Sometimes you need to just bounce before you do something! That’s how First Lady Michelle Obama’s Netflix doc Becoming starts out with an upbeat look back to a time in history that we crave right about now! A time where we had a President who looked, sounded and behaved like the leader of the free world. When we had a First Lady who didn’t have to stay hidden because her husband was acting out daily with twitter and press conference tantrums.
Two years after leaving the White House former First Lady Michelle Obama traveled the world touring in anticipation of her memoir. Like Oprah says in her introduction, ‘she always made us feel like the White House was “our” house…the people’s house.’ The amount of joy and full overwhelming emotion watching this doc was palpable. But, we love Mrs. Obama because she always did and still does keep it 100% real talk. Baby, when she hits that stage talking about the girls wanting a sleep over while they were trying to pack in anticipation of leaving the White House joking “…the Trumps are coming, you gotta eat up and get out,” I thought I would choke I laughed so hard.
But, then she speaks of the challenge of one day being a normal family, an election happens and then your life is never the same. Every move, word, blink of an eye is analyzed and you are expected to be perfect. What is perfect? Who is perfect? What does perfect even mean? Mrs. Obama knew that embarking upon a book tour would be a huge undertaking. She knew that the moderators would have to be folks that could not only engage in a conversation with her, but hold the audience in the palm of their hand.
Watching her shake every hand, sign every book, engage every conversation and look them dead in the eye like there was no one else there takes a special type of individual who knows how to stay connected and realize that their life has an enormous impact on young and old. The small symposium Q&A’s with young woman, older women and First Ladies of the church around the country was heartwarming to peek in on. Speaking on what it feels like when people want to treat you less than simple because of the color of your skin and rising above that will make your heart soar!
Family is everything and we have often just seen her dynamic with her husband and daughters, but not too much with her Mom and brother. When her brother clowns her about her outfit, it was refreshing to see that even though Craig has one of the most famous women in the world as a sister, it doesn’t change them from having that playful back and forth that all siblings have that has kept her grounded on this journey. Looking fondly thorough photographs and her humble beginnings in the South Side of Chicago “tells you all you need to know.” Watching her glow while speaking about meeting Barack Obama and making the conscious decision to step up her game as to not disappear in the shadow of her man – a young law mentee at the time who ultimately became President of the United States.
As a black woman in America, who became one of the most famous, revered, inspiring women in the world, the best way to describe watching Becoming is this simple piece of advice from the First Lady herself ‘We can’t afford to wait for the world to be equal to start feeling seen.” She filled arenas around the country reinvigorating that hope is infectious and inspiring while encouraging every single soul to “dare to tell your story.”
With a staff of primarily women, directed by Nadia Hallgren and produced by Netflix, Becoming begins streaming on May 6th just in time for Mother’s Day. Watch with your Mom, girlfriends, nieces, granddaughters and anyone who want to become brave and unafraid to live their best life by simply being YOU.