Why Michelle Obama Owning Her Success Matters For Women Everywhere

click to play video

It can be difficult for many women to tout their own accomplishments — even when if you're first lady of the United States. In her last White House interview airing on CBS and OWN, Michelle Obama spoke with Oprah Winfrey about being confident and proud of her smarts.

When asked if there was something about herself that amazed even her, Michelle answered:

"Maybe it's something that we as women, we as minorities sort of take — we underestimate ourselves. I'm pretty smart. I work pretty hard. I'm good at what I do. I have really good instincts. I have great ideas. And I can execute. And I say that out loud because we as women don't, like, pat ourselves on the back. We're always sort of deferring. We cede our power so easily."

Michelle's words are particularly poignant — hearing a woman (of color, no less) discuss her skills and prowess might be considered boastful to many people. But when a man does it? It's normal, to be expected. We need to hear words like hers so we don't feel intimated to speak up in a room full of men, don't let guys take the credit for our ideas, and don't stand for being mansplained to. And it's something we need now more than ever in the face of a Donald Trump presidency.

In the same segment of the interview, the first lady gave similar advice to young women. "I want young girls out there to know — live out loud. And understand that what's in your brain is really useful," said Michelle. "Do not hide it. Don't dumb it down. Don't apologize for it. Just put it on the table and let people deal with it."