On Sunday, Meghan Markle confirmed that she has become the first person to guest-edit the September issue of British Vogue, which, under her watch, features the likes of Jane Fonda and Jameela Jamil on the cover.
The issue also includes a back-page Q&A with none other than Michelle Obama. In her introduction, Meghan explains that she asked the “kind, inspirational, motivating, funny” former FLOTUS to take part in the interview over a “casual lunch of chicken tacos.” Though the duchess was still pregnant during this lunch, the interview itself took place after she’d given birth to son Archie Harrison.
Naturally, motherhood was a hot topic during the conversation. As the mother of two young women, 21-year-old Malia and 18-year-old Sasha, the former first lady opened up about the “magical” feeling of “having a baby in the house” while praising her daughters’ resiliency.
“In some ways, Malia and Sasha couldn’t be more different,” the Becoming author shared. “One speaks freely and often, one opens up on her own terms. One shares her innermost feelings, the other is content to let you figure it out. Neither approach is better or worse, because they’ve both grown into smart, compassionate and independent young women, fully capable of paving their own paths.”
She also spoke about the futility of trying to overly protect her children from the turmoil of life, calling motherhood a “masterclass in letting go.”
“Motherhood has also taught me that my job is not to bulldoze a path for them in an effort to eliminate all possible adversity,” she told Meghan. “But instead, I need to be a safe and consistent place for them to land when they inevitably fail; and to show them, again and again, how to get up on their own.”
Obama also spoke about the importance of understanding that life isn’t necessarily linear and that goals can change, citing her own decision to leave the legal profession.
“What I hope my daughters will realize a little earlier is that there is no prescribed path, that it’s OK to swerve, and that the confidence they need to recognize that will come with time,” Obama shared.
Husband Barack Obama also got a mention. When asked about what her 15-year-old self would make of the life she’d made for herself, she said she’d be proud — and impressed with her “cute” spouse.
“But she wouldn’t let me off the hook, either,” Obama said. “I feel like she’d give me one of those silent nods of recognition, you know? She’d remind me there are still too many girls on the South Side of Chicago who are being shushed, cast aside or told they’re dreaming too big. She’d tell me to keep fighting for them. If I’m being honest, she’d probably smile about how cute my husband is, too.”
The September issue of British Vogue hits newsstands on Friday.
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