The Obamas Talk About Leading Women in Ladies Home Journal

FLOTUS graces the magazine's September cover.

Posted: 08/08/2012 12:58 PM EDT
Michelle Obama

(Photo: Courtesy of Ladies Home Journal)

Michelle Obama poses on the cover of Ladies Home Journal's September issue, but inside both President Barack Obama and FLOTUS sit down for a chat about women, leadership, their daughters and what the president loves most about his wife.

"We have to start with them while they’re young and instill in girls a sense of confidence," Michelle said about inspiring more women to become leaders. "That’s why sports are so important. They teach you how to compete — how to fall down and get back up. And there are organizations like the Girl Scouts: They nurture self-confidence and give girls the chance to practice being in charge. We’ve got to give young women the opportunities to be leaders."

President Obama agreed, adding that he hopes his daughters learn how to remain compassionate while also having the confidence to accomplish their goals. He also added that "women oftentimes have a more well-rounded view of what American families are going through," and he hopes more women jump up to the challenge of taking on leadership roles.

"It’s easier for boys to imagine themselves being president," he said. "They see themselves as being in charge. Girls are socialized to think about other people more. I want Malia and Sasha to feel confident about expressing their opinions. And if they’re good at something I want them to have the confidence to step up and shine. I don’t want them to lose their empathy and stop thinking about other people, because that’s an important part of leadership, too. But I don’t want them to be wallflowers."

Well the girls are getting a wonderful head start by being raised by a mother who's serving as a role model not only for them but for a country of women and girls.

"Well, she’s very smart. She’s a wonderful speaker. She’s very cute," President Obama said about his Michelle. "Having said all those things, the quality I love most about her is, she’s honest and genuine. I think that comes across to people. They get a sense that they can trust her. You know, the word “authenticity” is overused these days. But I do think it captures what folks are looking for — not just in leaders, but also in friends and in coworkers — and that is, folks who are on the level. People like that tell you what they think and don’t have a bunch of hidden motives. That’s who Michelle is. She’s also funny. She’s the funniest person in our family."


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