“Here’s to strong women”: Michelle Obama’s poignant letter of solidarity to actress Lily Collins

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Anna Brech
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During her tenure as First Lady, Michelle Obama proved herself to be a woman of infinite wisdom and insight. 

So, it’s perhaps unsurprising that actress Lily Collins can hardly contain her delight, after receiving a warm letter of support from the one-time Flotus.

The Blind Side star did not expect a reply when she sent a copy of her memoir, Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me, to Obama.

But respond she did – as the 27-year-old illustrated in a series of elated posts on her Instagram page today.

“I can’t believe this letter I received from someone I deeply respect and admire,” Collins says, introducing a video clip where she reads Obama’s message out loud to her 6.5million followers on the platform. 

“It's absolutely epic. I'm in complete shock but just had to share!” 

In a subsequent post, Collins shares the actual letter alongside the caption: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart Michelle Obama for your encouragement and support. You have no idea how much this means to me.”

Obama’s letter thanks Collins for the copy of her book, calling it “such a nice gesture”. She says she looks forward to sharing it with her daughters; Malia, 18 and 15-year-old Sasha.

“The outpouring of support I have received from women across the country continues to amaze me and I am filled with a great sense of hope for our shared future,' Michelle writes.

“I heard this quote recently and it reminded me of your book so I wanted to share it with you. ‘Here's to strong women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.’”

As letters go, it’s pretty awe-inspiring; and Obama’s trademark grace and spirit seems present in every inflection.

As Collins points out, the missive even came with a very cool Wonder Woman stamp: “… that Wonder Woman stamp is everything. You truly are such an incredible inspiration. I'll definitely be framing these!” 

Collins’ autobiography, which came out in March, tackles what it was like for her growing up in the spotlight, as the daughter of singer Phil Collins. It delves into detail of her “extremely difficult” past relationships, as well as her teenage battle with eating disorders.

This topic took centre stage as Collins played the lead role in anorexia drama To The Bone, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

The film is based on the real-life experiences of Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer Marti Noxon, who struggled with anorexia and bulimia growing up.

“This movie was really important for me to be a part of because as a teenager I suffered from eating disorders,” Collins said at the time.

“So this was something that right away when I met Marti, I was like, 'Oh my God! We have to work together, we have to tell this story.”

Last month, the Rules Don’t Apply actress wrote an open letter to her world-famous dad, where she forgave him for not being there for her.

“I forgive you for not always being there when I needed and for not being the dad I expected,” she wrote. “I forgive the mistakes you made. And although it may seem like it’s too late, it’s not. There’s still so much time to move forward.” 

Images: Rex Features and Instagram

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.