Michelle Obama sat down for an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and casually slayed with her smart, honest and quippy wit. Aside from looking absolutely flawless, in typical FLOTUS fashion, she left us with a treasure trove of gems as she glittered The Late Show stage with a light dusting of #blackgirlmagic.
Here are 13 things we learned from the interview:
1. President Obama's undeniable swag defies definition.
When asked to define the word "swagalicious" that she has used to describe her husband, The First Lady said, “It’s a person that has a lot of swag and if you don’t know what swag is Steve, you definitely don’t have it." Bloop.
2. Beyoncé is, in fact, magical.
“You shouldn’t look her in the eye," she joked. "She’s a special person...she's a sweetheart. I mean, she’s smart, she’s creative, she’s a great mother, she loves her family, she’s just a lowkey lady. We have a lot in common in that way."
3. On the topic of Melania and 'speech-gate,' The First Lady kept her commentary short and classy, saying simply, “Yeah that was tough.”
LOL! We see you FLOTUS.
4. She shared a few words of wisdom for the spouses of the presidential candidates during this election season.
“You have to be in it. If you’re in it and if you don’t agree you should have agreed before they ran," she said. "If I didn’t agree with what Barack was saying I would not support his run. I stand there proudly and I hope they are too, standing with their spouses proudly."
5. She has mixed emotions on leaving The White House.
“It’s definitely bitter-sweet I mean everything is like the last and I find myself choking up because we have raised our kids in the white house. We’ve had so many amazing experiences. We have phenomenal staff, we live in a house with people who love us and care about us and we’re going to be walking away from all of that."
6. Wait...what? Malia and Sasha are going to do their own packing?
“I’ve actually made my kids start packing their rooms already. It’s like get this done. My thing is if you don’t pack it, I’m throwing it out. That’s what I do.” Michelle don't play.
7. What was really happening behind the scenes of the Essence Magazine photo shoot that classily broke the internet?
A photo posted by ESSENCE (@essence) on Sep 8, 2016 at 10:25am PDT
"Barack is horrible in photoshoots and I hate doing photoshoots with him so I’m sure right there I was saying. 'would you just be patient...don’t rush the photographer.'”
8. Be that as it may, First Lady had us all repeating this mantra:
I will not objectify the FLOTUS I will not objectify the FLOTUS I will not objectify the FLOTUS I will not objectify the FLOTUS I will not o— Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) September 8, 2016
9. And what do the Obama's talk about around the family dinner table?
"Unless Malia asks about his work, which we try not to have her do, it’s all about the kids. 'How was your day? What’s going on? What’s the latest gossip?' He’s really into gossip because he doesn’t have a life,” she says.
10. FLOTUS dropped knowledge on the White House's "Let Girls Learn" initiative
“We know that we have to be on the ground because you can’t change culture if you’re not part of the culture. You have to take each community where they are," she said. "There’s no one solution to this problem which is what makes it so complicated. Every community is different so awareness and engagement is critical but we’re grateful to the peace corps volunteers out there who are doing that hard work on the ground on behalf of these girls.”
11. The First Lady just oozes confidence. So, what could possibly make her nervous?
“...pronouncing somebody’s name wrong. Names are so hard and I practice and then I get up there and mess it up…so I’m usually just like, 'hey sweetie how you doing.'”
Flourish FLOTUS, flourish!
Whether it's a hard hitting speech or casual banter, Michelle Obama always nails it. We are going to miss you First Lady.
Watch the full interview below:
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Freshmen students at Howard University received front row seats to a taping of Late Night with Seth Meyers along with special guest, Nick Cannon.
But, that was just half of what was in store for the audience.
Amber Ruffin, the first black woman writer in late night show history, kicked things off. She got the students to open up, asking them about their hometowns and special interests.
The group perked up when Ruffin asked, "How many of you own a business?". Many of them spoke passionately of their entrepreneurship and non-profits, showing off their creativity.
Seth Meyers soon took the stage, bringing out Nick Cannon shortly after. What the crowd did not know was a third mystery guest would soon take the stage. First Lady Michelle Obama walked into the room.
The students erupted in cheers.
