Becoming: Yes, Malia Obama Does 'Cry a Little Bit' Every Time She Hears a Stevie Wonder Song

Democratic then-presidential candidate Barack Obama and his family arrive on stage for his election night victory rally on November 4, 2008, in Chicago, Illinois.
Democratic then-presidential candidate Barack Obama and his family arrive on stage for his election night victory rally on November 4, 2008, in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo: Saul Loeb (AFP via Getty Images)

Michelle Obama’s Becoming, the former first lady’s first chance to step into the spotlight in such an intimate way, is now available for our consumption.

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At the time of this blog’s publishing, I had just finished diving into Mrs. Obama’s Becoming myself and it’s a quick, nostalgic and endearing watch. In the doc, she reflects on the pressures to perform everything “perfectly” in the 8 years of President Barack Obama’s administration, joking about the family dynamics with her brother Craig Robinson, the misogynoir she faced from conservative media, and more.

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Since this is a peek at the life of “Forever FLOTUS” as she navigates her life post-presidency, we get a glimpse into all of the key players in her life, including secret agent Allen Taylor.

“Allen is more like a brother than he is an agent,” Mrs. Obama revealed during the film. “He was my first experience of having a detail — so that’s 12 years of a relationship, if not more.”

At one point in the doc, we see a clip from one of her tour appearances, where she reflects on teaching Malia and Sasha Obama how to do their own chores despite having the privilege of having White House staff to do that for them.

“I’m not raising kids that don’t know how to make a bed,” Mrs. Obama said at the time. Today, the two Obama girls we’ve watched grow up before our eyes are 21 (Malia) and 18 (Sasha).

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In one clip, we see Malia visiting her mom during one of the stops in the book tour.

People Magazine breaks down the exchange:

“You’re so good, I love you too much,” says Malia (her mom’s “little potato”).

“I cried again,” Malia continues.

“Why you always crying?” Mrs. Obama asks her.

“It’s always so ...,” Malia begins.

“This has demonstrated in a way—it’s just like, damn, those eight years weren’t for nothing. You know?” Malia tells her mom. “You see that huge crowd out there and that last kind of speech you gave about—people are here because people really believe in hope and hope in other people.”

With a smile and a small eye-roll, she adds, “And also every time you guys play Stevie Wonder, I don’t know, I cry a little bit.”

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As Mrs. Obama reflected on the fact that she and Mr. Obama are currently “empty-nesters,” the two daughters also reflected on their mother’s evolving future.

“I’m excited for her to be proud of what she’s done because I think that’s the most important thing for a human to do is to be proud of themselves,” said Sasha.

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“No longer facing that same scrutiny, being able to let all of that leave your mind creates so much more space,” Malia added.

Becoming is now streaming on Netflix.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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DISCUSSION

feministonfire
FeministOnFire

Oh, so sweet! I can imagine the wellspring of pride she has seeing her mother get some sunshine! And I’m an old softie who tears up for certain songs too!

Not since my childhood adoration of Wonder Woman and Isis have I felt such warmth and admiration for people I’ve never met!