For the first time in far too long, Michelle Obama took the stage to empower women and girls everywhere with her potent words.
In Boston on Wednesday, the former First Lady spoke at a marketing conference called Inbound, where she shared her take on the current administration, life after the White House, women’s equality, and even Beyoncé (all discussions should conclude with mention of the Queen, we’ve decided).
Obama took a moment to encourage women to make their voices heard.
“We think 12 times before we open our mouths—‘Well maybe I’m wrong’” she began. “We argue with ourselves in our head and we think that ‘Before I speak up, it has to be perfect,’ while the guy is like blah blah blah … Not thinking about perfect, right, or anything—he’s just like ‘I’m used to hearing my voice.’ That’s what happens to a lot of people. And if you’ve been socialized to think your voice doesn’t matter—and it’s done in very subtle ways: maybe it happened at your dinner table with the father you adored who would talk right over you, or the brothers who just took up too much space and you learned to be quiet, or the mother who told you that being ladylike meant that you watched your words and you didn’t interrupt … There’s so much that goes on that shushes us.”
On a similar note, Obama said she thinks women who voted against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election voted “against their own voice.” “Anyone who looked at those two candidates and said, ‘That man is closer to my voice,’ doesn’t like their own voice,” she elaborated.
That being said, Michelle admitted she does understand the challenges of being president and hopes the Trump administration is ultimately successful. “It is very difficult to lead when you have a peanut gallery of people who don’t know what they’re talking about second-guessing what you do,” she told the crowd. “We’ve learned part of our legacy is leading with grace and being humble and diplomatic.”
When asked whether she misses her iconic home of eight years, Michelle didn’t hesitate to give a resounding no. “It was like being shot out of a cannon … with a blindfold and the spotlight on you,” she said of her experience as First Lady, noting that she and Barack are now “breathing for the first time." However, Obama does miss the “people and the work” involved in her former role
At long last, Michelle gave the people what they truly craved: her opinion of Beyoncé’s Lemonade. While she loves every track (don’t we all), Obama said “Love Drought” is her most played—no reflection on her and Barack’s relationship, we hope!