Michelle Obama says she ‘hates’ how she looks ‘all the time’ in new memoir

The former US First Lady writes candidly about her insecurities

Kate Ng
Tuesday 15 November 2022 09:22 GMT
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Michelle Obama has admitted that she “hates” her appearance, particularly her height, in her new book.

The former US First Lady has written her second memoir, titled The Light We Carry, following her 2018 book Becoming.

She writes candidly about how much she dislikes how she looks “all the time and no matter what”, recalling how she has had “plenty of mornings” where she turns on the bathroom light, only to see herself in the mirror and want “desperately… to flip it off again”.

Obama, 58, talks about overcoming her “fearful mind” in the book, writing: “I’ve lived with my fearful mind for 58 years now. She makes me uneasy. She likes to see me weak.”

At 5’11”, Obama’s height has always been a source of insecurity, she said. As the tallest person in school, she was always “bringing up the rear”, which “created a small wound in me, the tiniest kernel of self-loathing that would keep me from embracing my strength”.

Last week, Obama opened up about her experience with menopause and said her health goals have changed as a result of the physical transition she is going through.

Speaking to People ahead of the release of her book on 15 November, she said that with age and menopause, she cannot push herself as hard as she used to when it comes to working out.

So instead of maintaining her toned arms, which she is known and praised for, Obama said her goal now is to keep moving.

“I am still physically active, and my goal now, instead of having ‘Michelle Obama arms’, I just want to keep moving,” she said.

An extract from The Light We Carry was published in the Guardian on Saturday (12 November) and also reveals the author and attorney’s insecurities around parenting.

She admitted that “even mild disobedience or misbehaviour” from her and Barack Obama’s daughters, 24-year-old Malia and 21-year-old Sasha, would “set off a ripple of unsettling worry in me”.

Obama added that her “greatest fear” was that “life in the White House was messing our kids up”.

“It’s hard not to look around as a mother and think, ‘Is everyone doing this perfectly but me?’,” she writes.

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