nation we've made." The power and truth of that moment stays with me to this day. Hamilton touched me because it reflected the kind of history I had lived myself. It told a story about America that allowed diversity in.
If I can have any impact, I want women to feel good about themselves and have fun with fashion.
Even in these tough economic times, Barack Obama has left the VA budget as is so that they're prepared to deal with this influx of men and women who are coming home and dealing with a whole array of issues, not just around mental health but just caregiving and the stresses of reconnecting with families who have been away from each other for a very long time.
There is no magic to achievement. It's really about hard work, choices, and persistence.
I was a box-checker -- marching to the resolute beat of effort results, effort results -- a devoted follow of the established path.
Truly 1 percent of this country serves and protects the freedoms of the other 99 percent of us, so many of us don't have that connection. Fortunately, Jill Biden does. She's a blue-star mom. Their son was in the National Guard -- or is in the -- in -- is a Reservist.
A candidate is not going to suddenly change once they get into office. Just the opposite, in fact. Because the minute that individual takes that oath, they are under the hottest, harshest light there is. And there is no way to hide who they really are.
At the root of this dilemma is the way we view mental health in this country. Whether an illness affects your heart, your leg or your brain, it's still an illness, and there should be no distraction.
-- Michelle Obama.
Another suggestion is to cook a meal, maybe not every night, but a couple more times a week than you usually do. That way you have leftovers, and you take your lunch to work.
Failure is an important part of your growth. Don't be afraid to fail.
As president, you can get all kinds of advice from all kinds of people. But at the end of the day, when it comes time to make that decision, as president, all you have to guide you are your values and your vision and the life experiences that make you who you are.
I didn't want them ever to believe that life began when the man of the house arrived home. We didn't wait for Dad. It was his job now to catch up with us.
With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us. We as parents are their most important role models.
We have to design policies that have meaningful impacts on the quality of life of women and families. And that's something that I know I can speak passionately about because whether I'm in the White House as First Lady, as long as I have kids and I'm trying to have a life, I'm gonna be trying to make this balance work.
Service is a limitless opportunity, it is the reason why we breathe.
I considered all these people, current and former staff, to be family. And I was so proud of what we'd done.
But we need a medical community that's trained and knowledgeable and working on advancement.
I want a president with a record of public service: someone whose life's work shows our children that we don't chase form and fortune for ourselves; we fight to give everyone a chance to succeed.
I've seen firsthand that being president doesn't change who you are. It reveals who you are.
If your family doesn't have much money, I want you to remember that in this country, plenty of folks, including me and my husband, we started out with very little.
I tell this to my girls all the time: This journey we're on is a once -- in -- a -- lifetime opportunity.
You've got to vote, vote, vote, vote. That's it; that's the way we move forward. That's how we make progress for ourselves and for our country.
What I tell my kids is, 'I'm preparing you for college and for life. So, having independence, knowing how to set your own boundaries, figuring out how to make that balance. We still have screen-time rules.'
Friendships between women, as any woman will tell you, are built of a thousand small kindnesses... swapped back and forth and over again.
I admit it: I am louder than the average human being and have no fear of speaking my mind. These traits don't come from the color of my skin but from an unwavering belief in my own intelligence.
I love that we can trust Barack to do what he says he's going to do, even when it's hard -- especially when it's hard.
My happiness is measured against my kids' happiness -- when they're in a good place, I feel really good.
When you've worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity...you do not slam it shut behind you...you reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.
I have a very eclectic iPod. So I've got my cardio people -- so it's anything from Beyonce to some Jay-Z to Janelle Monae, her song 'Tightrope,' that's a good cardio song. And then I've got Sting. I've got Mary J. Blige. I've got The Beatles. I've got Michael Jackson. I try to pick the songs that I personally love.
Sometimes, it's just easier to say yes to that extra snack or dessert, because frankly, it is exhausting to keep saying no. It's exhausting to plead with our kids to eat just one more bite of vegetables.
