Michelle Obama presents the Literary Arts award to Angelou, one of the first African-American women to make the best-sellers list with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, whom she calls one of her "she-roes" at the January 2012 BET Honors in Washington, D.C.
Before the star-studded Met Gala, First Lady Michelle Obama speaks at the grand opening of the New York museum's Anna Wintour Costume Center on Monday.
MICHELLE OBAMA, 50
Even calm, cool and collected celebrities have a fashion or beauty freak-out now and then. For the first lady, it had to do with hair. "This is my midlife crisis, the bangs," she joked on The Rachael Ray Show. "I couldn't get a sports car. They won't let me bungee-jump. So instead, I cut my bangs."
First Lady Michelle Obama gives a squeeze to local elementary school students who came by the White House in D.C. for a day of planting in the Kitchen Garden on Wednesday. "Guys, this is awesome," she told them. "Look at all the work you did. You know how long this would have taken me if I did it by myself?"
SHE'S GOT GAME
Contact! First Lady Michelle Obama reveals her hidden talent – ping-pong! – during a visit to the Beijing Normal School on her trip to China with daughters Sasha and Malia on Friday. "My husband plays," she told the crowd. "He thinks he's better than he really is. I could stay here all day."
How sweet! Kermit the Frog plants a smooch on First Lady Michelle Obama's hand during an event for children of military families Wednesday at the White House in Washington, D.C., where the kids were also treated to a screening of Muppets Most Wanted.
HUG IT OUT
First Lady Michelle Obama gives a gentle squeeze to students from New York's Little Red Schoolhouse and Elisabeth Irwin High School on Thursday while visiting the city's New Museum, where she promoted her "Drink Up" initiative, encouraging students to drink more water.
STEP 9: … OPRAH WINFREY
One of Oprah's favorite things must be meeting famous people, but we imagine shaking Bo's fluffy white paw was truly an aha moment. While taping her 2009 White House Christmas special, she squeezed in some face-time with the well-trained First Dog, who high-fived her right on cue.
Now connect Oprah Winfrey to…
The first time we saw this white J. Mendel skirt and coordinating metallic-embroidered short-sleeve jacket on the FLOTUS was last year during the Olympics, but she recycles the look (even adding similar metallic heels) for TNT's Christmas in Washington event.
President Obama laughs it up with 15-year-old daughter Malia (left) and 12-year-old daughter Sasha during a Sunday basketball game at Comcast Center in College Park, Md., where the Oregon State Beavers (coached by Michelle's brother Craig Robinson) edged out the Maryland Terrapins, 90-83.
BARACK & MICHELLE OBAMA
Trick-or-treaters to D.C.'s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue didn't receive king-size candy bars, but they did get to meet the president and first lady and open up bags filled with dried fruit, M&Ms and a butter cookie shaped like the White House. Sweet deal!
MEET & GREET
The lovable Elmo gets up close and personal with First Lady Michelle Obama in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to announce a new partnership between the Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association to promote healthy eating habits for kids.
"I've seen Michelle tease you about your gray hair. You have a bit of silver in your hair. Do you tease back?"
– Jay Leno, on President Obama's signs of aging, on The Tonight Show
"No. No. That's why we're celebrating our 21st anniversary."
– President Obama, in response
A 'MOVING' MOMENT
During a goodwill trip to South Africa and Botswana in 2011, first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia spend 20 minutes at home with Mandela, then 92, and his wife, following a visit to his foundation. Obama calls the experience "the most moving part" of her trip abroad. Two years later, on Mandela's 95th birthday, the Obamas release a statement congratulating the leader on the milestone and asking people to honor him through acts of service.
"If you guys ever decide you're going to get a tattoo, then Mommy and me will get the exact same tattoo, in the same place, and we'll go on YouTube and show it off as a family tattoo."
– President Barack Obama, on what he'd tell daughters Sasha, 11, and Malia, 14, if they wanted to get inked, on the Today show
Who has a higher approval rating than both President Barack Obama and the first lady? Why first dog Bo, who sat front and center for an official White House portrait taken in the vegetable garden. "One of the reasons we did this picture is because we get so many letters from kids, mostly, who … want to see Bo," Mrs. Obama said of her "very sweet dog."
