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First Lady's Mom Looks Up To Her Daughter

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Marian Robinson, the mother of First Lady Michelle Obama, says Mrs. Obama is even a role model to her.

Michelle obama and Marian Robinson

In a rare exclusive interview with ESSENCE, Mrs. Robinson says "Michelle has always been Michelle. And she has always accomplished whatever it was she set out to accomplish. I have always looked up to Michelle because she has been able to do things that I couldn't do emotionally, psychologically or physically. I think she is amazing."

As for how her late husband, Fraser, would feel about his daughter's success, Robinson says he would be over the moon. "You would not be able to shut him up! He would not be able to stand this," the 71-year-old Robinson told the magazine in its May issue on stands this week. "He would be beaming until you would just want him to stop talking."

It's a two-way street for Mrs. Obama as well, who says she was influenced early on by her mother. "She talked to us endlessly about any and everything with a level of openness and fearlessness that made us believe that we were bright enough to engage with an adult, that we were worthy enough to ask questions and to get really serious answers -- and she did it with a level of humor. There were many times when we were in the midst of getting spanked or disciplined and she would start cracking up. She taught my brother and me not to take things so seriously; to work hard, but to learn to laugh at situations and laugh at yourself and then to move through it."

For more of ESSENCE's interview with the First Lady and her mom go to

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