Michelle Obama has been one of the most involved and vocal First Ladies in recent history. Her independence and intellectualism has followed her around throughout her career and has led to an interesting and sometimes shocking life before becoming the first black First Lady.
A recent Gallup Poll revealed she was more popular amongst voters than either candidate’s spouse in the 2016 election; Bill Clinton and Melania Trump. She will most likely go down as one of the smartest and most well-liked FLOTUS in history. Keep reading to find out some little-known surprising facts about Michelle Obama’s past.
12. Michelle, The Penny-Pincher
Michelle is apparently the penny-pinching one of the couple. When Michelle was young, she saved up a lot of babysitting money in order to buy an expensive Coach handbag. When she told her mother how much the bag costs, she received a lecture on not buying lavish accessories. “Right,” Michelle answered, “but you’ll go through ten handbags in the time I have this one.”
11. Baby Sasha Attended A Job Interview With Michelle
When Michelle was interviewing for her former job at the University of Chicago Medical Center, Michelle had to take her 4-month-old baby Sasha to the job interview. Her babysitter was not able to watch the young baby and Michelle said that was “probably the worst time of my motherhood.”
10. She Developed First Community Service Program At The University Of Chicago
In 1996, Michelle Obama became Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago. With an aim to bring the campus community together, she established the school’s first community service program. As Vice President of Community and External Affairs for the university’s medical center, the number of volunteers for the school increased dramatically.
9. She Took A Five Figure Pay Cut After Becoming A Public Servant
Michelle Robinson was making a hefty six-figure salary while she was working at the Chicago law firm, Sidley & Austin, where she met Barack Obama. She moved into public service and took a pay cut by almost half of her salary when she became assistant commissioner of planning and development in Chicago’s City Hall.
8. She Worries About Her Husband Getting Assassinated
Every First Lady has to worry about the risk of her husband’s possible assassination, and Michelle is no different. “I don’t want to be in a position one day where I am vulnerable with my children,” she has said. “I need to be in a position for my kids where, if they lose their father, they don’t lose everything.”
7. She Bugged Barack To Propose
After his successful bar exam, the couple went out to a fancy dinner where Michelle lectured Barack about not being able to commit to a relationship. By the end of the dinner, on her desert plate was her engagement ring. “That kind of shuts you up, doesn’t it?” Barack said as he laughed and she sat at the table stunned.
6. Michelle’s Mother Was Concerned About Barack Being Bi-Racial
Peter Slevin, Michelle’s biographer, quoted Michelle’s Mother, Marian, as saying, “That didn’t concern me as much as had he been completely white.” She continued, “And I guess that I worry about races mixing because of the difficulty, not so much for prejudice or anything. It’s just very hard.”
5. Michelle’s Mother Calls Her Hardheaded and Needed ‘Spanking’
Michelle’s mother, Marian Robinson, is said to have told people that Sasha, age 7 at the time, reminded her of her daughter. Even the First Lady’s paternal grandmother is said to have “told a co-worker that Michelle was ‘hardheaded’ and needed a spanking from time to time.”
4. She Once Dated The Son of Vocal Legend Patti LaBelle
Slevin, the author of Michelle Obama: A Life, wrote that the FLOTUS dated Stanley Stocker-Edwards, Patti LaBelle’s adopted son, while at Harvard. She apparently had a hard time holding down a boyfriend and she said, “My family swore I would never find a man that would put up with me.”
3. Michelle Worked Marketing For Coors Brewing and Barney The Purple Dinosaur
According to Mrs. Obama’s biography, while working for Sidley Law Firm in Chicago she was assigned to work with AT&T, Coors Brewing, and the kid’s public television monster hit, Barney and Friends. “the work could be thankless and, frankly, dull,” said the firm’s senior partner John Levi. “I knew Michelle was frustrated.”
2. Young Michelle’s Foul Mouth
A young Michelle Obama would regularly attend summer camp on the shores of Lake Michigan. Apparently while away at summer camp, 10-year-old Michelle went on a curse-filled tirade and was denied the prestigious “best camper” award. The future FLOTUS was stunned she had missed the award and apparently changed her verbal ways.
1. Michelle Obama’s White Ancestors
Michelle Obama has always believed she had white ancestors. While Researching her book, American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama, Rachel L. Swarns may have discovered a DNA link between Michelle and the white Shields family, who is suspected to have owned her great-great-great grandmother, Melvina Shields.
No person is safe from a little controversy, especially when he or she is in the forefront of the public eye. Michelle Obama has proved to be one of the most well-spoken and educated First Ladies to ever grace the White House. Whether or not you agree with the policies of her husband’s administration, her dedication to helping combat childhood obesity by educating the young generation on proper diet and exercise is a cause everyone can get behind.
Future First Ladies have a lot to live up to if they wish to be placed in the same league as the Ivy League-educated Michelle.