The energy levels at the sold-out venue at Barclay Center, Brooklyn on December 19th at the “Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama” talk was high and vibrant, and one could feel the excitement and hear the cheers and applause right from the moment she made her entry until she exited the stage.
Outside in the corridors there were the merchandise booths set up to purchase everything from the book, t-shirts and other themed items of “Becoming”.
There were lines of people wanting to take pictures with life-size posters of Michelle Obama.
Inside the mood was set in during the initial hour by the videos of her various appearances and TV shows and listening to the upbeat songs like “Let’s get Loud”, “Grigio Gals”, “Shake your body (down to the ground) and many more. On the stage Ina Garten, Alicia Keys, and Rachael Ray were among the few people who appeared and set the mood and theme for “Becoming”.
Sarah Jessica Parker was the moderator and she welcomed the former first lady with “Hello New York City, I am becoming acutely aware that we are all about to be in the same space as Michelle Obama and I am thrilled to be here tonight posting her Becoming Book Tour. We have already seen tonight why we fell in love with Michelle Obama but now let’s see how Michelle Robinson from the South Side of Chicago grew up to become the most awe-inspiring, beloved First Lady of the United States”.
Michelle Obama’s entry in a bright golden silk wrap dress with a high-cut slit at the front which showed off her glittering thigh-high boots (which are now so much talked about) got standing ovation. I loved her boots and also the rings on her fingers she wore. Her hands looked beautiful and even SJP complimented her on that during later in the talk. Sarah Jessica Parker discussed various passages from her book and spoke about her path from the South Side of Chicago to the White House, her motherhood, her marriage to Barack Obama, her hosting for programs during her stay at the white house, her career, her experiences in white house, her fashion sense, and so much more.
Her art of public speaking was in full display, her conversations and answers intelligent, engaging and yet lively and full of humor at the same time. Her funny comments on the presidential limousine, on the reaction of people when they open the door of their current house , even the dogs getting confused and not being used to the doorbell ring were some of the hilarious moments and kept the conversations lively and on the lighter side. She even made fun of the pronunciation of Barack Obama. One of the feedback of talking to the people who have read her book was that so many of them could relate to it and feel so much connection there. The book talks also depicted the same honesty and openness. It’s an inspiring story of a girl with little aspirations while growing up, challenges she saw while growing up, her career, her determination, the decisions she made and eventually landed in the White House and used that platform to help so many causes because she could still relate to the common person and knew how they felt at times.
On being asked by SJP to talk about fashion, Michelle Obama said “I did know that my clothes were making a statement, I knew that was the case. So, we decided why don’t we use this platform to uplift some young new designers who normally wouldn’t get this kind of attention, because you can change their lives, which is one of the reasons why we chose Jason Wu for my inaugural gown.” Another of her statement was “I didn’t want to wear the clothes of someone who didn’t have a good spirit, and you could hear these things, you could hear how they treated my staff or how they treated their works, so everyone I wore as far as I knew had a good spirit as well”. Her beauty and her grace were so visible in these words.
She delivered a message of hope directed at all Americans telling them that she was proud of her country and so should they be and after her inspiring talk exited the stage to Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours music.
It was a pleasure, honor and so inspirational that evening just to be able to watch and listen to her in person.