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What’s in Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’?

By Kate Hudson | Celebrity | November 12, 2018 |

By Kate Hudson | Celebrity | November 12, 2018 |


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In a few hours, Becoming by Michelle Obama will be delivered to my Audible account. The hard copy should be in my hands by no later than 9 pm tomorrow night. To say I’m excited is an understatement.

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Like basically everyone in America (who isn’t a racist garbage person), I love Michelle Obama. Like, LOVE, her. I cannot wait to read her perspective on living in the White House, her hard work leading up to that point, and perhaps most importantly—her take on what’s come after.

Early reviews are promising.

EW.com:

“Becoming arrives like a glass bottle of decency, preserved from a nationwide garbage fire.”

New York Times:

“Her pragmatism is tougher than that, even if it will come across as especially frustrating to those who believe that centrism and civility are no longer enough. As she writes in “Becoming,” she long ago learned to recognize the “universal challenge of squaring who you are with where you come from and where you want to go.”

Washington Post:

“Her new memoir crackles with blunt, often searing observations about politics, race and gender in America.”

That said, I wouldn’t care if Becoming was a long list of names Michelle Obama thought would be good to name your cat. I would happily pay to read, and listen to her read, that book.

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Luckily, she didn’t appear to take that route (but I’ll let you know if she does have that section once I’m done with Becoming.)

Instead, she’s telling her story, and she’s not holding anything back.

“I’ve smiled for photos with people who call my husband horrible names on national television, but still want a framed keepsake for their mantel,” she writes. “I’ve heard about the swampy parts of the internet that question everything about me, right down to whether I’m a woman or a man. A sitting U.S. congressman has made fun of my butt. . . . Mostly, I’ve tried to laugh this stuff off.”

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She’s also addresses the nasty stain on humanity who grabbed her husband’s position after he vacated it and his pathetic “Birther” movement, which sought to discredit a man who won both the popular and electoral vote, without any assistance from Russia.

“Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this I’d never forgive him.”

By now, you’ve probably heard the additional anecdote that’s getting press today, about her inability/unwillingness to smile at Trump’s inauguration. Per CNN:

“Someone from Barack’s administration might have said that the optics there were bad, that what the public saw didn’t reflect the President’s reality or ideals, but in this case, maybe it did,” Obama said in audio of the book. “Realizing it, I made my own optic adjustment. I stopped even trying to smile.” […]

“I will always wonder about what led so many, women in particular, to reject an exceptionally qualified female candidate and instead choose a misogynist as their president,”

Of course, because Trump is nothing if not a very pathetic bully, he tried to come for Michelle Obama because of the above. He failed.

“She got paid a lot of money to write a book, and they always expect a little controversy. I’ll give you a little controversy back, I’ll never forgive (President Barack Obama) for what he did to our US military”

Two days after saying that, Trump refused to join other world leaders honoring fallen soldiers for World War 1. Today, he failed to go to Arlington National Cemetery to honor our veterans.

He sucks, let’s get back to Michelle, who is the best.

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It’s not all righteous fury—there’s some charming anecdotes in there as well, like the time she and the Queen of England bonded over their equally uncomfortable footwear as related in USA Today:

“You’re so tall,” the queen noted. (Indeed, the queen is reported to be 5’4”; Michelle Obama is 5’11”.) “Well, the shoes give me a couple of inches,” she replied.

The queen glanced at Michelle’s black Jimmy Choos and shook her head. “Those shoes are unpleasant, are they not?” she asked. Michelle confessed that her feet hurt. The queen confessed that her feet, clad in black pumps, hurt, too.

“We were just two tired ladies oppressed by our shoes,” Michelle writes.

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If this were any other time, and any other former First Lady, I’d make some joke (OK, it’s not really a joke) on whether they’re spilling the goods on what I presume to be real state secrets, like if aliens exist, what really happened at Area 49, and whether or not America has a massive warehouse like at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where supernatural artifacts are stored—but this is Michelle Obama, and she’s above answering such things (unless she isn’t, and then Becoming really will be the best autobiography of all time.)

Instead, I’m very much looking forward to spending quality time with Michelle, and remembering a time that wasn’t too long when grown-ups were in the White House, and we had a First Family with no indictments or rape accusations made against them.

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Kate is a staff contributor. You can follow her on Twitter.



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