Long before she was the First Lady of these United States of America, Michelle Obama knew she didn’t need a man or a husband to be happy. In fact, she recently revealed that she understood at a rather early age that love, marriage and starting a family were options in life, not requirements.
“I was probably 10 or 11 when I saw that, and sort of started thinking, ‘You know what? Marriage is an option. Having a family is an option,'” she said in an interview with Variety.
FLOTUS stated that identifying the influence of shows like The Mary Tyler Moore showed her that being a wife wasn’t the singular identifier of success in a woman’s life.
“She was one of the few single working women depicted on television at the time,” Obama says. “She wasn’t married. She wasn’t looking to get married. At no point did the series end in a happy ending with her finding a husband — which seemed to be the course you had to take as a woman. But she sort of bucked that. She worked in a newsroom, she had a tough boss, and she stood up to him. She had close friends, never bemoaning the fact that she was a single. She was very proud and comfortable in that role.”
What was more important to Mrs. Obama, who was known then as little Michelle Robinson growing up on the Southside of Chicago, was her pursuit of a higher education.
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“Going to school and getting your education and building your career is another really viable option that can lead to happiness and fulfillment,” she added.
While the First Lady recognizes that her 23 year marriage to President Obama is an amazing representation of Black love, she acknowledges that she and her husband aren’t the first, only or last examples of a strong and healthy relationship that others can look up to.
“My mom says it all the time: ‘People are so enamored of Michelle and Barack Obama.’ And she says, ‘There are millions of Michelle and Barack Obamas.’ We’re not new. We’re not special.”
Safe to say that if Mr. Obama hadn’t come around and taken the young lawyer out on their infamous movie and ice cream date on a summer day in 1989, Michelle Robinson would have been just fine.