After I got out of law school and worked in a big law firm, I thought, there are so many kids like me, in my neighborhood, that could be here if they had more support from their families, better financial aid. But the gap is so wide once you miss that opportunity. So I was always interested in figuring out, How do you bridge that? I felt, as a lawyer, when I was mentoring and working with kids, that I gained a level of groundedness that I just couldn't get sitting on the forty-seventh floor of a fancy firm.
When I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don't invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.
I view myself as being the average woman. While I am first lady, I wasn't first lady my whole life. I'm a product of pop culture. I'm a consumer of pop culture, and I know what resonates with people.
Don't worry about what candidates have done or said, just vote for the Democrats. Then, afterwards, you can go eat fried chicken.
Maybe you spend the whole day considering new ways to live before finally you fit every window back into its frame and empty your bucket of Pine-Sol into the sink. And maybe now all your certainty returns, because yes, truly, it's spring and once again you've made the choice to stay.
No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you are beautiful.
Barack is one of the smartest people you will ever encounter who will deign to enter this messy thing called politics.
They were me, as I'd once been. And I was them, as they could be.
If people wonder, yes, Hillary Clinton is my friend. She has been a friend to me and Barack and Malia and Sasha, and Bill and Chelsea have been embracing and supportive from the very day my husband took the oath of office.
There are so many really good role models out there, we just have to make sure that we don't glorify just one type. We have the first Latina Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, who is ready to be a force in kids' lives. I could name hundreds of people like her.
At the end of the day, when it comes time to make that decision, as president, all you have to guide you are your values, and your vision, and the life experiences that make you who you are.
I love french fries, I like a good burger, and I like pie. And that's okay. I would be depressed if I felt I could never eat the things that I love. I also don't want my girls to be obsessed about food. We don't have a "no junk food" rule -- I just want them to think about their choices.
When they go low, we go high.
I love that for Barack, there is no such thing as 'us' and 'them' -- he doesn't care whether you're a Democrat, a Republican, or none of the above... he knows that we all love our country... and he's always ready to listen to good ideas... he's always looking for the very best in everyone he meets.
My message to women: Do what makes you feel good, because there'll always be someone who thinks you should do it differently. Whether your choices are hits or misses, at least they're your own.
Every day, the people I meet inspire me... every day, they make me proud... every day they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on earth.
I think my mother taught me what not to do. She put us first, always, sometimes to the detriment of herself. She encouraged me not to do that. She'd say being a good mother isn't all about sacrificing; it's really investing and putting yourself higher on your priority list.
I felt the warm tug of the past and the melancholy of absence -- all of it a little jarring, accustomed as I was to the hermetic and youthful world of college. It was something deeper than what I normally felt at school, the slow shift of generational gears.
One of the things I've done personally is bring my girlfriends into my health and fitness journeys.
As women, we must stand up for ourselves. We must stand up for each other. We must stand up for justice for all.
To be a good parent, you need to take care of yourself so that you can have the physical and emotional energy to take care of your family.
Choose people who lift you up.
Style helps distinguish you ... It's a great potential opportunity that people tend to leave by the wayside.
The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can afford it. Rather, paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation.
We can't afford not to educate girls and give women the power and the access that they need.
Walk away from 'friendships' that make you feel small and insecure, and seek out people who inspire you and support you.
It's not about government telling people what to do. It's about each of us, in our own families, in our own communities, standing up and demanding more for our kids. And it's about companies like Walmart answering that call.
Through my education, I didn't just develop skills, I didn't just develop the ability to learn, but I developed confidence.
What I admire most about Hillary is that she never buckles under pressure. She never takes the easy way out. And Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her life.
What I admire most about Hillary is that she never buckles under pressure. She never takes the easy way out. And Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her life. And when I think about the kind of president that I want for my girls and all our children, that's what I want.
There's power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice.
There's power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there's grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.
If farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire...if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores...if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote...if a generation could defeat a depression, and define greatness for all time...if a young preacher could lift us to the mountaintop with his righteous dream...and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love...then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream.
