First lady Michelle Obama has some advice for teenage girls: Don’t shy from being the smartest kid in the class. And never mind what the boys think.
“Compete with the boys. Beat the boys,” she told about 1,000 schoolgirls and young women Tuesday at an event aimed at publicizing her “Let Girls Learn” campaign to expand girls’ access to education in developing countries and encourage American girls to take advantage of their opportunities. But the first lady also gave some impromptu, personal pep talks on handling the pressures of adolescence.
On dealing with the frustrations, embarrassments and slights of high school: “I know being a teenager is hard,” but it’s temporary and not a template for the rest of life: “Half these people, you’re not going to know when you’re 60.”
And on whether being brainy comes at a social cost: “There is no boy, at this age, that is cute enough or interesting enough to stop you from getting your education,” the water pump operator’s daughter-turned-Harvard-trained lawyer said. “If I had worried about who liked me and who thought I was cute when I was your age, I wouldn’t be married to the president of the United States.”
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