It’s no surprise that our former First Lady is an inspiring public figure — but according to a recent poll, she may be held in even higher esteem than we realized. We now know that Michelle Obama is the world’s most admired woman, according to a 2019 YouGov poll. The study reached out to a vast array of people across the world, and found that Obama was both the world’s and America’s most admired woman. Given the massive success of Obama’s 2018 memoir Becoming, and the increased freedom she’s enjoyed as a public figure now that her husband is no longer in office, this news doesn’t surprise us one bit — who among us doesn’t admire the great Michelle Obama?
YouGov’s poll is conducted annually, and tests which famous men and women are most admired across the world. This year’s study was their widest-reaching yet, interviewing over 42,000 people across 41 countries. Interviewees were asked this question: “Thinking about people alive in the world today, which [man or woman] do you most admire?” YouGov then compiles a list of twenty figures, ranked by how many votes they received, and creates “Most Admired” lists both by country and in the world. This year, Michelle Obama topped the Most Admired Woman list both in America specifically and in the world at large.
Last year’s most admired woman was Angelina Jolie: this year, she’s in third place, with Obama rising up to top the list. And in case you’re curious how Michelle’s counterpart Barack is ranking: this year, he was the #2 most admired man in the world, and the #1 most admired man in America. So, Barack and Michelle Obama are the most admired man and woman in America right now — three years after they’ve left the White House. Could it be that our nation is feeling nostalgic? Or are the Obamas just even more accessible now that their presidency has ended? (Yes, we’re calling it their presidency — you know he couldn’t have done it without Michelle.)
Whatever the reason Michelle topped the charts this year, we couldn’t think of a better role model for women across the world. So congratulations, Michelle Obama! We’ll keep taking your advice for as long as you’re willing to give it.