SURPRISE @HowardU! 🎓#ReachHigher pic.twitter.com/FgVFMwEDjA— The First Lady (@FLOTUS) September 1, 2016
And the three jumped right into the convo.
FLOTUS received a warm welcome at Howard University pic.twitter.com/L9F8S1BVv7— LaVita Tuff, J.D. (@lavitatuff) September 1, 2016
From there the First Lady took questions from the crowd and went into detail about the impact of being away from home during her undergraduate years and how it shaped her future success.
"It taught me how to open up, how to try new things that are scary, how to buck expectations and beat the odds, and all that good stuff. So, I mean, this is one of the reasons why we promote Reach Higher and getting kids to own their future and go to college, if possible, because it changes your life," Mrs. Obama said referencing the initiative encouraging students to attain higher education.
Her appearance also came in conjunction with the “Better Make Room” campaign, an interactive movement pushing young people to achieve endless goals.
"I knew my father had taken out a loan, and he was a blue-collar worker, so I knew I had to get it together and make sure I was doing my best," the First Lady said describing her studies as a sociology major before heading to law school. "So I tried to be a serious student and not procrastinate, but I was still somebody that would be described as somebody who liked to have fun, too, and go to the occasional party, or two or three. A little turn-up."
Nick Cannon takes questions from Howard University students for FLOTUS and Seth Myer pic.twitter.com/u9rh7ieojw— LaVita Tuff, J.D. (@lavitatuff) September 1, 2016
Cannon, who recently enrolled at Howard, began his first semester just last month.
“I’m here because I have a real thirst for knowledge. I feel like that’s why we’re all here in this room,” Cannon said.
But TV host of America's Got Talent is not in it alone.
“I got my brother here, he’s a junior,” Cannon joked. “But he doesn’t wanna hang out with me because I’m a freshman!”
“He’s embarrassed by you,” Mrs. Obama chimed in. “You’re just a young freshman.”
Sophomore Shauntee Foctor asked the panel, "What did your freshman year teach you about yourself?".
And in true First Lady fashion, Mrs. Obama gave some of the best advice that even grads can learn from.
"So for all of you sitting here with those doubts in your head, because those whispers of doubt, they stay with you for a very long time -- ignore them. Brush them off. And just do the work. Do the work. And it's the doing of the work that gets you through. It's not what other people think of you. And I still carry that with me today as First Lady of the United States, because there are people who don’t think I should be doing that, either. And it's been about eight years now. "
Cannon had a full circle moment when a student told the actor that he was an integral part in deciding which extracurricular activity to choose. His lead role in the 2002 film, Drumline is what inspired the student to go to college and join the band. Although Cannon challenged the student to a battle afterwards, we all knew who would win.
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Michelle Obama is a First Lady who has unabashedly reveled in her intelligence, compassion and love for pop culture during her time in the White House. We will always remember her speech about having to wake up in a house built by slaves, her efforts to educate girls in developing countries, and her fun side — the one that has given us 'The Evolution of Mom Dancing" on Jimmy Fallon and multiple visits to Sesame Street. Our children and grandchildren will hear the stories of the first time we watched Michelle Obama sing "Get Your Freak On" with Missy Elliot on Carpool Karaoke.
These, perhaps, are the moments we will remember the most. Michelle Obama has never been afraid to step out from behind the costume of the First Lady and be a real and relatable person.
"What I have never been afraid of is to be a little silly, and you can engage people that way,” Obama tells Variety. “My view is, first you get them to laugh, then you get them to listen. So I’m always game for a good joke, and I’m not so formal in this role. There’s very little that we can’t do that people wouldn’t appreciate.”
The Obamas are a symbol of black love, power and achievement. However, what's most endearing about them (after their awareness of their blackness) is their awareness of the state of being black in this world. In Michelle Obama's Variety interview, she talks about how television gave her the passageway to become the woman she desired to be. Yet, she does not ignore the very obvious, tiresome problem of diversity on TV.
"For so many people, TV and movies may be the only way they understand people who aren’t like them. It becomes important for the world to see different images of each other, so that we can develop empathy and understanding," says Obama, echoing the sentiments of a much younger Yara Shahidi, who once spoke on the importance of her Black-ish role not being the 'stereotypical black girl.'
