Michelle Obama blasts Sheryl Sandberg's 'lean in' approach, and crowd responds with laughter

Jaimie-lee Prince
Dec 03, 2018
01:23 P.M.
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Michelle Obama left mouths agap when she swore in front of a large crowd as she spoke about Sheryl Sandberg's "lean in" method.


The Cut reported on the former first lady's event at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Saturday night. It was part of her promotional book tour for "Becoming."

Michelle, 54, talked about the difficult balance between work and personal life that women must strive for. According to her, "having it all" is not always possible.

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She stated:

“That whole ‘so you can have it all.’ Nope, not at the same time."

She then touched on the matter of equality and respect in the workplace for women. Addressing Sandberg's book "Lean in," she said:

"And it's not always enough to lean in, because that [expletive] doesn't work all the time."

With that, the crowd erupted in applause. A modest Michelle quickly apologized. "I forgot where I was for a moment," she said.


"Leaning in" is an original idea from Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. She wrote a book of the same name in which she urged women to step up in the workplace by "leaning in" to their goals.

Sandberg herself admitted that the method doesn't always work as she'd like. The full title of her 2013 book is "Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead."


Michelle also touched on a bad experience she had with her high school guidance counselor years ago. She used the example to encourage people to find people who believe in you.

The first lady admitted that she was "still salty" when told she was "not Princeton material."

She went on:

"Even though I'm Michelle Obama, First Lady and blah blah blah."


Meanwhile, Michelle and former president Barack Obama will be attending the funeral for the late George H.W. Bush on Wednesday.

As such, the former first lady canceled some of her book tour dates. She made the announcement on Twitter:

"“It’s important to me to join the Bush family in celebrating President George H.W. Bush’s exemplary life. This will unfortunately preclude my visits to Paris and Berlin. I’ve been deeply touched by the enthusiasm for my memoir, and I’m working to reschedule my trip for next year.”


Bush passed away last Friday at the age of 94. The day after, Michelle shared a tributary post on Twitter. She called the 41st president an "extraordinary example for us all."

The post also featured a photo of the former president kissing Michelle on the cheek as she leaned down to where he sat in his wheelchair.

The caption further stated:

"His spirit of service and decency will be missed by many, including our family. I hope his memory will be a guiding light for our country and those around the world."

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