photo credits / source: The Verge, March 2016

Good looks like this

There is just too much media focus on the U.S. President, his ragtag team of an administration and his already lengthy list of controversial moves these days. So we thought it’d be nice to bring back some #hope and remind us of what good looks like.

To us, good looks like Michelle Obama.

Let’s take a step back

How many previous First Ladies can you name? Let’s say you hit up Wikipedia and you look it up. Okay, so you got Laura, Hilary and Barbara (in descending order from most recent). Cool, but can you list anything they’ve done? Probs not. Maybe it’s thanks to social media, but most of us can’t instantly name anything concretely put in place by previous FLOTUS. These ladies, for the most part, were a little more quiet, stood a little further back in the shadow of their husbands, and seemed distant from the everyday citizen. Not Michelle though. She had a chance to do something, and boy did she ever.

Sowing A Legacy

Growing up on Chicago’s South Side to a blue-collar family, Michelle earned everything to her name. She worked hard as a top student and took on debt to graduate to go to law school. After a few years of practising corporate law (where she met Barack — he being a junior and she being his adviser, love it), she pivoted her career towards public service and worked in the nonprofit, health and educational sectors.

It is throughout the last eight years, however, that Michelle has been planting the seeds of her legacy. Some of her accolades include being a big proponent of organic food (she planted an organic garden at the White House), spearheading numerous health and wellness programs (like fighting child obesity) and standing behind educational initiatives (like Reach Higher, encouraging high school students to dream big.) To keep her pulse on the lives and realities of others, she even organised a mentoring program to meet with groups of disadvantaged girls on a regular basis to talk about their career goals. Love it.

What’s important to note is that, if she wanted, Michelle didn’t really have to do much at all as First Lady. She could have played a quieter role. Instead, she made the most of her time in a position that few in history have had, and did it all while staying down-to-earth. A perfect example is when recently talking about the appearance of her first gray hairs, she just laughed it off claiming that “I earned it. Every one of them.” (#aginggracefully)

Speaking of First Ladies, Eh

We’re not the only ones impressed by Michelle’s grace. It’s clear that Canada’s own lady numéro 1, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, has been following a similar path to make the most of her time in the limelight. Sophie has shared her spirituality and good vibes with over 20 Canadian organizations doing good for others, and continues to stay humble. In her own words, whether she is talking to international celebrities or local farmers, “I live from a place where I do not believe in a fundamental difference between human beings.”

Damn. We absolutely love that.

Both Michelle and Sophie are inspiring girlbosses who are changing what it means to be in the political and national spotlight. They’ve set the bar high for what it means to be a mother, a wife and a woman of the 21st century. They were both given a golden opportunity to forever change what it means to be the wife of a national leader, and did they ever completely re-write that job description.

Your takeaway: If you’ve got a chance to speak at an event, during a meeting at work or in a heated convo with friends, grab that proverbial mic (or real one if applicable) and be sure to speak from your heart and mind. You’ll feel good and you might just be preparing yourself for your own set of future national policies :)

Fun fact: Saviez-vous que Michelle parle le français? Bein oui.