Becoming by Michelle Obama

Although the internet has already filled this void numerous times over, once more wouldn’t hurt. So saying that I miss the Obama administration would make me far from the first and far from the last. Saying that I miss the Obama family, same deal. It was, and is, clearly evident that the United States presented itself better through the symbol of the presidency four years ago.

Now we have a man that can’t pronounce China correctly, nor does he understand the legal barriers of the position but wants to build physical ones around the nation. It’s safe to say that life in America has gotten grimmer by the day.

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It’s also probably why so many people picked up Michelle Obama’s biography when it was released in November of 2018. Not only was it a giant success, it was a severe craze that gripped the nation by its spending hand during the holiday season. Most bookstores frequently sold out, many retailers resorted to hiding their supply behind the registers for security and efficiency purposes. I would dare say that, that was a first if not just in my lifetime, but for the industry.

The ‘one last hug’ we had all been waiting for from the Obamas, was a warm and lasting embrace from Michelle. One that I can still feel, writing this nearly eight months after completing the book. She covered topics that many women are scared to discuss, that many intellects refuse to touch, that many writers are scared to express. Her story has something relatable for everyone in America. Whether it be the struggle with the public school systems of your childhood, race relations in your community, the balance between personal and professional, the work of conceiving and starting a family, there is so much packed into these hardcovers for everyone. It’s a reminder that we had a family truly symbolic of life in the States and the American dream. Taking what opportunities were given, whether they be shallow and unsightly or monumental and grand, to create something more for oneself and those that follow them. Within one generation, look at what the Obama’s have accomplished for their families, what opportunities they’ve created, that is the true pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps-American-Dream we’ve all forgotten about.

Michelle is also the first public figure, that I have come across, that talked about her fertility issues when creating a family. Although a common hurdle for thousands of women, no one likes to admit to their biological failings as though it’s a test they should’ve studied harder for. My own mother struggled in the same manner and it has ripped her identity to the core, a line was somewhere drawn inside of her that divides her femininity and her being. They are no longer the same or one, and she has never been able to bridge that gap since. But Michelle, I can’t say took it with strides as she covers with her book, she grew and opened from it. She is still a woman and still a mother although she struggled to conceive.

She also openly discusses the war of media on females. Stardom, celebrities, have created their own form of limelight in which they play into a variety of characters deemed by the press. When it comes to the political limelight, there is a misogynistic air to it. One where women must jump between the rays for the perfect image, the one that appeases every type of voter: the conservative/family-oriented group, the feminists, those that want to see strength/male-influence, and those that want them to be charismatic. It’s a balancing act with so much at stake, the wives, sisters, and mothers of politicians might as well be juggling knives. It would probably be easier.

Having this real life exploration that is human and normal while in no ways probable for a majority of the world highlights so many issues only ever hinted at before. Michelle Obama turned the light onto so many dark corners within the world, spots we were scared would hold nothing but bleak blood and desperate gore. Which would probably explain why Becoming is still on the best-sellers list and highest grossing list nearly a year after it’s original publication. Reading or listening, the only way to lose out is by skipping this masterpiece all together.

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