First Lady Michelle Obama Answers Your Questions

Uploaded by BarackObamadotcom on 13.02.2012

[Michelle Obama] Hi, everyone. You know, for me, one of the best parts about being First
Lady is that I get to meet people from all across America and talk about what’s going
on in their daily lives. So, today, I’m excited to get to talk to all of you and to answer
a few of the great questions that some of you have sent to me over Twitter. So let’s get started.
This first question is "What are your biggest hopes and dreams for your daughters?"
As most people know, Malia and Sasha are the center of our worlds. And we think about
what we need to be doing as parents every day to make their lives full. Barack and
I, we know we’re blessed. We feel blessed as a family. And we know that our daughters
are blessed too, and we try to make sure that they know that. But more than anything else, I
want my girls to find the thing in this world that will give them passion. I want them to
find that path that’s right for them. And I hope that they’re never afraid to take risks,
to make some mistakes, to trip, fall, stumble, and figure out how to get back up. Because,
as I tell them all the time, that’s the only way you learn. And I also hope that they
continue to find ways to give back to their communities and to others who aren’t as
fortunate. That’s one thing we have always tried to do as a family, is to always
do service, to find ways to continue to reach out. And I want to know that my girls are
going to be those types of adults as they get older. There’s nothing more important
than our children. Not just our children, but our nation’s children. So thank you
for the question. Another great question I received, “Who do you consider
to be your biggest role models?” My biggest role models are real people that
I know, people in my life. Umm, and, of course, my parents stand head and shoulders above
the rest. My mom and dad didn’t go to college, but they worked so hard, and they made so
many sacrifices, to make sure that my brother and I had the opportunities that every child
deserves. And it wasn’t easy for them. My father suffered from multiple sclerosis. But
the one thing that I remember about my dad is that, no matter how bad he may have felt,
or how tough things may have gotten for him, no matter how much he struggled – and he certainly
did struggle to get up and go to work every day – umm, my father just kept on working
and doing whatever was within his power to make our lives better. And like my
father, my mother worked hard and sacrificed and pushed us to succeed in ways that she
probably couldn’t have dreamed for herself. She always put us ahead of herself. And she’s
still doing that today for our family here at the White House. So I try to do right by
them every day. I wake up in the morning just wondering whether what I’m doing that day
would make my dad proud and whether I’m making my mom proud. Thank you for the question.
So here’s a question I’ve been asked a lot by young women I've met while travelling
around the country, “What is your advice to young women starting their careers?”
Now, I would tell young women, first and foremost, believe in yourself no matter what others
might tell you. I was raised in a neighborhood where not that many people had the chance to
go to college. And as I was growing up, people often questioned whether I really had what it took
to succeed at a school like Princeton, which is where I eventually went, and later to become a lawyer
at Harvard. But, I was always lucky to have parents who believed in me no matter what.
And I also was fortunate to have some fantastic teachers and mentors who believed in me too.
What these people in my life did is that they helped me keep all those doubts in check. They helped
to encourage me to pursue my dreams no matter what was going on in my head. So, that
would be my advice to you young women, and also young men, out there. Believe in yourself.
Don’t ever let anyone get into your head, and make you doubt yourself. Know that you
can do anything you put your mind to, and, as you get further along in your career, remember
to find ways to mentor others and to help them overcome the same obstacles you that
you faced when you were just starting out. Thanks so much.
The final question is on a subject very near and dear to my heart, “When your girls
were younger, did you have any difficulty getting them to eat healthy? Any tips for
the under-5 crowd?” That’s a great question. Now this is something
that most parents, including Barack and I, that we’ve dealt with. Our kids did
not come into this world as vegetable fans, they were like every other kid. So it wasn’t
easy to get them really focused on eating the things that were right for them. But there
are a couple of things that can really help that we found in our household. And one is having
fresh produce around and available and easy for them to access. It tastes so much better
when it’s fresh, which is one of the reasons that we’re working to improve access to
fresh produce in communities across the country. The other thing that helps kids is letting
them pick which fruits and vegetables they like, and then making that food available
at home. For example, I like to leave a bowl of fresh fruit in the kitchen so that it’s easy
for the girls to reach, and to have that more available than cookies and other snacks. Now,
I’m not saying that that always happens – that they always go for the apple over
the, you know, the cookie. But it does help. And, I also want to say that you’re definitely
on the right track if you're starting early. So first and foremost congratulations to the
parents who are getting on this when kids are very young. Because it is much easier
to get your kids to healthier foods if it has always been a part of their lives. It’s
a lot of work, but it’s well worth it. So I want to thank you all for sending in
your questions and keeping in touch on Twitter. I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation,
so see you back here again soon, okay? Thanks!