We are a nation founded as a rebuke to tyranny. A nation of revolutionaries who refused sovereign reign from afar. Hear me -- we're a nation that says give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. A nation built on our differences, guided by the belief that we're all created equal.
I think Hillary Clinton is a phenomenal woman, and I've gotten to know her, and I think she's made some pretty major contributions over the course of her life.
I know what it feels like to struggle to get the education that you need.
I want a president who will teach our children that everyone in this country matters, a president who truly believes in the vision that our Founders put forth all those years ago that we are all created equal, each a beloved part of the great American story.
You don't have to be a renowned artist like Q-Tip to try your hand at poetry. You don't need any special equipment -- that's the beauty of it.
Let's invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It's not about being perfect. It's not about where you get yourself in the end. There's power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there's grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.
All of us are mentors. You're mentors right here and now. And one of the things I've always done throughout my life, I have always found that person, that group of people that I was going to reach my hand out and help bring them along with me.
We have had with Barack Obama some just amazing experiences traveling abroad, being able to introduce our children to the world.... I'm also humbled by the response and the receptiveness, not just here in America, but around the world. There's a part of that warmth and enthusiasm and hope that is surprising and humbling.
Time, as far as my father was concerned, was a gift you gave to other people.
For me exercise is more than just physical, it's therapeutic.
Even my husband is happier when I'm happy. He has always said, "You figure out what you want to do," because he's discovered that personal happiness is connected to everything.
I felt, as a lawyer, when I was mentoring and working with kids, that I gained a level of groundedness that I just couldn't get sitting on the forty-seventh floor of a fancy firm. Selfishly, it gives me joy -- it makes me feel like my life has a purpose.
When I'm unhappy with something, people know, because I don't want to hold on to it. I'd rather deal immediately with the stuff that bothers me, so using my network -- my girlfriends, my husband, my mom -- I talk a lot, I vent.
My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my 'blackness' than ever before.
My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my 'blackness' than ever before. I have found that at Princeton, no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don't belong.
It's always positive to hear how many people are willing to step up -- whether it is the employment community, mental health community, or medical community.
And in my own life, in my own small way, I've tried to give back to this country that has given me so much. That's why I left a job at a law firm for a career in public service, working to empower young people to volunteer in their communities. Because I believe that each of us -- no matter what our age or background or walk of life -- each of us has something to contribute to the life of this nation.
Becoming requires equal parts patience and rigor. Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there's more growing to be done.
We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do' list.
I've wanted to ask my detractors which part of that phrase matters to them the most -- is it "angry" or "black" or "woman"?
Do not die in the history of your past hurts and past experiences, but live in the now and future of your destiny.
The issues that cross a president's desk are never easy. The easy questions don't even get to the president.
I hate fund-raising. Haaaaate it. Hate, hate it.
There's a power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there's a grace in being willing to know and hear others.
I think I'm pretty smart. I think I'm pretty clever. But there's a lot that you hone in on when you finish your education.
We need an adult in the White House. When making life-or-death, war-or-peace decisions, a president can't just pop off or lash out irrationally.
I say this everywhere I go: I admire and respect Hillary. She has been a lawyer, a law professor, First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, a U.S. Senator, Secretary of State.
One thing I want to clarify -- that every service member, veteran, wants us to remember -- is that the vast majority of people returning from service come back completely healthy. But when we do come across someone who is struggling. We have to develop a culture of open arms and acceptance so that they feel comfortable saying, "I'm a veteran. And by the way, I need little help." This is something we need to do in this country around mental health as a whole -- destigmatizing mental health.
Stages, audiences, lights, applause. These were becoming more normal than I'd ever thought they could be. What I lived for now were the unrehearsed, un-photographed, in-between moments where nobody was performing and no one was judging and real surprise was still possible -- where sometimes without warning you might feel a tiny latch spring open on your heart.
All my memories of my father include some manifestation of his disability, even if none of us were quite willing to call it that yet. What I knew at the time was that my dad moved a bit more slowly than other dads. I sometimes saw him pausing before walking up a flight of stairs, as if needing to think through the maneuver before actually attempting it.
