‘All our spontaneity was basically taken away from us – I couldn’t even open a window’

We wouldn't want to live in the White House after Michelle Obama's latest comments...

michelle obama
(Image credit: Rex)

We wouldn't want to live in the White House after Michelle Obama's latest comments...

While there are lots of perks that come with being the First Family - White House sleepovers, an extensive designer wardrobe and of course gourmet room service at your disposal, we're sure the drawbacks can often outweigh them.

Moving into the White House means an end to privacy, independence and control of your own life - something former First Lady Michelle Obama opened up about this week.

Michelle attended the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago on Wednesday, opening up to poet and close friend Elizabeth Alexander about her life before, during and after the White House.


Going into great detail and getting very personal, Michelle talked about raising children in the spotlight, and what life in the White House was really like, being forced to alert staff every time she wanted to even open a window.

Her one solace? Her girlfriends.

‘I love my husband and he is my rock, but my girlfriends are my sanity,’ Michelle explained to Elizabeth. ‘When you live eight years in the White House, and you can’t even open a window, you can’t walk out on your balcony without notifying three people, your walk outside is you walk around the same circle in the south lawn over and over again, because the thought of you leaving those gates requires 50 people’s attention, and work and convenience. … When you live like that for eight years, you need your girlfriends.’

She continued: ‘And nothing is spontaneous. All our spontaneity was basically taken away from us. I even do this now, like, “Can I leave?” I don’t leave until some 30-year-old tells me “Ma’am, you can leave now.” I had to plan my time with my GFs that kept me grounded and brought me laughter.’

Proof again that girlfriends are the most important.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.