The former FLOTUS is highly regarded as one of the world’s most celebrated icons, after she went from a working class life in Chicago to supporting her husband Barack Obama during his time in the White House. Since Barack’s eight-year tenure in office ended back in 2016, Michelle has become a star in her own right, which has seen her make millions thanks to her bestselling 2018 memoir ‘Becoming’, and a striking Netflix deal. But when discussing her move from lawyer to Washington, Michelle admitted that she had endured failures in life – like everyone else.
Speaking on the latest episode of ‘The Michelle Obama Podcast’, the 56-year-old discussed how much effort “getting where you want” takes with Valerie Jarrett, Michelle’s former boss and senior adviser to ex-US President Barack.
She explained: “I tried to make the point to Malia.
“That the young people…who are my mentees, I reminded her that they started out, several of them, in the [election] campaign, doing some of the grunt-iest jobs.
“But the people who are with me now, and who now have responsibilities over my schedule, or they’ve helped run a big book tour, or they are running our higher ground productions and working with Netflix, almost all those people started out doing some grunt work.”
‘Grunt work’ is described as working as an assistant, intern or in sectors such as the retail and service industries, and it is something Michelle respects in people.
She added: “I never want young people to think that failure isn’t a part of everybody’s journey.
“What does it do for me if… some kid thinks I’ve never had a failure, that that’s the only way you can be First Lady, is if you’re perfect. No one is.”
Before becoming First Lady, Michelle attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School.
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And although Michelle and Barack regularly keep in contact with their children, Michelle once remarked during an interview with Oprah Winfrey that she would not be following them on social media – as they had to make their own decisions.
She went on to reveal she doesn’t want her daughters to “define themselves” by looking to herself or their former-president father.
She said: “What I tell them is what I continue to tell themselves is that they have to walk their own walk.
“They cannot define themselves by looking at each other or looking at me or their dad.”