Former President Barack Obama was also named as one of the world’s most admired men, coming in second behind Bill Gates. It’s been more than two years since Michelle Obama left the White House, but she’s still held in incredibly high regard all over the globe, according to one recent survey. The former first lady, 55, topped the list of the world’s most admired women, according to an annual study by YouGov, which interviewed more than 42,000 people from 41 countries. Obama, whose recent autobiography Becoming has sold 10 million copies and counting was named by almost 9 percent of respondents — a figure which increased to 15.4 percent when looking at results from just the United States.
The other most-admired women in the world according to the poll is Oprah Winfrey, who came in second, followed by Angelina Jolie, Queen Elizabeth II, and Emma Watson. Obama’s husband, former President Barack Obama, was also named as one of the world’s most admired men, coming in second behind Bill Gates. Although President Obama was named by just over 9 percent of respondents worldwide, in the United States his numbers were much higher: There he was named the most admired man in America, beating out President Donald Trump, Clint Eastwood, Gates and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. In December, Mrs. Obama also topped a Gallup poll of America’s most admired women — marking the first time in 17 years that Hillary Clinton didn’t receive the honor.
She championed initiatives supporting child health and fitness during her time in the White House and has continued to publicly support issues of wellness — much to the delight of the thousands of supporters who have attended her live appearances in promotion of Becoming.“We [as women] have to own our health. It’s one of these things that no one can take from you,” she shared at the Essence Festival in New Orleans earlier this month.
Getting candid about her own experiences, Mrs. Obama shared that after welcoming her two daughters, Malia and Sasha, she “found myself getting mad” at her husband, who was making time to go to the gym every day.“This was right when we started going to counseling, y’all, so this was one of our issues, you know?” she said. “But I found myself getting mad at him because he was doing what he needed to do for him. And I think for us as women, many of us, we have a hard time putting ourselves on our own priority list, let alone at the top of it.”
Speaking about the public’s enthusiastic response to both her autobiography and her oft sold-out book tour, Mrs. Obama previously told PEOPLE just how much the support has meant to her.“I’ve been so humbled by the response to the tour thus far and the overwhelming interest we’ve received from so many communities we weren’t able to visit this year,” she said last fall, as she went on to discuss the value of being so candid about her life — especially about her relationship with her husband.“Because we’re role models, it’s important for us to be honest and say, ‘If you’re in a marriage and there are times you want to leave, that’s normal,’ ” she said, “because I felt that way.”