Michelle Obama is a badass. Regardless of your political affiliation, you cannot deny that Michelle embodies everything a strong woman should be. She is educated, confident, passionate and outspoken about her beliefs, committed to her family, and supportive of fellow women. With a daughter of my own on the way, I can easily say that there is no woman I'd rather she look up to and emulate. These are 15 Michelle Obama quotes for the Women's March that our little girls have to hear — and they also happen to be perfect for your own sign or banner inspiration.
I was extremely fortunate to grow up in a home with two feminist parents. My mother encouraged each and every dream I ever had, regardless of how far-fetched it may have been; actually, she does the same thing to this day. My dad was always the first person to remind me that I could do something, no matter how discouraged I felt. Of course, this support at home is the most invaluable gift you can give your children. Inevitably, however, daughters go through a phase where the words of a person on TV can be more influential than those of her own parents. Exposing your daughter to empowering, feminist role models, whether it's Michelle Obama or someone else, is yet another gift to give her.
1. "There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish."
This is a good reminder for a girl or woman of any age. There is no goal out of your reach. No woman has done it before? Great, you'll be the first.
2. "Every day, you have the power to choose our better history — by opening your hearts and minds, by speaking up for what you know is right."
It's certainly not always easy to speak up for what you believe in and what you know to be right, especially when you're in the minority. Say it anyway. Never underestimate the power of your own voice.
3. "No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens."
The success of our country depends on us, period. By working hard to achieve your own aspirations, you're giving our society a gift.
4. "Live out loud, and understand that what's in your brain is really useful. 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."
Growing up, being a smart girl can intimidate others. That is their issue to deal with, not yours. Don't for one second stifle your own thoughts simply to make others more comfortable.
5. "You don't want to be with a boy who's too stupid to appreciate a smart young woman."
Period, point blank. If a boy or man ever tells you that you're too smart, say "Thank you" and walk away. How nice of them to save you time!
6. "You hear me, young people? Don't be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourself with a good education. Then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with hope; never fear."
It can be easy for young people to think, "I can't do anything, I'm just a kid." However, they need to know that what you do today, as a kid, will set you up to change the future. Arm yourself with knowledge and set yourself up for success.
7. "There is no magic to achievement. It's really about hard work, choices, and persistence."
There is no shortcut to getting where you want to be. Michelle Obama didn't wind up in her position of power by accident or coincidence. The harder you work, the "luckier" you'll be.
8. "I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values — and follow my own moral compass — then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own."
It's normal to care what people think and say about you. Remind yourself that, try as you might, you cannot please everyone. As long as you stick to your values and do what you know is right, you're on the right track.
9. "When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous."
Do not take your educational opportunities for granted. Young girls all over the world are denied their right to learn, and you have a true gift in front of you. Your education will open doors for you.
10. "You don't have to be somebody different to be important. You're important in your own right."
There are no two humans on this earth with the same story, and that's why your unique voice and perspective is so important. Do not doubt that you have something worthy to offer.
11. "You have a bad day you go to bed, you wake up, and you work a little harder."
Everyone has bad days. However, having a bad day is not the same thing as having a bad life. Every morning that you wake up, you have the change to work a little harder and make better things happen.
12. "Strong men, men who are truly role models, don't need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful."
A boy or a man who makes you feel inferior is not a person to keep in your life. You will never see high-quality men acting maliciously toward women. And who wants low-quality men in their life?
13. "The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the presence of women who are valued."
You need to be appreciated and respected, just as you need to appreciate and respect those around you. The only way a society can thrive is by lifting up the women within it.
14. "When you've worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed."
There is nothing better than paying it forward. As you go through life, do not forget the people who supported you, celebrated with you, and helped you succeed. Be that person for someone else.
15. "When they go low, we go high."
No list of powerful Michelle Obama-isms is complete without this one. You cannot control how other people act. When they knock you down, degrade you, disrespect you, and treat you unfairly, you can only control how you react. Don't stoop to their level. Always go high.