It's all about patience and persistence -- you often have to expose a child to a new food numerous times before he or she will begin to like it. So keep trying!
Wounded Warriors tell me they're not just going to walk again, they're going to run, and they're going to run marathons!
Talking is good. Conversations have to be forever.
It's all a process,steps along a path. Becoming requires equal parts patience and rigor. Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there's more growing to be done.
I would be depressed if I felt I could never eat the things that I love. I also don't want my girls to be obsessed about food.
And then there's this guy, Barack Obama, who lost -- I could take up a whole afternoon talking about his failures, but -- he lost his first race for Congress, and now he gets to call himself my husband.
What struck me was how assured he seemed of his own direction in life. He was oddly free from doubt, though at first glance it was hard to understand why.
He was like a wind that threatened to unsettle everything.
I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves, and I watch my daughters -- two beautiful, intelligent black young women -- playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters, and all our sons and daughters, now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.
Success isn't about how your life looks to others. It's about how it feels to you.
Barack puts on his suit and tie and he's out the door -- I'm getting my hair, makeup, the kids, I gotta brush their hair. You know, he's always looking like 'where are you? where are you going?' But yeah, you know -- it's fun to look pretty.
No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.
I can't say this enough -- the food that you put into your bodies can actually help you get better grades. And it can also affect your performance in sports and other activities too. You see, when you give your body the best possible fuel, you have more energy, you're stronger, you think more quickly.
People want to feel hopeful.
The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more.
When you are president, being able to clearly articulate detailed plans to help the people of this country is a good thing. Knowing what you're doing is a good thing. And let me tell you, Hillary Clinton absolutely knows what she's doing.
The realities are that, you know, as a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station, you know.
I didn't want the details: I just wanted to know how to feel.
The need to situate someone inside his or her ethnicity and the frustration that comes when it can't be easily done.
I was astonished to see how our leaders treated him only as a threat to their power, inciting mistrust by playing on backward, anti-intellectual ideas about race and class.
That's where you just have to get creative. There are all these trampoline parks and there's bowling and there's roller skating.
I am a sleeper. When you wake up at 4:30 in the morning to do a workout, you're sleepy at 8 in the evening. By 10 o'clock at the latest, I'm in bed.
I felt it then -- the power of what we were doing, the significance of the ritual -- as we stood there with our future still unwritten, with every unknown still utterly unknown, just gripping each other's hands as we said our vows.
It's hard to put into words what sometimes you pick up in the ether, the quiet, cruel nuances of not belonging- the subtle cues that tell you to not risk anything, to find your people and just stay put.
America is just downright mean.
Our parents had drilled us under the importance of using proper diction, of saying "going" instead of "goin" and "isn't" instead of "ain't ." We were taught to finish off words. They bought us a dictionary and a full Encyclopedia Britannica set, which lived on a shelf in the stairwell to our apartment, its titles etched in gold. Any time we had a question about a word, or a concept, or some piece of history, they directed us toward those books. Dandy, too, was an influence, meticulously correcting our grammar and admonishing us to enunciate our words when we went over for dinner. The idea was we were to transcend, to get ourselves further. They'd planned for it. They encouraged it. We were expected not just to be smart but to own our smartness -- to inhabit it with pride -- and this filtered down to how we spoke.
The difference between us and them, between you and success, is not that you never fail, but it's how you recover from those failures -- is that you keep getting up time and time again. You figure out what you did wrong, and then you make it right. I say that to my kids every day.
My mother maintained the sort of parental mind-set that I now recognize as brilliant and nearly impossible to emulate -- kind of unflappable Zen neutrality... She wasn't quick to judge and she wasn't quick to meddle. Instead, she monitored our moods and bore benevolent witness to whatever travails or triumphs a day might bring... When we'd done something great, we received just enough praise to know she was happy with us, but never so much that it became the reason we did what we did.
