Michelle Obama has just released her memoir, Becoming, which sold over 1.4million copies within the first week of launch! Michelle Obama needs no introduction, but just in case you’re in need of a reminder, Michelle Obama is best recognised as the first black First Lady of the USA. Her strong and determined persona to help change the lives of kids and adults alike, has inspired a generation around the world.
Growing up in the Southside of Chicago where her father worked at Chicago’s Water Department and her mother was a home-maker, Michelle had a humble upbringing where her family lived upstairs of her great-aunts house. Her interests comprised of piano lessons with her great-aunt, studying, and playing with her dolls. Michelle talked about how having access to education was a pivotal move in her life and without it, she would not be able to be where she is today. Her ambition and drive from a young age set her apart and her hard-work gained her entry into Princeton University.
Neither of Michelle’s parents went to college and growing up with prejudice against blacks and whites, Michelle discussed how people of colour had to work twice as hard to gain the same opportunities as white people in America. Despite this, Michelle continued to strive and grabbed on to every opportunity she could which landed her a Law degree and a position at Sidley & Austin, a law firm in Chicago.
“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 that there’s only one way to be American - that if our skin is dark or our hips are wide…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.”
Fast forwarding to when Michelle Obama became First Lady - a position which Michelle never imagined to be in - she has contributed her efforts in many initiatives focusing on helping underprivileged children gain access to better health and education in the USA and internationally. The Let’s Move! campaign, being one of many successful campaigns Michelle started, launched in 2010 and has resulted in school meal nutrition standards being updated after almost 2 decades and achieved an increase in funding for the first time in 30 years. This has meant that 50 million kids from American public schools now have better access to healthier school meals. Part of this same initiative, 12million kids now go to a school where 60 minutes of exercise a day is a requirement.
Knowing that Michelle Obama was just an ordinary girl who went to a public school and lived a simple childhood, she sees a reflection of herself in many young kids around the world. Alternatively, many of us may see a reflection of us, in Michelle.
“…Failure is a feeling long before it’s an actual result. And for me, it felt like that’s exactly what she was planting - a suggestion of failure long before I’d even tried to succeed.”
From Michelle, we can learn how to channel our doubts into a mechanism that accepts the challenge so we can reach our highest potential. To do this, it’s important to recognise inclusivity and the power of diversity in society to break down the barriers that are keeping many of us from doing the best. It’s everyones responsibility to empower one another and together, we can make it easier for the following generations to gain access to health, education and career opportunities that they deserve to have. Women of colour especially are the most disadvantaged group of people in society and Michelle’s initiatives have inspired so many girls around the world to stop limiting their beliefs and achieve their career & life ambitions.
“Becoming requires equal parts patience and rigour. Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there’s more growing to be done.”
Michelle Obama is without a doubt, one of the most inspiring people of our generation and is a reminder that our hard-work always pays off! #VSNARY is an inclusive platform where we recognise us all as visionaries. We want you to feel inspired and fuelled to take on the challenges life presents you when you wear our clothes. We want to serve as a reminder that you are capable of reaching whatever goal you wish to achieve. Shop our collections now and stay tuned to see what we have been working hard on - including #VSNARY’s women’s collection!
Have a vision, be a #VSNARY.