Michelle Obama On The Cover Of Glamour Magazine

glamourGlamour Magazine is honoring First Lady Michelle Obama with a Special Recognition award for her commitment to mentoring young women. According to Glamour, Michelle is establishing mentor relationships between top women in the administration and girls in need in DC, and is encouraging women leaders around the country to do the same where they live. Here are six “lessons”  from Michelle’s responses

Mentoring matters, especially for young women: “I think that mentoring is such a critical part of the role I can play in this position. I see how little bits of exposure and big bits of exposure really change my girls significantly, and I want that for more girls around the country and the world.”

The real role models aren’t movie stars–they’re the people you know: “They were the people in my life. My mom, for sure. My dad. The teachers. For me, role-modeling was immediate, it was touchable…Children connect with who is in their lives, present and accounted for…That’s why we’re trying to encourage moms, teachers, fathers, to be that presence in their children’s lives, in their communities, because it really makes a difference.”

Don’t wait to be “discovered” by a mentor: “I was blessed throughout my entire career. I had people rooting for me. It started with my parents, but it extended to almost every teacher that I had. When I was a young lawyer, there were other women and men in the firm who took me under their wing. Look for those mentors, because sometimes mentors don’t find you–sometimes you seek them out. Oftentimes, they’re flattered and glad to lend a hand.”

Don’t put yourself last in line: In answer to a reader question about how she keeps her sanity, the First Lady told Katie, “I have always tried to put my kids first, and then…put myself a really close second, as opposed to fifth or seventh. One thing that I’ve learned from male role models is that they don’t hesitate to invest in themselves.”

When it comes to looks and style, set your own standards: “People are always going to have opinions, and people have a right to their opinions, particularly when you’re the First Lady; you’re representing the nation. So I can’t be surprised that people are interested. But I’ve tried to be at peace with the choices that I make first, and then be open to everyone else’s reflection.”

With men, don’t be swayed by “cute”: “Cute’ good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it’s, Who are you as a person? Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul…When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good…You shouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t make you completely happy and make you feel whole.”

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