Today the First Lady of the United States, the divine Ms. Michelle Obama, turns the big 5-0! Happy birthday, FLOTUS! Not since Hillary Clinton has the White House seen such an inspirational and powerful woman. She continues to encourage and engage people with the reality that they can not only better themselves, but better the world in which we live.
While others might cry at the thought of turning 50, Michelle is embracing it with her usual grace and positivity. As she told Parade magazine this past summer when asked about her upcoming birthday, “I have never felt more confident in myself, more clear on who I am as a woman. But I am constantly thinking about my own health and making sure that I’m eating right and getting exercise and watching the aches and pains. I want to be this really fly 80-, 90-year old.” If only everyone who reaches half a century old could look at it with such wisdom and gratefulness.
So today, on her 50th birthday, let’s take a look at some of Michelle's most inspirational quotes and all resolve to be a little more like her.
Images: Getty Images
On making a difference
“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once, but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have, because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”
“Cute’s good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it’s, ‘Who are you as a person?’ That’s the advice I would give to women: Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. Look at how the guy treats his mother and what he says about women. How he acts with children he doesn’t know. And, more important, how does he treat you? When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good. You should never feel less than. You should never doubt yourself. You shouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t make you completely happy and make you feel whole. And if you’re in that relationship and you’re dating, then my advice is, don’t get married.”
“We can make a commitment to promote vegetables and fruits and whole grains on every part of every menu. We can make portion sizes smaller and emphasize quality over quantity. And we can help create a culture — imagine this — where our kids ask for healthy options instead of resisting them.”
On the United States
“The fact is, with every friendship you make and every bond of trust you establish, you are shaping the image of America projected to the rest of the world. That is so important. So when you study abroad, you’re actually helping to make America stronger.”
“Style helps distinguish you … It’s a great potential opportunity that people tend to leave by the wayside.”
“I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.”
On women's rights
“You can be the generation that stands up and says that violence against women in any form, in any place, including the home – especially the home – that isn’t just a women’s rights violation. It’s a human rights violation.”
“Once you find that passion, whether it’s film — maybe it’s science or business, maybe it’s teaching — anything, you have got to get your education. That’s the bottom line.”
“We should always have three friends in our lives – one who walks ahead who we look up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then, one who we reach back for and bring along after we’ve cleared the way.”
On the arts
“The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can afford it. Rather, paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation.”
On staying true to oneself
“One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.”