Sunbeams streamed warmly through the elegant glass-ceiling courtyard of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., in February, illuminating the thousands who gathered for the return of Michelle and Barack Obama to the public stage. Artists Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley unveiled their portraits of the former FLOTUS and POTUS, the ceremony feeling far more like an easygoing homecoming than a stodgy museum reveal.
Standing tall alongside the canvas of her greyscale portrait, flashing her wide smile and wearing a long-sleeved floral navy gown, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama commanded as much love and attention as she ever did in her eight years in the White House. All hailed the forever mom-in-chief as she beamed.
The sold-out, superstar-sized stadiums of a 10-city tour for her new memoir proves that sunlit winter day was the barest of warm-ups. Becoming by Michelle Obama (published by the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House) traces her journey from the South Side of Chicago to her Harvard Law-educated tenure at Sidley Austin to America’s most beloved first lady and all points in-between: her White House vegetable garden and battle against childhood obesity; her Reach Higher and Let Girls Learn education initiatives; her style-iconic trio of Vogue covers; her relaxed appearances on Ellen and “Carpool Karaoke” (rapping breezily with Missy Elliott). Michelle Obama’s dignity and polish have been sorely missed since the Obamas’ exit from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, hence the Beyoncé-sized audiences for her book tour.