We've gotten commitments from medical schools, from nursing schools, to step up and increase that pool of knowledgeable individuals.
I knew from my own life experience that when someone shows genuine interest in your learning and development, even if only for ten minutes in a busy day, it matters. It matters especially for women, for minorities, for anyone society is quick to overlook.
We have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be.
We were so young, so in love, and so in debt.
When you're not engaged in the day-to-day struggles that everybody feels, you slowly start losing touch. And I think it's important for the people in the White House to have a finger on the pulse.
I think in the end, I want to make sure that my kids come out of this thing on the other end in one piece. But I also know that that's how the rest of the country feels as well, so for that I am grateful.
Promotion Does not Change you, it Reveals who you are.
It was clear to me that if I could get through Princeton at the top of my class, I could do anything in the world.
Good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don't hurt.
Being healthy isn't about inches, pounds, or how kids look -- it's about how they feel and making sure they feel good about themselves. So rather than focusing on appearance, it's important to emphasize to kids that when we eat healthy food and stay active, we feel better, and we can perform better in everything we do, from athletics to academics.
We don't need new discoveries or new inventions to reverse this trend. We have the tools at our disposal to reverse it. All we need is the motivation, the opportunity and the willpower to do what needs to be done. ...With this report, we have a very solid road map that we need to make these goals real, to solve this problem within a generation.
Barack didn't pledge riches, only a life that would be interesting. On that promise he delivered.
As a kid, you learn to measure long before you understand the size or value of anything. Eventually, if you're lucky, you learn that you've been measuring all wrong.
One thing I just want to say to the military families -- while you might not wear a uniform, I know -- we all know, the nation knows -- that you serve and sacrifice right alongside of your loved ones. And we are so grateful and proud of all of you for your service to this nation.
Be passionate about something and lean to that strength.
We were planting seeds of change, the fruit of which we might never see. We had to be patient.
The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.
For me, becoming isn't about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn't end.
For me, becoming isn't about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn't end. I became a mother, but I still have a lot to learn from and give to my children. I became a wife, but I continue to adapt to and be humbled by what it means to truly love and make a life with another person. I have become, by certain measures, a person of power, and yet there are moments still when I feel insecure or unheard.
The issues a president faces are not black and white, and cannot be boiled down into 140 characters. Because when you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military at your command, you can't make snap decisions. You can't have a thin skin or the tendency to lash out.
To me, Southside was as big as heaven. And heaven, as I envisioned it, had to be a place full of jazz.
Women and girls can do whatever they want. There is no limit to what we as women can accomplish.
Every scar that you have is a reminder not just that you got hurt, but that you survived.
Policies that support families aren't political issues. They're personal. They're the causes I carry with me every single day.
We went back and forth, week after week, as I remember it. I was stubborn and so was she. I had a point of view and she did, too. In between disputes, I continued to play the piano and she continued to listen, offering a stream of corrections. I gave her little credit for my improvement as a player. She gave me little credit for improving. But still, the lessons went on.
The choice, as he saw it, was this: You give up or you work for change. "What's better for us?" Barack called to the people gathered in the room. "Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?
There were the questions of what kind of First Lady I would be, what issues would I focus on. Those were the questions that were being pounded on me through the campaign. A lot of times, I wondered what in the world Barack was even getting us into.
I always say that women should wear whatever makes them feel good about themselves. That's what I always try to do.
Don't judge. I used to buy underwear because I didn't do my laundry.
This year, 1.7 million young people will be participating in Olympic and Paralympic sports in their communities-many of them for the very first time. And that is so important, because sometimes all it takes is that first lesson, or clinic, or class to get a child excited about a new sport. This summer, together with our children, we can support Team USA not just by cheering them on, but by striving to live up to the example they set.
The work-life balance is a harsh reality for so many women, who are forced every day to make impossible choices. Do they take their kids to the doctor ... and risk getting fired? Do they work weekends so they can afford to send their kids to better childcare ... even though it means even less time with their families? Do they take another shift at work, so they can pay for piano lessons for their kids ... even though it means they have to stop volunteering for the PTA? It just shouldn't be this difficult to raise healthy families.
