It’s no secret that Barack Obama admires the women in his life. In the cover story for InStyle’s January issue, the former President offered some insight into his favorite qualities about his wife, Michelle Obama, and his two daughters, Sasha and Malia.
“They all have multiple badass qualities,” the 59 told InStyle. “I think people know Michelle well enough to know how amazing she can be as a public speaker. They probably are less aware of what it’s like to work out with Michelle when she’s really in her groove,” he continued. ”And sometimes that includes her boxing. You don’t want to get in the way when she’s working on a bag — including some kicks. There’s force there.”
But of course, the former First Lady isn’t the only ‘badass’ woman in his life. When it comes to his daughters, 22-year-old Malia and 19-year-old Sasha, Barack said their strength comes through in their confidence.
“Sasha is, as Malia describes it, completely confident about her own take on the world and is not cowed or intimidated — and never has been — by anybody’s titles, anybody’s credentials. If she thinks something’s wrong or right, she will say so,” Obama gushed.
The Chicago native goes on to explain that strength was on full display during a family visit to Russia, which is an anecdote he also recounts in his new memoir, A Promised Land.
“When she was 4, 5, 6 years old, once she made a decision, she would dig in and couldn’t be steered off it. I write about it in the book, how we were trying to get her to taste caviar when we were visiting Russia,” he said. ”She was like, ‘Mnn-nnh. No. Sorry. That looks slimy. It’s nasty. I’m not going to do it — even if I’ve got to give up dessert.’ And that part of her character has always been there.”
As for Malia, her dad describes her as “buoyant.”
“She’s somebody who enjoys people, enjoys life and enjoys conversation,” he said. “She’s never bored, which is a badass quality that can take you places.”
Malia and Sasha are both attending college now, but they have been spending a lot more time with their parents during the pandemic, which sent them back home to quarantine while taking online classes.
Michelle spoke about that experience back in September, sharing that the girls were studying from home during the pandemic. She also told Conan O‘Brien that while the first few months were good, Sasha and Malia were “no longer thrilled” to be social distancing with their parents.
“I think first our kids got a little sick of us ... which was fine, ‘cause we were pretty much sick of them,” she joked on the late night show.
Barack Obama’s memoir includes more than 700 pages of stores just like these, shattering sales records in its first day on sale. A Promised Land is currently on pace to become the best-selling presidential memoir in history.