Goodbye, FLOTUS: Michelle Obama’s Legacy Goes Far Beyond ‘First Lady’

Saying goodbye to the FLOTUS will be just as difficult as saying goodbye to her husband, President Barack Obama.

Who will be able to fill the hole in our hearts that Michelle Obama, the first African- American lady to be in the White House, will leave us with in January?

She was much more than just Barack Obama’s right hand and a simple model attesting to Barack’s “family values.”

Michelle Obama represents so much more. She was independent and confident; a woman whose many accomplishments stood up to her husband’s.

She made inspirational speeches, was always sexy but distinguished, and an advocate for several important issues of our time.

She supports military families, empowers girls and women, as well as putting an end to obesity in children. She was the positive figure that people of all race and gender looked up to.

Michelle Obama embodied the strong female role, and for many, redefined it. Standing amongst 43 other First Ladies, it’s safe to say that she was the most unique First Lady in the white house.

Listening to FLOTUS’s speeches, she assures you that anything is possible, especially as a woman. The way she projects her voice, the way she stands up tall and the way she shows real emotions makes us respect her so much.

Unlike many politicians’ wives, Michelle Obama is not afraid to use personal anecdotes. You’ll often hear her talk about her daughters and how her father worked hard to fund the education that she received.

Many hearts have been touched by her powerful story such as Rashida Jones, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Gloria Steinem, and Jon Meacham. These women felt compelled to write a series of thoughtful goodbye letters to the legendary former FLOTUS. These are their letters.

Rashida Jones:

If feminism’s goal is equal opportunity and choice, Michelle makes me feel like every choice is available. You can go to Princeton and Harvard, you can rap with Missy Elliott, you can be a mother and a lawyer and a powerful orator.” 

Chimamanda Ngozi:

She had rhythm, a flow and swerve, hands slicing air, body weight moving from foot to foot, a beautiful rhythm. -She hugged more people than any first lady ever has, and she made ‘first lady’ mean a person warmly accessible, a person both normal and inspirational and a person many degrees of cool.”

Gloria Steinem:

“She has managed what no other first lady — and few people in any public position — have succeeded in doing: She has lived a public life without sacrificing her privacy and authenticity. She made her husband both more human and effective as a president by being his interpreter and defender, but also someone we knew was capable of being his critic.”

Some believe her speeches are so powerful that some even copy it word for word… *cough *cough* Melania Trump.

Before Michelle Obama could show her potential as First Lady, she received several hateful, racist, and sexist comments. She first received criticism when she went bare arms in her First Lady photo.

She wore a black sleeveless dress with a white pearl necklace. In my opinion, she looked beautiful and elegant. Many argued that her outfit was not “First Lady” like. But hey, if you got it, flaunt it.

Conservatives even complained how she wore shorts on vacation! They were so used to seeing previous First Ladies dress conservative that they did not know how to react to something different.

Absurd criticism didn’t stop Obama from dressing the way that she wanted. Her bare arms reflected who she was; a healthy and confident woman.

She gets up at 5:30 am every morning to workout, I think she deserves to show off her results.

Throughout her years as the First Lady, she continued to surprise people with her unique style. She dressed in color, wore clothes that accentuated her body and she definitely wasn’t afraid to add some bling to her dresses. Good luck to the next First Lady who has to fill her classy, sexy shoes.

As the First Lady Obama was involved with numerous initiatives across the globe. She genuinely cared about assisting military families, making sure girls and women all over the world get the education they need, and putting an end to obesity in children.

Obama knew the struggles military families went through, which is the reason for her and Joe Biden’s expedition of Joining Forces. Joining Forces supports military families through wellness, education and employment opportunities.

Since Obama launched Joining Forces, the unemployment rate for veterans fell below the national average. Thanks to Obama, veterans are being hired by companies from the telecommunication sectors and the aerospace-defense sectors. Other companies are providing training programs and offering them interviews.

Michelle Obama is also a believer of girls and women getting the education that they deserve. While people in America don’t hesitate when it comes to an education, many girls and women around the world do not have this option.

Their opportunities are taken away because of their culture and financial situation. Michelle Obama came up with an initiative Let Girls Learn. There are 62 million girls worldwide who are not in school. FLOTUS wants to change this because she understands that an education can save a girl and her family:

“We also know that educating girls doesn’t just transform their life prospects — it transforms the prospects of their families, communities, and nations as well.”

Many countries that deny girls education are this way because of deep societal or religious reasons. They believe that women are only good for bearing children and taking care of the home. Michelle Obama is giving girls and women an opportunity to show that they are more than that.

Remember when Beyonce came out with that motivational workout video “Move Your Body” and how much it made you just want to get out of your seat and dance along?

That video was part of the Let’s Move initiation launched by Michelle Obama to end obesity in children. According to the Center for Disease obesity facts, “childhood obesity has more than doubled in children in the past 30 years.” Let’s Move plans to start a healthy future for children as early as possible by providing healthier foods in school and having access to healthier foods by making it cheaper.

Michelle Obama has made American history by being the very first African-American First Lady. She is definitely leaving the White House accomplishing more than what people expected from her. She went from people questioning her ability to be the First Lady to becoming an inspirational figure for a generation of young girls.

I believe that she will continue to make a difference after leaving the White House. It is in her DNA to help people. Hell, she might even run for president. She has my vote!

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Theresa Maloco

Theresa is a beloved Empress OG who never thought she’d be a writer. After realizing her potential, she quit her retail job to be part of several start-up projects. Join her on this journey to success.