The Untold Truth Of Michelle Obama's Childhood

Michelle Obama is giving us yet another glimpse of who she really is, thanks to her new Netflix documentary, Becoming, based on the book tour promoting her memoir of the same name. The world got to know Michelle as the first lady of the United States, where she was constantly under the camera's gaze in a politically divisive America. So how much of her did we really see?

As both Michelle and Barack Obama have shifted from the White House to a post-presidency life, audiences have had the chance to receive more and more from this remarkable woman. As the Daily Beast says: "Obama is a magnetic, engaging storyteller, incredibly funny and capable of granting just the right amount of private access into her life to feel like you're getting to know her — especially with her more casual conversational style outside of the White House."

Thanks in large part to the publication of her 2018 memoir, it seems that the spotlight has shifted from her husband and remained focused on Michelle. With the release of her Netflix documentary, there's so much we want to know about this enigmatic person, especially the early parts of her life, her parents, and her childhood to see what shaped Michelle to become the woman we love and respect today. 

Michelle Obama came from Chicago's South Side

In the trailer for her Netflix documentary, Becoming, Michelle Obama speaks about her childhood in a much more relaxed setting than 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Michelle takes viewers back to her hometown and tells them, "I am from the South Side of Chicago. That tells you as much about me as you need to know." She describes the environment of her childhood: "It was a typical, working-class community: some good music, some good barbecue, some good times." 

Michelle's parents were Fraser and Marian Robinson, according to her official biography in the Obama White House archives. Her father worked as a pump operator for the Chicago Water Department and faithfully worked her entire childhood, "despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at a young age." Michelle's mother, Marian, stayed at home to raise her and her older brother, Craig. According to Michelle's biography, Marian skillfully managed "a busy household filled with love, laughter, and important life lessons."

Michelle Obama and her mom legit love each other

According to The Washington Post, former first lady Michelle Obama and her mother, Marian Robinson, share an extremely close bond, one that started during Michelle's childhood and continued into her adulthood.

Marian came to live with the Obamas at the White House during Barack Obama's presidency, something that solidified the closeness between mother and daughter. Despite this deep affection, Marian isn't shy to roast her famous daughter every once in a while.

For instance, in 2019, Michelle shared a text from her mom with the hashtag, "Texts from Mom," that showed the hilarious and very intimate relationship between this mother-daughter duo. According to The Washington Post, Marian texted her daughter to say: "I guess you were a hit at the Grammys," hinting that she was miffed Michelle didn't tell her about the big event.

Michelle replied: "I'm sitting here with Valerie and this text is so typically you. Did you watch it?!" Marian then said a friend reminded her and replied to her daughter: "Did you meet any of the real stars or did you run right after you were done."

Michelle insisted that she had told her mom she would be at the Grammys, but Marian said: "No you did not. I would have remembered that even though I don't remember much." Michelle stood her ground and added: "And I am a real star ... by the way." To which Marian quipped: "Yeah." 

Ha! Amazing.

Michelle Obama's guidance counselor tried to shut down her dreams

According to her official White House biography, Michelle Obama went through Chicago public schools, then went on to study sociology and African-American studies at Princeton University. She then graduated from Harvard Law School in 1988 and joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met Barack Obama.

While this all seems amazing, the journey was a lot more complicated than it sounds, especially during Michelle's childhood. In the Netflix trailer for Becoming, Michelle speaks in an interview about how some people tried to stop her from achieving her dreams. The interviewer asks her, "In high school, your guidance counselor didn't see in you what you saw in yourself." Michelle agrees and explains, "She decided I was reaching too high."

Thankfully, Michelle didn't listen to this person. Not only that, but she's using her own pain to lift up others. Later in the Netflix trailer, a young woman asks Michelle: "How did you, as a black woman, persevere?" Michelle replies: "We can't afford to wait for the world to be equal to start feeling seen."

In an incredibly optimistic note, Michelle says: "I feel like I've got to share with you all that the energy that's out there is much better than what we see."