At the United States of Women Summit in Washington D.C., First Lady Michelle Obama sat down with the queen of media, Oprah Winfrey, for a candid discussion on everything; from how she deals with haters and President Obama’s swag, to what she will do once she leaves the White House. Black Enterprise was on the scene with about 5,000 women, a few men, and many more watching via livestream.
The two powerhouses dropped a few gems. Below are a few of our favorite takeaways.
On Self-value, Self-worth, and Dealing With the Pressure of Other’s Expectations:
“Our first job in life as women, I think, is to get to know ourselves […] We spend our time pleasing, satisfying, and looking out into the world to define who we are—listening to the messages, the images, the limited definitions that people have of who we are. And that’s true for women of color for sure.There is a limited box that we are put in, and if we live by that limited definition we miss out on a lot of who we are. It takes taking the time to know who you are to deal with the onslaught of negative behavior.”
On How to Silence Haters, Allowing Yourself to Become Who You Truly Are:
“There are times I turn off the world. There are some times you just have to give yourself space to be quiet, which means you’ve got to set those phones down. You can’t be reading all of that stuff. It’s like just letting somebody walk up and slap you. You would never do that.”
“The best revenge is success.”
Advice for the Next Generation of Trailblazing Women:
“As women and young girls, we have to invest time in understanding who we are and liking who we are.”
“I always tell young girls, surround yourself with goodness. I learned early on how to get the haters out of my life. You’ve got to just sort of surround yourself with people who uplift you, who hold you up.”
“Not everybody can be famous, but everybody can be great.”
On Finding Balance:
“If you don’t prioritize yourself, you constantly fall lower and lower on your own list.”
How Men Can Step Up to Support Women:
“Be better—at everything.”
“Be better fathers. Love your daughters and provide a solid example of what it means to be a good man in the world.”
“Be engaged. Don’t think that just going to work and coming home makes you a man.”
“Be a better employer. Do you see only a bunch of men around you at the golf course, and you’re okay with that? Be better.”
On President Obama’s Swag:
“Watching my husband walk off Marine One and go into the Oval Office; it’s ‘hmmmm! hmmmm!’ And you know, he’s got that walk, right?”
“He’s got the swag,” Oprah said. “Did he always have that swag, or has he gotten swaggier?”
“He’s gotten very swagalicious,” The First Lady said confidently.
On the First Thing FLOTUS Will Do, Once She Leaves the White House:
The First Lady would like to open the front door of her house “without discussing it with anyone” and walk out the door. She’d also like to open a window in her house. “Sasha opened her window once at the White House and there were calls. It never opened again.”
“I also want to drop into Target. I’ve heard so many things have changed. What do you do at CVS when you check out?”
You can watch the full video here.