The importance of representation also expands outside the realm of TV.
During the 2016 Olympics, many photos of little girls aspiring to be the next Simone Biles, Simone Manuel and Gabby Douglas have gone viral, because even at a young age, children can comprehend who looks like them. Michelle Obama has been a major inspiration for young girls.
"And when I come across many little black girls who come up to me over the course of this 7½ years with tears in their eyes, and they say: 'Thank you for being a role model for me. I don’t see educated black women on TV, and the fact that you’re first lady validates who I am….'”
But she was once the girl sitting on the other side of this equation.
At 52, Obama has lived through the era of now classic black shows such as All in the Family, The Jeffersons, The Cosby Show, and A Different World.
However, Obama tells Variety that The Mary Tyler Moore Show influenced her the most growing up. As a 10-year-old girl, she watched the show with family.
"She was one of the few single working women depicted on television at the time,” Obama says. “She wasn’t married. She wasn’t looking to get married. At no point did the series end in a happy ending with her finding a husband — which seemed to be the course you had to take as a woman. But she sort of bucked that. She worked in a newsroom, she had a tough boss, and she stood up to him. She had close friends, never bemoaning the fact that she was a single. She was very proud and comfortable in that role."
"I was probably 10 or 11 when I saw that, and sort of started thinking, ‘You know what? Marriage is an option. Having a family is an option. And going to school and getting your education and building your career is another really viable option that can lead to happiness and fulfillment."
Looking at the current lack of diversity on the little and big screen, Michelle Obama's comments emphasize why we need more diversity on all levels — and why it's special to have a first lady tuned in to these issues.
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President Obama has been married to First Lady Michelle Obama for almost 25 years. That's quite an accomplishment! In 1996, just four years into their union, the couple spoke candidly with photographer Mariana Cook.
Cook was working on a series of profiles highlighting couples across America.
The conversation produced a rare look into the lives and relationship of the Obamas. Even then, the President was well-aware of what made his wife and marriage great.
The First Lady is more than meets the eye.
"Michelle is a tremendously strong person, and has a very strong sense of herself and who she is and where she comes from. But I also think in her eyes you can see a trace of vulnerability that most people don’t know, because when she’s walking through the world she is this tall, beautiful, confident woman. There is a part of her that is vulnerable and young and sometimes frightened, and I think seeing both of those things is what attracted me to her."
They are strong together and apart.
"And then what sustains our relationship is I’m extremely happy with her, and part of it has to do with the fact that she is at once completely familiar to me, so that I can be myself and she knows me very well and I trust her completely, but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways. And there are times when we are lying in bed and I look over and sort of have a start. Because I realize here is this other person who is separate and different and has different memories and backgrounds and thoughts and feelings. It’s that tension between familiarity and mystery that makes for something strong, because, even as you build a life of trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or wonder about the other person."
Teamwork makes the dream work.
A lot has changed since the Obamas did this interview. They welcomed two daughters, Malia and Sasha and embarked on a political career. The latter leading to the highest position of them all–President of the United States of America.
But no matter the title, their relationship philosophy has stayed the same and it shows!
The Obamas are obviously on to something.
Read the full interview here. Share on Facebook and Twitter below!
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There is no question that the Obama presidency is a presidency full of firsts, and President Obama just made another first by launching a history-making visit to Cuba, becoming the first president to do so since 1928. President Obama and his family arrived in Cuba Sunday evening, and the pictures have us all in our feelings.
From Sasha's fierceness...
Bruhh..Sasha Fierce ! 😍😍 pic.twitter.com/XwaVNkvLjP
— Lexxi (@RihrihFreak) March 21, 2016
#SashaObama out in Cuba unintentionally slaying, giving life and "One in a Million" vibes. #POTUS pic.twitter.com/GHdbRlhLFP
— GirlTyler (@sheistyler) March 21, 2016
...to the look and style of the whole family
Come Through Malia!
