We celebrate Michelle Obama’s 53rd birthday in 10 quotes

This day in 1964, a great woman was born. “The girl from the Southside” as her husband, President Barack Obama fondly calls her. Michelle Obama, first African American and undoubtedly the most popular First Lady in the history of the United States, turns 53 today and her life in the past eight years has been a model for Black women across the world.

Michelle, a native of Chicago, took a break from her practice as a lawyer to focus on raising her daughters, Malia and Sasha when her husband got on the presidential race. Beyond raising her daughters which she has done a fantastic job of, Michelle through four major initiatives has been a support system for kids and women by promoting a healthier lifestyle through healthy eating and cooking.

She was a major campaigner for presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton at the United States presidential election that held in November, 2016. It was at this time she proved that she is, by herself, a powerful political figure who may pull a surprise on us by declaring an interest to run for president in the near future (or maybe, this is just wishful thinking on our part).

As we join in celebrating the near-perfect role model, the fashion icon, the gorgeous and confident Michelle Obama, we bring you 10 of her most memorable quotes. But first, here’s how President Obama congratulates his wife:

1. “What I have never been afraid of is to be a little silly, and you can engage people that way. My view is, first you get them to laugh, then you get them to listen.”

2. “If your family doesn’t have much money, I want you to remember that in this country, plenty of folks, including me and my husband. We started out with very little. But with a lot of hard work and a good education, anything is possible—even becoming President. That’s what the American Dream is all about.

3. “Do not ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t matter, or like you don’t have a place in our American story—because you do. And you have a right to be exactly who you are.

4. “We’re so afraid of each other. . . Color, wealth, these things that don’t really matter still play too much of a role in how we see one another. And it’s sad, because the thing that least defines us is the color of our skin.”

5. “If we want maturity, we have to be mature. If we want a nation that feels hopeful, then we have to speak in hopeful terms. … We have to model what we want.

6.”I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves, and I watch my daughters – two beautiful, intelligent black young women – playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.”

7. “Let us not forget: I didn’t just wake up first lady…I mean, I went to law school, I practiced law, I worked for the city, I ran a nonprofit (and) I was an executive at a hospital. I’ve been in the world. I’ve worked in every sector, and you don’t do that without coming up against some stuff. You know, having your feelings hurt, having people say things about you that aren’t true. … Life hits you, so over the course of living, you learn how to protect yourself in it. You learn to take in what you need and get rid of the stuff that’s clearly not true.”

8. “When they go low, we go high.

9. “I want our young people to know that they matter. That they belong. So don’t be afraid. Do you hear me? Young people, don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered.”

10. “It’s the hopes of folks like my dad, who got up every day, do his job at the city water plant; the hope that one day his kids would go to college and have opportunities he never dreamed of. That’s the kind of hope that every single one of us—politicians, parents, preachers, all of us—need to be providing for our young people. Because that is what moves this country forward every single day: our hope for the future and the hard work that hope inspires. So that’s my final message to young people as First Lady. It is simple.”

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