FORMER US first lady Michelle Obama told pupils she still suffers from ‘a little impostor syndrome’ during a visit to a London school yesterday.
Asked how she feels to be a ‘symbol of hope’ in troubled times, she admitted: ‘I still have a little impostor syndrome, it never goes away, that you’re actually listening to me. It doesn’t go away, that feeling that you shouldn’t take me that seriously. What do I know?
‘I share that with you because we all have doubts in our abilities, about our power and what that power is.’
She was at all-girl Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School as part of a tour to promote her book Becoming. She first visited the school during the G20 summit in 2009, months after becoming first lady, and later hosted a dozen pupils at the White House.
She told 300 pupils, some of them from nearby Mulberry School: ‘On a personal level I was moved and touched and inspired as I always am by the young people I meet around the world.
‘And as I said then, you remind me of me and all the fears and all the challenges that you face. You give me a sense of comfort because being first lady wasn’t the easiest job in the world but I got strength from you, so thank you all for that, thanks for giving me that.’
She encouraged pupils to support each other, saying: ‘We as women don’t have the luxury of tearing each other down, there are enough barriers out there.’
And she revealed that she was proud of the way her daughters had coped with being in the White House.
‘Imagine being your age and have your father criticised in public, having everything you say and post analysed, your first boyfriend plastered all over the tabloids or going to prom with men with guns, going to soccer practice and people taking pictures of you,’ she said.
Although US president Donald Trump was not referred tow by name, Mrs Obama did refer to ‘the bitterness, the nastiness that we see in politics’.
Asked if she still believes in her motto ‘When they go low, we go high’, she said: ‘My answer is, “What choice do we have?”’