Financial TimesFinancial Times

Be more Michelle

By Jo Ellison

15 Dec 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

The Financial Times argues that we could all learn a thing or two from Michelle Obama and describes the former first lady's brand is "joyful, fierce and free".

As the wife of a public figure, she lived under intense public scrutiny. She spent crucial years trying to raise a family in an environment where her freedom of movement was hugely circumscribed. Before an audience, her outfits were held up for analysis. Every feature of her body was subject to an unrelenting public gaze. She was chastised for speaking out of turn, or too impartially, and was the frequent target of racist hate.

Like Meghan Markle, Michelle Obama made a decision to become a public servant, sublimating her own ambitions to fulfil what she believed to be a greater good. When her husband left office in 2017, after eight years in the White House, she documented much of her life story in the autobiography Becoming, and then kept a relatively low profile for a while.

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