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All the times we fell in love with Michelle Obama

By Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo   |   14 January 2017   |   3:55 am
Michelle Obama. PHOTO: Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Michelle Obama. PHOTO: Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

It is a truth universally acknowledged that there has never been a cooler, sassier, more elegant and graceful First Lady than Michelle Lavaughn Robinson-Obama in the White House. Safe to say, Mrs Obama will go down in history as one of the most influential First Ladies in America who has inspired millions.

Matching her husband Barack Obama, in both eloquence and swag; as per her husband’s tearful tribute last week, she “took a role [she] didn’t ask for and made it [her] own with grace, with wit, and with style” while in the process, making us fall for her grace, poise and sense of style.

When she fist-bumped hubby
Oh, snap! Fox News almost had a coronary at the sight out two black Americans partaking in what they perceived as a gang sign. How dare they fist-bump? Doesn’t he know he can’t do that when he is running for President? Oh dear… Back then eight years ago what ruffled feathers and made headlines was far more innocent than ‘pussy-grabbing.’ What a wonderful time that was…


When she said, ‘Let’s move’, taught us to ‘Reach Higher’ and asked the world to ‘Let girls learn’
Whether on home turf or globally, FLOTUS launched and supported causes that are not only close to her heart but also contribute to societies and the world at large in meaningful ways empowering girls, the youth and enhancing health and wellbeing.

When she danced like no one was watching… countless times!
FLOTUS was never afraid to dance in public, and each time she got to her feet, she danced her way a little further into our hearts. Remember the time she danced to Uptown Funk with Ellen Degeneres and the All Stars from the reality dance show So You Think You Can Dance? Or when she taught us all how to do ‘The Dougie’ at a middle school in the US?

How about that time in India in 2010 when she danced to the title track of Rang De Basanti with 33 physically challenged children from the NGO Make a Difference’s Mumbai chapter?

Or the time she swayed with the President and the 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin during Black History Month?

Then there is also the time she mum-danced on late night TV in April 2015, with Jimmy Fallon, when she showed the ‘Evolution of Mom Dancing 2’ with moves like the “You Go, Girl,” the “Shimmy Twist” and the “Knock Knock.”

When she wore and honored African designers
Let’s admit: we all swooned a little when she rocked up Nigerian designers. FLOTUS not only wore a top by Maki Oh while on her African tour in 2013, she also invited Amaka of Maki Oh to participate in a Celebration of Design featuring her favourite designers. She was The First Lady has been spotted in Mimi Plange, Duro Olowu, ASOS Africa, and Osei Duro pieces on many occasions.

When she hugged the Queen
What do you mean, no physical contact with the Queen? FLOTUS wasn’t going to let a bit of royal etiquette get in her way when she reached out and – in a ‘Oh no, she didn’t’ moment – hugged the Queen of England, and only as she could, got away with it too. What could have been a diplomatic disaster was seen as a sassy disregard for stiff bureaucracy – and the world loved Mrs Obama all the more for it.

When she lent her voice to #BringBackOurGirls
Michelle Obama was one of the first high profile figures to join the chorus of people protesting the kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by Islamist militants in 2014. She held up a card with the hashtag which has since birthed hundreds of memes.

When she presented at the Oscars
The First Lady showed us she can do Hollywood glam too when she connected live from the White House to announce the Best Picture Oscar to Argo on February 24, 2013.

When she told us to “go high”
Was there a more eloquent speech during the presidential campaigns? As Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were caught up in a ceaseless game of mud-slinging, FLOTUS rose above it all, like she had always done and reminded us that, “When they go low, we go high.”

When she wore that rose gold Versace dress
Yes way rosé! Michelle Obama had already shown us countless times a woman can be a mum and a wife and a professional; she can have the brains and the beauty and a killer figure and the fittest arms the White House has ever seen (Sorry, President Obama!). Yet her final State Dinner look in October 2016 was just a breathtaking moment – and a bittersweet reminder that this would be the last time she would play the hostess with the mostest.


When she sang ‘Single Ladies’ with James Corden
Have you ever seen or will you ever see a First Lady on a talk show singing out like us to one of the greatest pop icons of our time? That’s what happened when she on the Carpool Karaoke segment of “The Late Late Show with James Corden. The two jammed to Stevie Wonder and Beyonce and rapped with hip-hop star Missy Elliot in the backseat. Enough said.

When she bid us a most humble farewell
If thanking her supporters with a down-to-earth “being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life and I hope I’ve made you proud” is not a sign of how modest FLOTUS is, we don’t know what is.

Her parting shots to the American youth? “I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong, so don’t be afraid. You hear me, young people? Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourself with a good education. Then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of you boundless promise. Lead by example with hope; never fear.”




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