I was ambitious, though I didn't know exactly what I was shooting for.
I've seen how the issues that come across a president's desk are always the hard ones -- the problems where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer.
Talent and effort, combined with our various backgrounds and life experiences, has always been the lifeblood of our singular American genius.
History has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.
Some of my best memories are sitting on my dad's lap, cheering on Olga and Nadia, Carl Lewis and others for their brilliance and perfection.
I come here tonight as a sister, blessed with a brother who is my mentor, my protector and my lifelong friend. And I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president.
I have the privilege of working on the issues that I choose and the issues that I feel most passionate about. It's been a privilege.
We learned about dignity and decency -- that how hard you work matters more than how much you make... that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself.
The most useless questions an adult can ask a child- What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that's the end.
This year's 2016 White House holiday theme is "The Gift of the Holidays," and our decorations reflect some of our greatest gifts as a nation: from our incredible military families, to the life-changing impact of a great education.
We all play a role in this democracy. We need to remember the power of every vote. I continue, too, to keep myself connected to a force that's larger and more potent than any one election, or leader, or news story--and that's optimism. For me, this is a form of faith, an antidote to fear.
I sighed sometimes, watching Barack pull the same dark suit out of his closet and head off to work without even needing a comb. ... I quickly found out a truth that no one talks about: Today, virtually every woman in public life -- politicians, celebrities, you name it -- has some version of Meredith, Johnny, and Carl. It's all but a requirement, a built-in fee for our societal double standard.
I had the honor of meeting a young Pakistani woman named Malala Yousafzai, who was shot and nearly killed just for trying to go to school. I also heard about how nearly 300 girls in Nigeria were kidnapped from their school dorms in the middle of the night. There are girls like this in every corner of the globe. In fact, there are more than 62 million girls worldwide not attending school, and that's an outrage.
People change because of kids. They change how they eat. They change the way they think. They change the way they see one another.
I grew up on the south side of Chicago in a working class community. There were no miracles in my life, there's nothing miraculous about how I grew up, and I want people to know when they look at me, to be clear that they see what an investment in public education can look like.
So many of us go through life with our stories hidden, feeling ashamed or afraid when our whole truth doesn't live up to some established ideal. We grow up with messages that tell us there's only one way to be American -- that if our skin is dark or our hips are too wide, if we don't experience love in a particular way, if we speak another language or come from a different country, then we don't belong. That is, until someone dares to start telling that story differently. (From Becoming, 2018).
We need a president who will choose to do what's best for the country, even when it doesn't personally benefit them.
I'm asking myself, 'What do my girls, what do all our children deserve in their president? What kind of a president do we want for them?' Well, to start with, I think we want someone who is a unifying force in this country: someone who sees our differences not as a threat, but as a blessing.
When it comes to the health of our families, Barack refused to listen to all those folks who told him to leave health reform for another day, another president. He didn't care whether it was the easy thing to do politically -- that's not how he was raised -- he cared that it was the right thing to do.
And I come here as a daughter, raised on the South Side of Chicago -- by a father who was a blue-collar city worker and a mother who stayed at home with my brother and me.
I never cut class. I loved getting A's, I liked being smart. I liked being on time. I thought being smart is cooler than anything in the world.
I was fuming, my ego bruised more than anything. My only thought, in the moment, was I'll show you.
If I point to anything that makes me who I am, it's that I have a whole lot of common sense. I've got a good mind and a good ability to read people and situations.
Do not be afraid to ask for help. Nobody gets through college on their own.
We need all hands on deck, and that means clearing hurdles for women and girls as they navigate careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.
I try to tell young people to get in shape now, because it's easier. If you're 30 and want to drop 10 pounds, all you have to do is just walk.
At fifty-four, I am still in progress, and I hope that I always will be.
Working with our military community has been the biggest honor of my life.
