1. Be true to yourself.
Obama rocked a classic black blouse with sheer sleeves and bell-bottomed trousers with a slit up her calf to show off her gemstone pumps. "I'm wearing a young African-American designer [Carly] Cushnie. And she's bad," Obama laughs. But her fashion choices haven't always been so easy. Obama remembers when she first came to the White House, most people only wrote about how she looked or who she wore. But she wanted to push that standard out, so she stopped wearing what was expected of her, and started wearing what she wanted. "Here I am, a Harvard-educated [woman], I did stuff and had a message and a voice, but every story no matter what I did began with, 'And, the shoe was this and the sweater was that.' And that would be the story." She figured if people were going to talk about what she was wearing, then she'd wear, young, American designers and share that light with them. She even chose designer Jason Wu over Oscar de la Renta for her inaugural gown, which upset the famous designer. "He was annoyed and he kind of came after me about certain things but we knew it was because he was mad I wasn't wearing him," Obama says. "Well, if you tell me I should do something, I'm going to absolutely do the opposite. So, I just didn't wear him."
2. Things aren't always what they appear to be.
Obama painted a picture — it's election night 2008. She, Barack and their two daughters are crammed on a couch watching the results come in. They win. After two years of campaigning, the hard part has just started. Obama started interviewing schools, figuring out when they would move from Chicago to Washington D.C., — trying to iron out all the details. The process from the outside seemed smooth. But in reality, it was a bumpy transition. Inauguration Day was also the day they've moved into the White House — but the new president and their staff and family can't enter the White House until the Oath of Office has been taken. "Once the oath is taken, a signal happens to the White House and the moving van to move the current president's stuff out, and then to move the new president's stuff in," she says. "They transition an entire house just between a luncheon and a parade. After the inauguration parade and you leave and walk in, that's the first time you are walking in your new home."
3. Figure out your parenting style — then be strong.
The Obama's wanted to try and keep their daughters' lives as normal as possible. Sasha and Malia had chores, they made their bed and even learned how to do their own laundry from their grandma. "When your child is a toddler, they're looking to you for how to react to everything," Obama says. "I knew that about kids and about my kids, like when you have a baby and they hit their head for the first time, they look up at you to figure out if it really hurts. If you're like, Oh my God! then they're crying, but if you're like, You're fine, they are like OK. That's what we did with Malia and Sasha the whole time in the White House. It was like, You're fine, yes, you have men with guns. Just go to school." But when it came to the girls going to friends' houses for sleepovers, things were a little harder. "You have to treat parents like, Hello, yes you invited Malia over for a sleepover. Well, you're going to get a call from the Secret Service. We're going to need your social security number. They had to get a dog sweep of their house. They checked for guns and drugs. And I'd say, Please, don't lie, because you will be arrested. And thanks for inviting them."
12:00 PM EST
March 18, 2019