In celebration of International Day of the Girl on Tuesday, Michelle Obama and Yara Shahidi joined the panel for Glamour’s “A Brighter Future: A Global Conversation on Girls’ Education.”
When asked what advice she would give her 15-year-old self, FLOTUS offered guidance so sound, it’s applicable to girls and women of all ages.
“We think we have to be perfect. We think that we can’t stumble. And the only way you succeed in life, the only way you learn is by failing,” said FLOTUS. “It’s not the failure; it’s what you do after you fail. Do you let it eat you up? Do you quit? Do you give up? Or do you let it bolster you? Does it serve as the challenge in your mind to do more, to take some risks, to step outside of your comfort zone?”
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Obama urged the audience to remember to find support in each other – because sisterhood, because girl power.
“We’re sometimes taught in our societies that we have to compete and we have to hold each other back in order for one of us to succeed. That is not true,” said Obama. “We need each other. And all over the world we have to be a team of women and girls who love each other and value each other and cherish one another. Because if we don’t cherish each other, no one else will.”
She then encouraged the crowd to start practicing support and mentorship in their own relationships, because it’s never too early or too late to start.
“We have to be our best friends – each other,” she said. “That means we cannot be catty. We cannot compete and see one person’s failure as our success. We can all rise together. We can all win.”