Michelle Obama admitted that for long periods she had a negative view of herself related to her appearance as well as suffering from “obsessions of fear”, stressing at the same time the importance of having self-satisfaction, especially for women, saying that “we have to learn to love ourselves as we are.”
In her new book, the former first lady of the United States reveals that she was never satisfied with her appearance, saying, “I hated my appearance all the time, no matter what.”
Speaking to the BBC Breakfast morning radio programme, she revealed that she eventually found ways and strategies to be kind to herself and her self-image.
“I’m still a work in progress, and it’s still a challenge to confront myself every morning with something nice,” she said.
“Every day, as I say in the book, I try to greet myself with a positive message,” added Mrs. Obama.
“It’s really a shame and a pity that so many of us, especially women, find it hard just to look at their picture without wanting to rip it off, and hard to know what’s wrong,” she says.
“I think this is the fundamental reason why we feel uncomfortable and unhappy, because unless we start to learn to love ourselves as we are, it is difficult to pass that on to others.
“And that’s why I work on this on a daily basis.”
Mrs. Obama, 58, resided at the White House with her husband, former US President Barack Obama, for eight years between 2009 and 2017.
In the only media interview Michelle Obama has given in the UK for her new book, The Light We Carry, Naga Manchetti of BBC Breakfast told her: “You are often seen as an inspiration.”
Mansheti continued, “You are seen as the self-confident woman, the established woman, the intelligent woman… If you feel such feelings, what hope can there be left for us?”
Mrs. Obama replied, “I think that’s the point of sharing feelings (and experience).”
“We all have those thoughts, those negative thoughts that have lived with us for years, especially as women, as women of color, and where we don’t feel that we can express ourselves within our society,” she added.
“I think we’re in a better place now, but one of the things I’ve talked about is how it was back, not just as a black woman, but as a tall black woman, years before Serena and Venus Williams, before we had the NFL. basketball for women, and we have role models other than gymnasts.”
“It is important for us to know who we can become in the future, so that we can feel good about ourselves,” says Michelle Obama.
Dealing with fear
Obama also spoke about the importance of dealing with “the fear that arises naturally within all of us.”
“If you can control your fears, if you can comfortably deal with fear, that is, to be afraid of things that can be a real danger to you, but be open to things that can move you forward, then you have a real ability to develop,” she says. On the opposite side of that kind of feeling of fear.”
“I can say now that everything I am today is a result of pushing myself beyond my comfort zone, being able to calm my fear-infested mind, and taking on a challenge that would otherwise hold me back.”
It is known that the “comfort zone” is a group of behaviors that a person practices within a specific semi-routine framework without a sense of danger or tension because he is used to it, which gives him an unrealistic sense of safety, and at the same time limits his ability to progress and creativity.
And the former first lady of the United States reveals that the biggest anxiety she faced in her life was when her husband told her that he wanted to run for president. “It is really strange to think that I could have changed the course of history despite my fears,” she says in her book.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, she explained that when her husband told her of his decision, she felt that it was “definitely worth making the uncertain decision”, and that she should give her husband all the support and support she can.
Mrs. Obama said she sometimes doubts whether she and her husband have really managed to make a difference in the White House.
“I have lived with the legacy of many people, especially African Americans, including my grandparents, whose lives were restricted by the fear of doing something different,” she said.
Her grandparents had a difficult time growing up, she says. “There was a real fear for a black man that if he showed up in the wrong neighborhood, at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and looked the wrong way, it could mean death.”
“So with each passing year, it feels like my grandparents’ world was getting smaller, smaller, and smaller. And for both of my grandparents, to the point where they didn’t trust anyone they didn’t know, not even doctors. One of my grandfathers, he went so far as to miss a cancer diagnosis lung.”
“I use it as an example of how many of us have locked ourselves in a circle of like-minded people, afraid of meeting or understanding anyone who is not like us, feels like us, or agrees with us. “.
“We are afraid of anyone who is not like us. This is not a healthy position. So I want the younger generation in particular when they are overwhelmed with feelings of fear to think, so that they can distinguish between the fear that will protect them and that will keep them safe, and the fear that will keep them stuck in a small world narrow”.
Did we make a difference?
Michelle Obama spoke about the issue of making change and the impact that each of us leaves, and said, “More and more people feel unimportant on this planet,” adding that it is still “painful” that Donald Trump is the one who succeeded Barack Obama as president of the United States. .
“This is the moment when you have to ask yourself, Was it worth it? Did we make a difference or make an impact? Did it matter? When I’m at my darkest moment, the furthest thing from logic, I might say, well, maybe not. Maybe we weren’t good enough.”
“But then I look around me, and when I have more clarity of vision, when I’m able to deconstruct those feelings and think more rationally, I think that, well, my God, there’s a whole world of young people who look at themselves differently today.” Because of what we’ve done.”
And she continues, “Has everything been fixed during the eight years we were there? Absolutely not. Change does not happen like this. But we put a mark in the sand. We pushed the wheel a little forward. But progress does not mean a continuous climb to the top .. There are ups, downs, And stagnation… that’s the nature of change.”
“And that’s why the work we’re doing today is about empowering the next generation.”
Michelle Obama was referring to the Obama Foundation, which she runs with her husband, and whose mission is to “inspire, empower, and connect people to change their world.”
Michelle Lavon Robinson Obama was born on January 17, 1964, and she is a lawyer and author of several books, except that she was the first American lady during the period when her husband Barack Obama assumed the presidency of the United States from 2009 to 2017, and she was the first American woman of origin African on this site.
Her books include Becoming, Believing Possibility: The Words of Michelle Obama, Michelle Obama: Speeches on American Life, Love, and Values, and The Light We Carry.