We haven’t heard a lot from Michelle Obama since she left the White House in January, 2017, but the former first lady has proved she’s just as fabulous and insightful as ever in a deeply personal interview for Elle magazine.
The 54-year-old was interviewed by her good friend Oprah Winfrey, who pressed the former first lady on everything from her marriage struggles with husband Barack to her criticisms of US President Donald Trump.
Accompanying the interview was a very glamorous photoshoot showing the mother-of-two posing in a series of fashion-forward ensembles.
The former lawyer looked flawless in the cover shoot, as she posed in a striking black-and-white outfit by world-renowned fashion house Dior. The daring outfit features a US$1,350 (AU$1,881) white poplin shirt and matching $4,900 pleated skirt, which is layered under a $2,400 leather corset.
Living in the White House for eight years, @MichelleObama had staffers providing everything she could have possibly needed, except for time. "What I came to realize is that there was absolutely no time to reflect in the White House,” she tells @oprah for ELLE’s cover interview. “We moved at such a breakneck pace from the moment we walked in those doors until the moment we left. It was day in and day out because we, Barack and I, really felt like we had an obligation to get a lot done.” Now, with time to process two terms in office—a historic run of accomplishments and struggles—Obama has released her highly anticipated memoir, “Becoming.” Ahead of her book release, the former FLOTUS gets real about her marriage to Barack, the threats made against her children, and life after the White House. ELLE December 2018 credits: Editor-in-chief: @ninagarcia Photographer: @millermobley Stylist: @meredithkoop Hair: @yenedamtew Makeup: @carlraymua Wearing: @Dior Chief photography director: @alixbcampbell
More photos inside the magazine show the mother-of-two opt for modern and edgy styles, with one photo showing her donning an elegant white off-the-shoulder frock. A third and final photo then sees the former lawyer wearing a pair of metallic high-waisted pants, matched with a sheer black blouse.
Michelle was surprisingly candid throughout the lengthly interview with Oprah, and spoke openly about the difficulties she and husband Barack have faced in their marriage. She recalled how difficult she found it to manage Barack’s hectic work schedule when he first entered politics and how his long hours away from the family home put pressure on their family.
“Barack Obama taught me how to swerve,” she said. “But his swerving sort of—you know, I’m flailing in the wind. And now I’ve got two kids, and I’m trying to hold everything down while he’s traveling back and forth from Washington or Springfield.
@MichelleObama knows you think she and #BarackObama are #RelationshipGoals, but she insists, “marriage is hard.” During a candid conversation with @oprah for ELLE’s December issue, Michelle reveals she and Barack underwent marriage counseling. “You go because you think the counselor is going to help you make your case against the other person. 'Would you tell him about himself?!' And lo and behold, counseling wasn’t that at all. It was about me exploring my sense of happiness." Link in bio to read more from her honest interview. ELLE December 2018 credits: Editor-in-chief: @ninagarcia Photographer: @millermobley Stylist: @meredithkoop Hair: @yenedamtew Makeup: @carlraymua Wearing: @cushnie Chief photography director: @alixbcampbell
“He had this wonderful optimism about time. [Laughs] He thought there was way more of it than there really was. And he would fill it up constantly. He’s a plate spinner—plates on sticks, and it’s not exciting unless one’s about to fall. So there was work we had to do as a couple. Counseling [sic] we had to do to work through this stuff.”
While the couple went to counselling to talk through their struggles, Michelle told Oprah it was a much different experience to what she had anticipated.
“Well, you go because you think the counselor [sic] is going to help you make your case against the other person. ‘Would you tell him about himself?!’ And lo and behold, counseling [sic] wasn’t that at all,” she said. “It was about me exploring my sense of happiness. What clicked in me was that I need support and I need some from him. But I needed to figure out how to build my life in a way that works for me.”
@MichelleObama on embracing vulnerability: “I feel vulnerable all the time. And I had to learn how to express that to my husband, to tap into those parts of me that missed him—and the sadness that came from that—so that he could understand. It was an important part of my journey of becoming. Understanding how to become us." #MichelleObama talks her marriage to #BarackObama, her new memoir #Becoming, and why she still feels optimistic about America in our December 2018 cover story. Link in bio. ELLE December 2018 credits: Editor-in-chief: @ninagarcia Photographer: @millermobley Stylist: @meredithkoop Hair: @yenedamtew Makeup: @carlraymua Chief photography director: @alixbcampbell
She also touched on her anger at Trump over his ‘birther conspiracy’ about her husband, saying he put her daughters’ lives in danger. In 2011, Trump peddled false rumours the then-president’s birth certificate was a fake, which would make him ineligible for the presidency. Michelle told Oprah she bit her tongue at the time, but wasn’t afraid to speak out against him now.
“I want the country to take this in, in a way I didn’t say out loud, but I am saying now,” she said. “It was reckless, it put my family in danger, and it wasn’t true. And he knew it wasn’t true.”