I didn't just start with ...local city officials because I knew that they would understand the problem. I started with them because I knew that our cities, towns and counties would be a key part of the solution to this issue. ...there is no one-size-fits all policy or program that can solve this problem. And Washington certainly does not have all the answers. Instead, many of the best, most innovative, most effective solutions start in our city halls and our towns and our county councils.
The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake. This isn't the kind of problem that can be solved overnight, but with everyone working together, it can be solved. So, let's move.
One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don't invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.
We believe that every single child has boundless promise, no matter who they are, where they come from, or how much money their parents have. We've got to remember that. We believe that each of these young people is a vital part of the great American story.
The biggest obstacle facing girls is education, education, education. There are too many kids who think high school is a pit stop to fame and fortune. I want girls in this country to think education is the coolest, most important thing they could ever do in their lives.
I believe that each of us-no matter what our age or background or walk of life-each of us has something to contribute to the life of this nation.
I don't, as my mom would say, sweat the small stuff in our relationship. Because when I think of day-to-day irritations that you might have with the one you love, they're nothing compared to the bigger task at hand.
Believe it or not, when we were first married, our combined monthly student loan bills were actually higher than our mortgage.
Women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health, because if we're scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don't have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own 'to do' list.
Because no matter what happened, I had the peace of mind of knowing that all of the chatter, the name-calling, the doubting -\-\ all of it was just noise. It did not define me. It didn't change who I was. And most importantly, it couldn't hold me back.
Barack and I were both raised by families who didn't have much in the way of money or material possessions but who had given us something far more valuable -- their unconditional love, their unflinching sacrifice, and the chance to go places they had never imagined for themselves.
Childhood obesity isn't some simple, discrete issue. There's no one cause we can pinpoint. There's no one program we can fund to make it go away. Rather, it's an issue that touches on every aspect of how we live and how we work.
Our veterans who fall on hard times and find themselves without a home deserve more than just handwringing or kind words. They deserve real help that gets them back on their feet.
The issues facing working women and their families are closest to my heart. I decided to focus intently on the challenges military wives face because they juggle the same pressures as their nonmilitary peers, all while coping as single parents while their loved ones are overseas. I wanted to help make their voices heard.
You see, even though back then Barack was a Senator and a presidential candidate... to me, he was still the guy who'd picked me up for our dates in a car that was so rusted out, I could actually see the pavement going by through a hole in the passenger side door... he was the guy whose proudest possession was a coffee table he'd found in a dumpster, and whose only pair of decent shoes was half a size too small.
These were highly intelligent, able-bodied men who were denied access to stable high-paying jobs, which in turn kept them from being able to buy homes, send their kids to college, or save for retirement. It pained them, I know, to be cast aside, to be stuck in jobs that they were overqualified for, to watch white people leapfrog past them at work, sometimes training new employees they knew might one day become their bosses. And it bred within each of them at least a basic level of resentment and mistrust: You never quite knew what other folks saw you to be.
My sense is that being a First Lady is a full-time job, but I'll know more when the time comes.
You look at all the sporting companies out there. I won't name names, but we know who they are. Good brands and logos and things like that, and they have to start catering to real women. Even in how their sports apparel is designed, and the commercials -- you want to look at a commercial and see yourself.
Good health is multifaceted -- it's physical, it's internal, it's my diet, and my emotional state. It's all tied in together.
Since we started the Let's Move! initiative, I've been looking for as many ways as possible to help families and kids lead healthier lives. And I've come to realize that if we were going to take just one step to make ourselves and our families healthier, probably the single best thing we could do is to simply drink more water. It's as simple as that. Drink more water.
We need someone with superb judgement in their own right because, yes, a president can hire the best advisors on Earth, but I guarantee you this: Five advisors will give five different opinions. And it is the president -- and the president alone -- who always makes the final call.
Right now, when we're hearing so much disturbing and hateful rhetoric, it is so important to remember that our diversity has been -- and will always be -- our greatest source of strength and pride here in the United States.
