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Watch: Michelle Obama delivers the speech we all needed to hear in 2018

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Susan Devaney
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Michelle Obama delivers an empowering speech for women everywhere during the unveiling of her official portrait. 

From teaching us to face our fears during her farewell speech as First Lady in 2017 to inspiring us to follow our dreams during the Democratic National Convention in 2012, Michelle Obama has delivered some of the finest pieces of advice for women during her tenure in the public eye.

But since the Obamas left the White House over a year ago public speeches from the pair have (unfortunately) become a rarity. And, boy, do we miss them.

Which is why it comes as no surprise that during the unveiling of the duo’s official portraits in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery on Monday 12 February, Michelle delivered the speech we all needed to hear in 2018.

After the unveiling of her portrait – painted by Baltimore artist Amy Sherald - the former FLOTUS said she hopes the painting will serve as an inspiration to young women who will see “someone who looks like them” hanging in Washington’s National Gallery.

“I’m thinking about the young people, particularly girls and girls of colour who in years ahead will come to this place and they will look up and see an image of someone who looks like them,” Michelle said.

She also thanked her mother, her family and spoke of the country’s strides toward racial equality. 

Barack – who picked artist Kehinde Wiley to paint him – praised the “invisible” workers of America in his speech.

“People in our families, people who helped to build this country, people who helped to build this capitol, people who to this day are making sure that this place is clean at night and serving food and taking out the garbage and doing all the other stuff that makes this country work, so often out of sight and out of mind.”

And, of course, people have taken to Twitter to praise the pair.

“Michelle Obama’s lovely speech giving me the chills right now. She absolutely shines,” one user wrote. 

“Michelle Obama is such an effective speaker. President Obama is articulate and can delivery a speech flawlessly but there’s something about Michelle that’s just so powerful. The emotion comes through in her voice and expression,” another user wrote.

“Watching Michelle Obama making a speech at The Smithsonian at the unveiling of her official portrait is bringing tears to my eyes. Lordy, I miss the Obama family with every single ounce of my being,” another user posted.

Michelle for President 2020? We can only hope. 

Images: Rex Features / Twitter

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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for Stylist.co.uk, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.

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