And of course, there's the history-making moment of it all
President Barack Obama shows his daughters around Old Havana on their historic trip to Cuba. #ObamaenCuba #CubaVisit pic.twitter.com/Nltvty0zZj
— Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) March 20, 2016
First Lady Michelle Obama holds her mother as a First Family visits Cuba for the first time in decades #ObamaenCuba pic.twitter.com/rVX47Fhwdx
— Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) March 20, 2016
The schedule for the historic trip includes a meet-and-greet at the U.S. Embassy, a sight-seeing visit to Old Havana, a one-on-one meeting with Cuban president Raul Castro, a state dinner at the Palace of the Revolution, a baseball game, and other official meetings.
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In Michelle Obama's keynote address for SXSW Music 2016 this Wednesday, the First Lady will call on people to support an online campaign for girls' education around the world, having already enlisted the support of Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott, and Janelle Monae, to name a few. The call to action coincides with the First Lady's initiative Let Girls Learn, which uses the hashtag #62milliongirls and seeks to break barriers and empower girls around the world who are not in school today, of whom more than half are adolescent.
The First Lady says, "I applaud Change.org for building a community of civically engaged action-takers, and for providing the technology to give people everywhere the power to start grassroots movements for social change. I am very excited that the next phase of the 62MillionGirls campaign for international girls' education is taking place on Change.org."
But that's not all, Michelle Obama also dropped a single entitled 'This is for my girls', written by Dianne Warren and featuring Missy Elliott, Zendaya, Kelly Clarkson, and more. The song is now available for download and the artists involved waived all royalties and fees to participate in the song. All proceeds will support the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Fund.
Support the First Lady by signing the pledge here.
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Black history stretches through every single fabric of our life – technology, government, entertainment and more. Today, pop culture is black culture. And although I think we should continue to honor our ancestors and predecessors, I think we have amazing people actively creating and changing black history.
As a child, I only looked at old people as black history. Let’s not wait until it’s too late to really appreciate and show our gratitude. Let’s say thank you to our heroes and heroines currently killing the game. Here is a list of 10 people actively changing history in pop culture who I believe we should start to celebrate:
C’mon now this is too easy, he's the first hip-hop billionaire. Besides the millions of records sold, the incredible production credits, the record labels and the headphones, the Dr. has done nothing but control the game since day one. And with the immediate success of Straight Outta Compton, it’s time we give the Dre his earned respect.
I really don’t care what anybody thinks about Tyler Perry, because he's a boss. He owns his own studio – let that sink in. Tyler Perry can produce anything he wants and I’m not mad at that. Everything isn’t for everybody, but so what, he’s making history. And his story is far from over, let’s celebrate the gains he’s made and take them to the next level.
The standard for black excellence in film starts with one name – Denzel. He can't take all of the credit for the tons of beautiful work that our actors and actresses do, however, he's been fundamental in our history. And the powerful roles he has recreated and brought to life deserve to be recognized.
This beautiful black woman owns Thursday night television. Let’s stop acting like she’s not TheBomb.com and let’s start to tell our children, “You can be the next Shonda Rhimes!” I’m trying to live in Shondaland my damn self, I don’t want us to take this time she’s creating for granted, let’s celebrate Shonda!
How many white people do you have to piss off to become Black History? Queen Bey has officially taken her platform to the next level with the messages she’s sending in her music. Besides the Grammys, the albums, the videos and the tours, Beyoncé is changing the game. From secret album releases to her Super Bowl performance, appreciate what she is actually doing!
She’s the definition of the next great film director. Even though it’s early in her career, Ava is a walking, breathing and directing black history icon. She’s using her platform to create movies and dialogue that must be heard. The path is set for Ava to take film to another height, and I’m glad she’s working in our best interest.
Man, what can’t you say about Hov? I think his most recent endeavor with Tidal really puts him in a special place in black history. RocNation and RocNation Sports really set him apart from his peers, but bringing the music industry’s biggest names together to shake up the system is brilliant. His influence continues to be relevant without putting out new music — thanks, Jay.
Say what you want, Kanye West is an icon. He sold out movie theaters around the world so that people could watch a live stream of his fashion show, he’s a trending topic every day and he told George W. Bush about himself. His confidence and polarizing personality have been the subject of so many conversations since his debut album, it’s time we see Kanye for the trailblazer he truly is.
