As Michelle Obama’s new Netflix documentary Becoming airs, we’ve been given a glimpse at how her daughters feel about her and their father Barack Obama. Eloquent, thoughtful young women, their pride in their parents is palpable. Malia, especially, seems to find her mom’s new journey as author and motivational speaker particularly emotional. During a clip from the documentary she can be heard saying to her mom “I can’t stop crying!” The moment occurs during Michelle’s blockbuster book tour in support of her memoir of the same name.
“You‘re so good, I love you too much,” says Malia before admitting that: “I cried again.” “Why you always crying?” her mom asks her. “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.” She then adds “And also every time you guys play Stevie Wonder, I don’t know, I cry a little bit.”
Later in Becoming, Malia and Sasha appear in an interview that was originally recorded in 2018 to be shown at their mom’s book tour events. “I’m excited for her to be proud of what she’s done ‘cause I think that’s the most important thing for a human to do is be proud of themselves,” Sasha says in the clip. Her older sister adds: “No longer facing that same scrutiny, being able to let all of that leave your mind, creates so much more space.”
Sasha was the youngest child to inhabit the White House since John F. Kennedy Jr. arrived as an infant in 1961. She and older sister Malia became an obvious focus of media attention during their eight years as first kids of the US. The fact that they have turned out into such well-rounded adults is testament to the Obamas success at keeping them grounded in such a high-profile environment.