Though Michelle Obama went through her teenage years at a much different time than her daughter, Malia, some things, she says, are “universal.”
In a new interview for the January cover of Good Housekeeping, Mrs. Obama got candid about how she’d compare her own adolescence with Malia, 20, and daughter Sasha, 17.
“Malia and I were talking recently about all the little things we’d stress over in junior high and high school — whether we’re wearing the right clothes, a snarky comment somebody made about us, the boys we crushed on, and on and on and on,” Obama told Good Housekeeping. “We laughed about how many hours were spent inside our heads, hoping a boy would ask us to dance, or stewing over a big test, just doing everything we could to avoid even the most minor embarrassments.”
Mrs. Obama, 54, admitted that when she was younger, she “often wondered whether this kind of obsessive thinking was unique to me and my girlfriends, but I realize now that it was something every girl feels.”
“What’s inspiring to me is that so many of the young women I’ve met … are triumphing in incredible ways,” the Becoming author added to the magazine. “Unlike my generation, they’re not as held back by the societal belief that girls and boys can’t do the same things.”
In a recent Good Morning America interview, the former first lady said her daughters are well-adjusted despite spending their younger years in the spotlight while dad, former President Barack Obama, was in the White House.
“They’ve managed the situation with poise and grace and they are normal and kind and smart and friendly and open,” said Mrs. Obama. “It could’ve gone so wrong.”
And despite living in the country’s most famous house, Mrs. Obama has said the girls still dealt with normal teen rites of passage — including the prom.
According to Becoming, Malia, then 16, begged the first lady and president on her special night in spring 2015: “Just be cool please, okay?”
Malia told her parents that she’d been invited to prom “by a boy she kind of liked,” Mrs. Obama writes in the book.
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“On the appointed evening, her date arrived in his car,” the former first lady writes, “clearing security at the southeast gate of the White House, following the path up and around the South Lawn by which heads of state and other visiting dignitaries normally arrived, and then gamely — bravely — walking into the Dip Room dressed in a black suit.”
“Her embarrassment [had] already [begun] to smolder as we rode the elevator downstairs,” Mrs. Obama writes. “I was barefoot, and Barack was in flip-flops. Malia wore a long black skirt and an elegant bare-shouldered top. She looked beautiful and about twenty-three years old.”