Nobody knew how long my father had been feeling poorly before he first took himself to the doctor, but my guess is it had already been months if not years. He didn't like medical appointments. He wasn't interested in complaining. He was the sort of person who accepted what came and just kept moving forward.
Communities and countries and ultimately the world are only as strong as the health of their women.
Now, a good education is about so much more than just learning geometry or memorizing dates in history. All of that is important, but an education is also about exploring new things -- discovering what makes you come alive, and then being your best at whatever you choose.
Whether you come from a council estate or a country estate, your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude.
I want the young people to pay attention because, see, back when I first met Barack, we started dating, he had everything going for him. All right, ladies, listen to this. This is what I want you to be looking for. Yes, he was handsome-still is. I think so. He was charming, talented, and oh-so smart, truly. But that is not why I married him. Now, see, I want the fellas to pay attention to this. You all listening? What truly made me fall in love with Barack Obama was his character. You hear me? It was his character. It was his decency, his honesty, his compassion and conviction.
I tried to be a serious student and not procrastinate, but I was still somebody that would be described as somebody who liked to have fun, too, and go to the occasional party -- or two or three.
Do we settle for the world as it is or do we work for the world as it should be?
The problem is when that fun stuff becomes the habit. And I think that's what's happened in our culture. Fast food has become the everyday meal.
At this point, I'd been First Lady for just over two months. In different moments, I'd felt overwhelmed by the pace, unworthy of the glamour, anxious about our children, and uncertain of my purpose. There are pieces of public life, of giving up one's privacy to become a walking, talking symbol of a nation, that can seem specifically designed to strip away part of your identity. But here, finally, speaking to those girls, I felt something completely different and pure--an alignment of my old self with this new role. Are you good enough? Yes, you are, all of you. I told the students of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson that they'd touched my heart. I told them that they were precious, because they truly were. And when my talk was over, I did what was instinctive. I hugged absolutely every single girl I could reach.
My role models were the people in my life. My mom, for sure. My dad. The teachers. For me, role-modeling was immediate, it was touchable. It was rare for me to idolize a movie star or a singer...because, truly, children connect with who is in their lives, present and accounted for.
I think employers need help in understanding how to translate a military career.
My goals mostly involved maintaining normalcy and stability, but those would never be Barack's. We'd grown better about recognizing this and letting is be. One yin, one yang. I creaved routine and order, and he did not. He could live in the ocean; I needed the boat.
Not being afraid to be wrong -- I had to learn how to do that.
Our life before moving to Washington was filled with simple joys... Saturdays at soccer games, Sundays at grandma's house... and a date night for Barack and me was either dinner or a movie, because as an exhausted mom, I couldn't stay awake for both.
I love our daughters more than anything in the world -- more than life itself. And while that may not be the first thing that some folks want to hear from an Ivy-league-educated lawyer, it is truly who I am. So for me, being Mom-in-Chief is, and always will be, job number one.
What we know is that when girls don't go to school, they earn lower salaries. They get married earlier. They have higher infant and maternal mortality rates. And they're more likely to contract HIV, less likely to immunize their children.
I mean, that's the least we should do for these men and women veterans and military spouses, is to make sure they come back to jobs that pay, to career opportunities, that these spouses are able to add a second income to their households, because these families do not have a lot of resources.
Like so many American families, our families weren't asking for much. They didn't begrudge anyone else's success or care that others had much more than they did, in fact, they admired it.
My happiness isn't connected to my husband's or my boss's or my children's behavior. You have control over your own actions, your own well-being.
It hurts to live after someone has died. It just does. It can hurt to walk down a hallway or a open the fridge. It hurts to put on a pair of socks, to brush your teeth. Food tastes like nothing. Colors go flat. Music hurts, and so do memories. You look at something you'd otherwise find beautiful -- a purple sky at sunset or a playground full of kids and it only somehow deepens the loss. Grief is so lonely this way.
You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it's important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.
I am so tired of fear. And I don't want my girls to live in a country, in a world, based on fear.
If my future were determined just by my performance on a standardized test, I wouldn't be here. I guarantee you that.