Review: The Michelle Obama Podcast

 

The Michelle Obama Podcast is an extension to her 2018 memoir Becoming that allows readers to peek into her life after the White House. In the podcast, she shares her aspirations for herself, her immediate community, and projects various calls to action (mainly for Americans) to see the humanity in each other. In a casual tone, free from the tension a public figure tends to have from being in an idealized position, Mrs. Obama acknowledges the struggle that comes with being in isolation and living distended from the norm. That acknowledgment has made the podcast more relatable across all spectrums of age, gender, and race.

Michelle Obama is a high-profile person with a range of popular and high-profile contacts. Instead of inviting them onto her podcast, she took a personal approach by inviting her close family and friends as guests on the show. Her headliner guest was her husband, but the most relatable guest has been her big brother, Craig. Mrs. Obama is her most unwound and humorous self with her brother as they honestly compare their upbringing from their different lenses.

I would describe Mrs. Obama’s podcast as apolitical. Although so much of our cultural time is informed by politics and the invisible strings it holds, her podcast speaks to our cultural moment, in the way a mirror reflects the image in front of it. The podcast provides a refreshing and comforting outlook on socio-economic topics like mental health and the cost it bears, women’s health, and the staggering importance immediate communities are facing.

In the episodes that have aired so far, The Michelle Obama Podcast illustrates how Mrs. Obama is reflected amongst her inner circle. As her guest and close friend Michele Norris noted, there is a need for listeners to not “reach for normal but reach for better” in these trying times—which was an acknowledgment to Mrs. Obama’s famously quoted line “When they go low, we go high.”