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Michelle Obama's Netflix Documentary Is Everything You Need & More!

Mrs. Michelle Obama, Former First Lady of the United States (a.k.a the "Forever First Lady"), is being escorted while sitting passenger seat in the second row of a Chevy Suburban. She turns on some music and it is the gospel song, "A God Like You", by Kirk Franklin. Michelle bops her head and taps her hands upon the side of her leg as rhythms from the melodic harmonies fill her soul. She then says, "sometimes you need to bounce before you do something". I'm not sure if it was seeing her face or that she was getting hyped over a gospel song, but I knew from the beginning I was in for a treat. On May 6, Netflix dropped the documentary, "Becoming", which highlights Mrs. Obama's life and the experiences she had while touring following the release of her memoir. Before watching the film, I knew I had to prepare myself for the gems that were about to be dropped by Mrs. Obama. So, I grabbed a pen and paper, an open heart, and ready mind. I was ready to be encouraged, motivated, and inspired by a remarkable woman's story of how she became.

A beautiful montage of Mr. and Mrs. Obama leading up to their White House era flood my screen as Mrs. Michelle Obama begins to reflect on a historic eight years. While it was an eventful few years, she expresses it also being a challenging time for her as well. Mrs. Obama's identity was framed, reframed, and tested in countless moments while her husband served in office. She quotes it being "8 years of trying to do everything perfectly" and discusses the societal and external pressures of being The First Lady of The United States and The First African-American First Lady of The United States. At the age of fifty-six, she mentions feeling more herself than ever before - freer, bolder, and more hopeful. The documentary focuses on the theme of identity told through anecdotes of her life.

Throughout the film, Michelle is seen speaking to a group of ambitious and driven young women. They ask her a series of questions, reveal their fears, and hopes, as she answers each of them with awakening responses. One question Michelle is asked is, "How did you as a black woman persevere through invisibility?" My eyes widened awaiting Michelle's response, which was even better than the question itself. She says she never felt invisible because her parents always made her feel visible (*Drops the mic*). In an earlier response, she says her family dinner table "was the first table" she felt like she belonged. You know the saying, "it all starts at home", well it seems Michelle Obama confirms that this statement is true. The effect our upbringing has on who we are is important, but who we become is completely in our hands. She furthers her response by saying "you gotta find the tools within yourself to feel visible, and to be heard, and to use your voice." There won't always be a room with someone who looks like you or even the opportunity provided to be heard. So Mrs. Obama encourages viewers and the individuals in that room that no matter who doesn't see you, you make sure that you see you, and everything else will fall into place.

Oh, but the encouragement and words of wisdom do not end there. Michelle Obama even gives relationship advice by opening up on how her and Former President, Mr. Barack Obama, came to be. It was a funny, beautiful, and promising story of how fate and purpose can bring two wonderful people together to do wonderful things. She knew Mr. Obama was a man with a plan and she needed to get her self together to ensure she would not lose her entity in the relationship by his goals and visions. The lesson Mrs. Obama shares with other young women is know who you are and know what you want in life. You are a queen!

The quote that encompasses a core message of this documentary is when Michelle says at one of her tour stops, "I am coming down from the mountaintop to tell every young person that is poor and working class, and has been told, regardless of the color of your skin, that you don't belong - don't listen to them!" The crowd cheers and so do I. No matter who you are, there is a seat at the table for us all, and if you aren't offered a seat then create your own table! We each have something wonderful to offer this world. Don't dim your light (Matthew 5:16).

From this documentary, I learned that it isn't what we aim to become, but who we will be in the process of becoming. Mrs. Obama did not become, she is still growing, learning, and evolving. It takes time to process your life. The film closes out with Mrs. Michelle Obama providing some lasting gems:

1. Let your jobs and your lives speak for itself.

2. "If we can open up a little more to each other and share our stories, our real stories, that's what breaks down barriers." -Michelle Obama

Thank you Mrs. Michelle Obama for telling us your story. The documentary illuminates that the art of becoming is a journey, one that we have the opportunity to wake to each day.


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