The former president reflects on his childhood and what makes Michelle, Sasha, and Malia so badass. independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Timed to the release of his highly anticipated memoir A Promised Land, InStyle asked former President Barack Obama about the most influential women in his life. Here is his exclusive response along with an excerpt from the first chapter of his book.
InStyle: What’s the most badass thing about Michelle, Malia, and Sasha?
Barack Obama: They all have multiple badass qualities. I think people know Michelle well enough to know how amazing she can be as a public speaker. They probably are less aware of what it’s like to work out with Michelle when she’s really in her groove. And sometimes that includes her boxing. You don’t want to get in the way when she’s working on a bag — including some kicks. There’s force there.
Barack Obama on the Women in His Life
Credit: Photographed by Shaniqwa Jarvis.
Sasha is, as Malia describes it, completely confident about her own take on the world and is not cowed or intimidated — and never has been — by anybody’s titles, anybody’s credentials. If she thinks something’s wrong or right, she will say so. When she was 4, 5, 6 years old, once she made a decision, she would dig in and couldn’t be steered off it. I write about it in the book, how we were trying to get her to taste caviar when we were visiting Russia. She was like, “Mnn-nnh. No. Sorry. That looks slimy. It’s nasty. I’m not going to do it — even if I’ve got to give up dessert.” And that part of her character has always been there.
And Malia, she is just buoyant. She’s somebody who enjoys people, enjoys life, and enjoys conversation. She’s never bored, which is a badass quality that can take you places.