WHY I’LL MISS MICHELLE OBAMA
WHY I'LL MISS MICHELLE OBAMA
Live your magic
I can still vividly remember the night of November 4, 2008. I was sporting my Yes We Can’ t-shirt. I remember the goose bumps. I remember the overwhelming emotion. And the tears. The Obamas were the new first family. History had been made and for people from every corner of the globe, including myself, we were happy to be bearing witness to that moment. One that many thought they would not see in their lifetime. One that would inspire a new generation to believe that anything is possible.
As they walked onto that stage in Chicago to thunderous applause, I could not help but be in complete admiration of the new First Lady. She was beautiful and chic in her red and black Narciso Rodriguez dress. But it wasn’t that. There was something about her that shone when she spoke in her interviews. And when she walked onto the stage that night. There was something endearing, but astute. Something convivial, yet commanding. And over the course of her unparalleled tenure as First Lady, I am confident that I am not alone in saying that I fell in love with Michelle Obama.
She wasn’t arm candy. She wasn’t a figurehead. She was as educated and as sharp as her husband. She represented an ideal that, particularly for women of colour, had never before existed; a different kind of role model for little girls to look up to and emulate. And every black mother, including Beyonce Knowles, adored the template she was setting for young black girls. And everyone, including me and Oprah Winfrey, wanted to be her friend.
Michelle was a breath of fresh air for African Americans, Non-African Americans and Non-Americans. She was warm and welcoming. She was charming and caring. She was graceful and gracious. She was naturally beautiful. As then-Senator Obama wrote in his New York Times Bestseller The Audacity of Hope, “...not in a way that men find intimidating or women find off-putting; it is the lived in beauty of the mother and busy professional rather than the touched-up image we see on the cover of glossy magazines.”
Even so, Michelle has graced numerous magazine covers during her time as First Lady and did not for one instant look out of place. But more importantly than looking beautiful on the cover of a magazine or challenging beauty standards, was the substance behind the face. She was the personification of the ideal that anyone, from all walks of life, even from the humblest of beginning, could reach unimaginable heights through hard work and determination. As she told Oprah during her farewell interview, “I didn’t just wake up First Lady. I went to law school. I practiced law. I worked for the city. I ran a non-profit. I was an executive at a hospital.” So yes, while she was a beauty, it was her brilliance that won us over.
Michelle was the embodiment of class and cool. She delivered speeches with eloquence and conviction that would rouse any crowd and leave them inspired. And she could spit lyrics to Missy Elliot’s ‘Work It’ with effortless ease. She was the doting wife who would tweet sweet remarks after her husband’s speeches. And she was the nurturing and proud mother who was often pictured holding hands and laughing with her daughters who were growing up and flourishing right in front of our eyes.
Michelle Obama brought warmth, not only to the White House. But to the world. I could not watch an interview without smiling, or a speech without feeling inspired. I will never forget her words of wisdom and dignity as she told us, “..when they go low, we go high.” She has redefined the role of First Lady. And showed the world what many of us already knew: that black women can do anything. And we’ll do it with style, grace and flare.
In a lot of ways, Michelle wasn’t just the First Lady of the United States. And the world will miss her. I will miss her. For being an exemplary role model for girls and women everywhere. And for being the epitome of Black Girl Magic.
Alicia is a full-time writer/blogger and aspiring multi-hyphenate. Born in Toronto and raised in Jamaica, she now calls Montreal home. With a background in Broadcast-Journalism and a passion for inspiring through her writing, Alicia enjoys writing and creating content for the millennial woman. You can read more of her work at www.aluestory.com.