Off the court, King James is working on something magical. He has a marketing firm, he’s sold multiple television shows to networks and his latest deal with Nike is unprecedented. He’s spoken out against social injustices and he’s been dedicated to changing the lives of young people in Northeast Ohio. Show LeBron some love!
What can’t we say about the First Lady? Her beauty has shined across our nation and presence has been an inspiration to anyone with some sense. Michelle Obama will be an American icon but it’s time we start to talk about all the philanthropy she is doing and embrace her as the incredible leader she is.
Who else deserves to become a Black History Month icon? Let us know in the comment section below.
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In an excellent exhibition of #BlackGirlMagic and a celebration of Black History Month, First Lady Michelle Obama brought 51 young, Black female dancers for master dance classes at the White House. Classes covered African, hip-hop, ballet, and modern dance.
The dancers spent the day learning choreographed routines from iconic dancers Debbie Allen, Judith Jamison, Virginia Johnson, and Fatima Robinson.
Even in the The White House, we begin the day with class. Here are the Washington DC dancers in a masterclass lead by artistic director Virginia Johnson in the East Room this morning. #Dancetheatreofharlem #blackhistorymonth #danceatthewhitehouse
A photo posted by Dance Theatre of Harlem (@dancetheatreofharlem) on Feb 8, 2016 at 9:31am PST
Afterwards, FLOTUS hosted a panel discussion with the icons and actress Lala Anthony, and concluded the day with dance performances by the girls. Before the performances, Michelle Obama shared a few words on what dancing means for the culture, and for her of course.
And this was quite the opportunity to do so.
The First Lady posted about the event on her Instagram page.
Double tap for the 51 talented, young dancers from Washington, D.C. who came to the @WhiteHouse today to take their place on the stage. #BlackHistoryMonth #DanceAtTheWhiteHouse
A photo posted by First Lady Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on Feb 8, 2016 at 6:44pm PST
And the beauty of the moment was certainly felt on Twitter
A celebration of dance for #BlackHistoryMonth at The White House. pic.twitter.com/9AoSkgw2up
— Michele Norris (@michele_norris) February 9, 2016
Soooo dope Debbie Allen led African dance class at the White House today!!!
— Ray Cunningham (@MissterRay) February 8, 2016
so this is aweesome: 51 DC students are at The White House today taking dance classes by Alvin Ailey's Judith Jamison, Debbie Allen, & more
— miss hunnayyy (@huny) February 8, 2016
High Fives from @FLOTUS for a job well done! #BlackHistoryMonth #DanceAtTheWhiteHouse pic.twitter.com/T4odT1bTo3
— Valerie Jarrett (@vj44) February 8, 2016
There's no doubt that all of the performances were absolutely beautiful to watch.
"That's how we move this country forward -– we fight for the opportunity to succeed. And we prepare ourselves to seize the opportunity and shine when that moment comes –- whether that’s on stage, in the courtroom, the boardroom; whether it’s on the playing field, the battleground -- wherever it is you guys want to go, to get there, you have to be prepared and you have to be at your best."
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First Lady Michelle Obama is a role model for countless reasons, but her passion for education is undeniably inspiring. As a part of the "Better Make Room" campaign from her "Reach Higher" initiative, the First Lady teamed up with Saturday Night Live's Jay Pharoah for "Go To College," a music video released on CollegeHumor with music composed and produced by The Gregory Brothers.
“When I launched my Better Make Room campaign in October, I said that this campaign is about celebrating students the same way we celebrate athletes and celebrities. I want to honor and empower young people who are working hard in school and pursuing their dreams – and I want to do it in a fun and fresh way – and that's why I was so excited to film this “music video" with Jay Pharoah, CollegeHumor, and the Gregory Brothers” says Michelle Obama in a recently released statement.
Better Make Room serves to encourage Generation Z (ages 14-19) to commit to bettering their lives through education with different steps, tools and resources. We celebrate the stories of celebrities, musicians and athletes, but this campaign aims to celebrate students in that same way.
Check out the music video above and share this post on Facebook...