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Top 10 Revealing Facts from Michelle Obama's Book

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
She’ll always be the first lady of our hearts. For this list we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Revealing Facts From Michelle Obama's Book.We’ll be looking at the most interesting and surprising information we learned from the former first lady’s memoir, “Becoming”.
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Top 10 Revealing Facts from Michelle Obama's Book

She’ll always be the first lady of our hearts. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Revealing Facts from Michelle Obama's Book.

For this list, we’re looking at the most interesting and surprising information we learned from the former first lady’s memoir, “Becoming”.

#10: She Didn't Think Her Husband Would Win

Mrs. Obama covers a lot of ground in this memoir, and of course one period of her life that readers were eager to hear about was the historic 2008 presidential election, where she stood alongside her husband on his way to victory. Shockingly though, Michelle admits that she wasn’t always confident that Barack could pull off the win, because of the racial tensions that she knew existed in the country. She wrote, bluntly, “Barack was a black man in America, after all. I didn’t really think he could win.” She said that she and other African Americans at the time were reluctant to be optimistic because of this.

#9: The Story Behind Her Face at ‘That’ Inauguration

If you were watching the coverage of Donald Trump’s 2017 presidential inauguration, you may have noticed that not everyone there looked happy about the big event. Many news outlets posted photos of Michelle Obama’s face at various points during the proceedings, looking skeptical or even downright peeved. In “Becoming”, she talks about that day and the dismay she felt about the homogenous nature of the people on stage, which didn’t feature much diversity in terms of race or gender. She admits that she “stopped even trying to smile” and let viewers get a glimpse of her real emotions.

#8: She Snuck into Pride Celebrations

While the Obamas may have been at the center of the news cycle for more than eight years, there were some times when Michelle just wanted to be able to react to a major decision just like the rest of the public. When the Supreme Court announced that same sex marriage would be legal across the country in June of 2015, a crowd of revelers gathered outside the White House, which was lit up like the rainbow pride flag. Michelle was watching the news unfold on TV, but decided to grab Malia and try to sneak out in order to celebrate this historic moment.

#7: Her Guidance Counselor Told Her She Wouldn’t Get into Princeton

Michelle Obama was one of the top students in her high school, but when it came time to start applying to colleges, her guidance counselor tried to dissuade her from aiming high and sending an application to Princeton, saying that she wasn’t “Princeton material”. She didn’t let these comments get to her however, and she went elsewhere for a letter of recommendation, saying, “I wasn’t going to let one person’s opinion dislodge everything I knew about myself.” And we all know how this one ends because she went on to graduate from Princeton and attend Harvard Law.

#6: She & Barack Jumped Right in to Their Relationship

The Obamas' first date has been fictionalized in the 2016 movie “Southside with You”, and as they tell it, the real thing sounds pretty darn magical. The two met when Barack became a summer associate at the law firm Michelle was working at, Sidley Austin LLP. They ended up dating, and as Michelle explains in “Becoming”, they “wasted no time being casual”. Because Barack was going back to school at the end of the summer, their relationship was fast tracked, and the rest of course is history.

#5: She Doesn’t Have Political Aspirations

During the 2016 election, many people were vocal about their interest in seeing Michelle Obama seek political office, and we have a hunch that the feeling will be the same in 2020. But in her book, she breaks some bad news: she has no interest in entering the political arena. She makes things abundantly clear in the epilogue, saying plainly that she has, “no intention of running for office, ever.” Hey, people have changed their minds in the past though, so we don’t have to completely lose hope just yet.

#4: Barack Proposed in a ‘Unique’ Way
In the book, Michelle shares the - let’s just say - not so romantic way that Barack asked her to marry him. The two were out for dinner celebrating Barack’s completion of the Bar exam when they began to talk about marriage. Barack said he "didn't really see the point" of it, which understandably put Michelle on the defensive, and caused a tense discussion. Not long after however, their waiter showed up with a dessert plate covered by a silver lid, and inside was an engagement ring box. She says that he said to her playfully, "Well, that should shut you up."

#3: The Obamas Underwent Couples Counselling

We can probably all agree that Barack and Michelle are #relationshipgoals, but they’re open about the fact that the perfect marriage doesn’t happen without putting in some work. In “Becoming”, Michelle details some of their experience with marriage counselling, which they started doing not long after becoming parents. Even though this was long before Barack was elected president, his career still kept him very busy, and the two needed help communicating about the time that they were forced to spend apart. Clearly it worked, because look at where they are now!

#2: The Story Behind Her Royal Faux Pas

It was the hug seen around the world when Michelle Obama famously engaged in physical contact with Queen Elizabeth II, a major faux pas. Footage emerged of the two with their arms around each other, sparking much discussion in the news. So how did that hug end up happening? Apparently, the two women were discussing how much their heels were hurting their feet after the Queen commented on Ms. Obama’s Jimmy Choos. Sadly, we don’t have audio of the full conversation! The two continued to be friendly in later meetings.

#1: Her Daughters Were Conceived Through IVF

The biggest piece of information that has made headlines in the wake of the book being published has to do with the Obamas experiencing infertility while trying to have their children. Before Sasha and Malia were born, Michelle had a miscarriage, and she said of the experience, “A miscarriage is lonely, painful, and demoralising almost on a cellular level.” In “Becoming”, she encourages women to not feel like a miscarriage is a personal failure, though she acknowledges how difficult it can be. The couple later found success using in vitro fertilization, which is how they conceived their daughters. Because women of color have higher infertility rates but are less likely to seek treatment, many experts agree that Mrs. Obama’s admission could be an important breakthrough in infertility awareness.




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