The first lady also promotes a wholesome, active lifestyle as she teams with Al Roker and chef Anne Burrell to cook up some veggies – and some fun. Prior to putting her signature moves on display, she told guests, "Overall, we want you guys to have a good time and keep moving and be healthy. And, kids, eat your vegetables, okay?"
The FLOTUS takes the festivities one page at a time as she reads Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs to a group of kids, including her daughters.
April Fools' Day aside, the Obamas take the annual event's overarching purpose seriously, making time to meet with children attendees. "It's great to have everyone here this morning," Mrs. O said earlier in the day from the White House balcony.
President Barack Obama welcomes a very special guest to Washington, D.C.: the one, the only … Easter Bunny, who helps kick off Monday's 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll celebration with first lady Michelle, daughters Sasha, 11, and Malia, 14, and 9-year-old "Kid President" Robbie Novak.
2. OSCARS DIPLOMACY: FLOTUS AND TED
Where in the world can a foul-mouthed, weirdly life-like creature of host Seth MacFarlane's creation and First Lady Michelle Obama be in the same room? Why, at the Oscars! They didn't exactly share the stage, but if these two polar opposites can come together for an evening, a joint Congressional session shouldn't be that hard, right?
MICHELLE OBAMA'S PRINTED DRESS
"I saw the First Lady wearing a gorgeous geometric dress last week. Where can I buy it?" – Layla
We totally endorse her frock, too. It's the BCBG "Breona" jacquard dress, $298, and if you click to buy soon, you can nab one before they all sell out.
ADD ANOTHER COAT
Obama's week of enviable outerwear continued at a Jan. 22 prayer service in the National Cathedral, where she wore a chic winter white dress and coat set by Naeem Khan with Jimmy Choo kitten heels and a swept-back hairstyle.
LADY IN RED
We were eagerly waiting to see how Obama would top her beautiful first Inaugural Jason Wu gown, so we were psyched when she stepped out in an even more jaw-dropping ruby dress – also by Jason Wu! She accented the velvet embossed design with a Kimberly McDonald ring, Kimberly McDonald for Forevermark bracelets and Jimmy Choo heels.
QUICK CHANGE ARTIST
Though Obama started out Inauguration morning in an unbelted Thom Browne coat and dove gray pumps, by the afternoon she gave in to the chilly D.C. weather, slipping into Reed Krakoff boots and cinching the coat with a jeweled J. Crew belt.
Before heading to the Inauguration on Jan. 21, the Obamas paid respects to the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue in the Capitol, allowing us to get a glimpse of the coordinating Thom Browne dress the first lady wore under the designer's navy silk coat.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
To watch President Barack Obama take the oath of office on Jan. 20, the Obama women opted for shades of purple: Michelle in a Reed Krakoff dress, Malia in a $60 H&M number she'd worn before, and Sasha in a Plenty by Tracy Reese lace dress (on sale for $69.95!)
SPARKLE AND SHINE
There's a reason Obama adores Michael Kors – his designs flatter her like no other. She seemed to know she looked good, flashing a mega-watt smile to rival the sequins on her black boatneck gown, worn to an Inaugural reception on Jan. 20.
They may have been opening for some pretty big names at the Kids' Inaugural Concert on Jan. 19, but in their cute outfits (Obama in her trademark belted-blouse pants look, plus Sasha, 11, and Malia, 14, wearing trendy skirts and boots), the girls looked like headliners to us.
IN WITH A BANG
It was the crop heard 'round the world when the first lady debuted her brand new fringe, offset by her Zac Posen jacquard knit dress, in a video promoting the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. (And yes, her bangs have already gotten the Presidential thumbs-up).
Night at the Ball
First Lady Michelle Obama is radiant in a custom ruby chiffon and velvet gown from Jason Wu at the second inaugural ball Monday night.
BARACK OBAMA '08: BEYONCÉ
To celebrate Obama's 2008 victory, Beyoncé serenaded the President and first lady with a powerful rendition of Etta James's classic, "At Last," while the couple took their first dance at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball on Jan. 20, 2009. "The Obamas inspire me to be better, to be smarter, to do more," the singer said.
The current first lady loved her "masterpiece" Jason Wu gown so much the first time around in 2009 that she returned to the designer for her second Inaugural Ball ensemble, choosing this ruby velvet gown to show off her toned arms (and new bangs!).