First lady Michelle Obama has learned many different things during her time in the White House, not just about politics but about herself. When asked by Oprah if her last eight years have somehow revealed “another level of Michelle Robinson Obama,” Mrs. Obama says she’s gotten more in touch with a part of herself that women in particular tend to downplay.
“We as women, we as minorities… we underestimate ourselves,” Mrs. Obama says. “I’m pretty smart. I work pretty hard. I’m good at what I do. I have really good instincts. I have great ideas. And I can execute. I say that out loud because we as women don’t pat ourselves on the back. We’re always sort of deferring. We cede our power so easily.”
In this context, Mrs. Obama then offers a message that she wants young girls everywhere to know:
“Live out loud,” she says. “Understand that what’s in your brain is really useful. Do not hide it. Don’t dumb it down. Don’t apologize for it. Just put it on the table and let people deal with it.”
Mrs. Obama’s staff, she continues, should also take the message to heart and take pride in what they’ve accomplish while executing countless “high-wire” acts across the globe.
“I’m just proud of the ability of my team, many of whom are young ― many of them are women, but many of them are so young,” Mrs. Obama says. “I just remind them: You did this. You were able to come into this house on that day, that day in 2008, knowing nothing, knowing nothing about what this would be or what would be required of all of us. And we did it, and we did it well, and we did it with high standards. And we didn’t compromise our values.”
Michelle Obama’s full interview is currently available on the free Watch OWN app.
Another moment from the interview: