As if she wasn’t busy enough being a brilliant role-model, feminist and , Michelle Obama has found time to edit an issue of America’s More magazine (that’s not quite the same as the title of the same name that us Brits grew up with). As part of her job she turned interviewer, inviting Meryl Streep to the White House for a chat. It’s a frankly genius pairing – who wouldn't want to read what two of the world’s most badass women have to say to each other? These are our highlights.
Meryl Streep on her mother: ‘My mother walked into a room and lit it up, and people were sad when she left. That, to me, is what really matters: who you touch and how. She was a mentor because she said to me, “Meryl, you’re capable. You can be anything.” She wasn’t saying, “You’re so great.” She was saying, “You can do whatever you put your mind to. If you’re lazy, you’re not going to get it done. But if you put your mind to it, you can do anything.” And I believed her. And she said it from the time I was little. And that made me arrogant [laughs].’
Michelle Obama on her attitude towards education: [The biggest obstacle facing girls today is] "education, education, education. There are too many kids who think high school is a pit stop to fame and fortune. I want girls in this country to think education is the coolest, most important thing they could ever do in their lives.’
Meryl Streep on playing – and raising - strong women:‘People will say to me, 'You've played so many strong women' and I'll say, 'Have you ever said to a man, 'You've played so many strong men?' No! Because the expectation is [men] are varied. Why can't we have that expectation about women? My girls [Mamie, 32; Grace, 29; and Louisa, 24] came into the world strong – which was terrifying.’
Michelle Obama on women supporting other women:‘Sometimes we, as women, are critical of each other’s choices. Should I have a career? What if I want to stay home and raise my kids? What if I don’t want power? ... We’re all different people with different aspirations and goals.’
Meryl Streep on pushing herself: 'I’m much more inclined to want to not say anything in public. When I have to be in the spotlight, I think to myself, [my mother] Mary [Streep] could do it. It’s a good thing, to imagine yourself doing something you think you can’t. I do that every day, because basically, if I had my way, I’d just stay home and think about what I’m having for supper.'
Michelle Obama on giving advice to her daughters: 'I try to remind them that I actually do know the answers and that I don’t want them getting their best advice from another 14-year-old. I never sit down and lecture them about self-confidence. You sneak those conversations in when you’re talking to them about their friendships, or about the challenges they faced in a game, or something that their dad said that made them mad. That’s when I find they’ll hear the messages most.’
See? Seriously badass, the pair of them.