Michelle Obama was in Vancouver Thursday night as part of her Becoming book tour.
The former United States First Lady spoke with Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts in front of a packed Rogers Arena crowd, sharing her journey from the south side of Chicago to Princeton to the White House.
Earlier this month, Barack Obama spoke to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade where he addressed big-picture issues like climate change, economic inequality and the unique relationship between Canada and the U.S.
Michelle Obama’s event focused on more personal topics, such as the value of friends and family, while also integrating some of the trappings of a rock concert. Before the event, fans posed for selfies in front of a large banner of Obama while a merchandise table nearby offered $45 “Becoming” T-shirts.
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Georgia Gasiorowski, who attended the event with two friends, said Obama’s book and event at Rogers Arena touched on topics such as the challenges of parenting in the White House, that are easy to identify with.
“She kind of became relatable,” she said. “Those are the moments when you realize she’s not that different from us. She was just put into this incredible situation.”
Obama kicked off the evening recalling how when she was a promising young student in Chicago, a school counsellor was convinced that she was not Ivy League material.
“Every time I tell that story, I don’t care what room I’m in — but it’s usually a room full of women and minorities — everyone has had that experience,” she said.
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Obama made it into Princeton where she faced more doubters, who felt she was admitted to the Ivy League school because of affirmative action.
“I went into Princeton believing I didn’t belong,” she said, then stopped short of making reference to the current college admissions scandal in the U.S.
While First Lady, Obama said one of her goals was to bring “joy” to the White House.
“We needed that house to be happy, because we see now how it feels when there is no joy,” she said, an oblique reference to U.S. President Donald Trump.
“No matter what your political take is, feeling like your leaders are joyful, and that they care and that they’re reaching out… especially to our kids, that sets the tone.”
Obama says she believes her book has become a best-seller because it asks readers to embrace the truth and power of their own story and encourages them overcome feelings of doubt.
“Don’t believe you’re an imposter. There’s no such thing as imposters.” she said.
“The imposters are the ones who are running stuff these days.”