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Even Michelle Obama Was Awkward and Self-Conscious in Middle School

2 minute read

No one is immune to the awkward discomfort that is middle school. And that includes First Lady Michelle Obama, also known as the Beyoncé BFF who probably should have won “Best Arms of the Class of 1981” in high school.

FLOTUS wrote an essay to her younger self in this week’s People that discusses her angst-ridden younger years:

If I could give my younger self just one piece of advice, it would be this: Stop being so afraid! That’s really what strikes me when I look back – the sheer amount of time I spent tangled up in fears and doubts that were entirely of my own creation. I was afraid of not knowing the answer in class and looking stupid, or worried about what some boy thought of me, or wondering whether the other girls liked my clothes or my hair, or angsting about some offhand comment someone made to me in the lunchroom.

I would love to go back in time and tell my younger self, “Michelle, these middle and high school years are just a tiny blip in your life, and all the slights and embarrassments and heartaches, all those times you got that one question wrong on that test – none of that is important in the scheme of things.”

Even though Obama still faces high school-esque antics — including news commentators discussing her weight — she has certainly risen above the lunchroom chatter.

From Eleanor to Michelle: See The Inside Scoop on First Lady Fashion

07/06/1998 - D:BOB2Madison5.tif - slug: WK/MONTPELIER. date: 7/6/98. photographer: Robert A. Reede
Left: A portrait of Dolly Madison, circa 1800; right: Dolly Madison's famous red dress on display at the home on James Madison in Montpelier, Va. Getty Images (2)
First Lady Fashion Mrs., Abraham Lincoln
Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln, in 1863. Getty Images
Harriet Lane
Portrait of Harriet Lane, circa 1860s. Harriet Lane was the first "acting First Lady" to her uncle, life-long bachelor, President James Buchanan. Getty Images
First Lady Fashion Grace Coolidge
Mrs. Grace Coolidge, the First Lady to Calvin Coolidge, in 1925. Getty Images
Eleanor Roosevelt wears Arnold Constable gown she will wear
Eleanor Roosevelt wears the Arnold Constable gown she will wear to the White House diplomatic corps reception, Nov. 10, 1939. NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images
First Lady Fashion Mrs. Richard M. Nixon;Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower (L) sharing her fur with Mrs. Patricia Nixon on a chilly night in 1952. Ed Clark—The TIME & LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
First Lady Fashion Jacqueline Kennedy
First Lady Jackie Kennedy wearing a fitted silk apricot dress and triple strand of pearls, walking through crowds during a visit to Udaipur, India on March 1, 1962. Art Rickerby—The TIME & LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Lady Bird Johnson
Lady Bird JohnsonBettmann/Corbis
First Lady Fashion Pat Nixon
Mrs. Patricia Nixon at home reading the newspaper in Washington, 1960.Ed Clark—The TIME & LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Nancy Reagan, decked out in red lace dress & gold
Nancy Reagan, decked out in red lace dress, gold earrings and necklace set, at "President's dinner" in Washington on May 11, 1988.Diana Walker—TTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images
First Lady Fashion Hillary Clinton
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in the White House Rose Garden during a meeting with the League of Women Voters in Washington on June 7, 1993. Cynthia Johnson—The TIME & LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
First Lady Michelle Obama waves to supporters on the first day of the Democratic National Convention at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. on Sept. 4, 2012 Stan Honda—AFP/Getty Images

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