Dear First Lady,

It’s your special day, and your ESSENCE family wants you to know that we are celebrating right along with you! You make 50 look fabulous, Mrs. Obama, and we can only hope that as we each move into this decade, that we do it as gracefully and with as much poise and vivacity as you demonstrate daily.

For our generation, you are not only an icon of style and beauty, but also a shining example of what a life of public service should signify. Every passion project you’ve embraced, from improving the health of our families, and elevating educational opportunities of our children, to supporting our military, serves as a template for what one can accomplish with a loving spirit and a fierce determination to make a difference.  I believe that special glow that emanates from you is a reflection of the positivity you put out into the world. We know it’s not easy, with everything you have on your plate, but you always make it look so effortless.

Knowing how much you give to your children, spouse and country each and every day, we hope that your plans for your 50th include a day off, or at least some time for self. You’ve always encouraged us to put ourselves first, and we sincerely hope to see a few Instagram moments of your 50th where you’re putting your feet up, and basking in the glow of this extraordinary milestone. Happy Birthday, Mrs. Obama; we pray you are blessed with many, many more.

All our best,

Your ESSENCE Family