Michelle Obama adds new title: magazine editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — She's a wife, mother and lawyer, an advocate for children and military families, and first lady of the United States. Now Michelle Obama has added a new gig: magazine editor.

The first lady is "guest editor" of the July-August issue of More, which bills itself as the magazine for "women of style and substance."

It was a first for both the White House and the magazine industry, said Lesley Jane Seymour, More's editor-in-chief.

"There's never been a first lady who's ever guest-edited a magazine and certainly not a sitting first lady," Seymour told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

"She's really the editor," Seymour said. She said the edition focuses on Mrs. Obama's "point of view on the world and it's from her eyes."

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Michelle Obama adds new title: magazine editor
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: First lady Michelle Obama (2R) waves standing with (L-R) Carolyn Reed of Denver, Colorado, Astrid Muhammad of North Carolina, Anthony Mendez of Bronx, New York and Dr. Jill Biden prior to U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech before members of Congress of the U.S. Capitol January 20, 2015 in Washington, DC. Obama was expected to lay out a broad agenda including attempts to address income inequality and making it easier for Americans to afford college education and child care. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Washington, DC - January 24: First Lady Michelle Obama waves to acknowledge applause as she joins her guests before President Barack Obama addresses a Joint Session of Congress while delivering his State of the Union speech, on January, 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama acknowledges applause pruior to US President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address before a joint session of Congress and the Supreme Court on January 25, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: (L-R) U.S. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Rita Ora speak onstage at TNT Christmas in Washington 2014 at the National Building Museum on December 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. 25248_001_0620.JPG (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
US first lady Michelle Obama (L) and US President Barack Obama arrive for an event in the East Room of the White House December 7, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama and the first lady welcomed recipients of the 37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors to the White House to celebrate their contributions to the arts. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 08: President Barack Obama (R) and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive for a reception at the White House for the 2013 Kennedy Center Honorees on December 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. The honorees this year include: opera singer Martina Arroyo, jazz musician Herbie Hancock, musician Billy Joel, actress Shirley MacLaine and musician Carlos Santana. (Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama and US President Barack Obama arrive during an event in the East Room of the White House December 2, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama and US first lady Michelle Obama attended the event at the White House with the 2012 Kennedy Center Honorees before to celebrate their contribution to the arts before heading to the Kennedy Center for the honors program. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Washington, DC - December, 4: Guests arrive at the Kennedy Center for tonights honors awards with President Obama in attendance on December, 04, 2011 in Washington, DC. Pictured, First Lady Michelle Obama, right, and President Barack Obama, arrive in the Presidential box and greet the honorees including Yo Yo Ma, second left, and Meryl Streep, left. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama pose with French President Francois Hollande as he arrives for the State Dinner at the North Portico of the White House on February 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 16: First Lady Michelle Obama speaks onstage at the The Grammy Museum's Jane Ortner Education Award luncheon at The Grammy Museum on July 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama onstage at the LULAC/NUVOtv Unity Luncheon With Jennifer Lopez at New York Hilton Midtown on July 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NUVOtv)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 6: From left, first lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, and their daughters Sasha and Malia, wave to the crowd following the President's speech at the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

"Guest editor" wasn't just a fancy title. The first lady had to pitch story ideas and write and approve copy for the 148-page issue, Seymour said.

She "was reading every page and asking for changes up until the last minute," Seymour said. "She had to approve absolutely everything. She had to suggest various things, too." Staff handled stories about fashion and beauty, along with basic functions of the magazine.

The theme of the issue is having "More Impact."

Mrs. Obama said she welcomed the opportunity to share some of her White House experiences with like-minded readers.

"What I want readers to understand is that impact comes in all forms, shapes and sizes. And hopefully through this issue, what people will see is that you can have impact as a military mom changing careers, or you can be a young person starting a business or you can be the first lady and start a whole initiative," Mrs. Obama said in a written statement released by More.

The issue highlights the first lady's four priorities: helping children live healthier lives, supporting military families, encouraging young people to pursue education past high school and helping girls around the world attend and stay in school. It also includes pieces on her long-serving chief of staff and senior adviser, two women who have influenced the first lady's work.

Mrs. Obama wrote a brief review of "The Light of the World," a memoir that Obama friend Elizabeth Alexander wrote after her husband's sudden death three years ago. The first lady says the book "simply took my breath away." In January 2009, Alexander wrote and delivered a poem at President Barack Obama's inauguration.

The first lady's byline appears on a reflective piece about the reaction after she said her top priority is being "mom in chief" to daughters Malia and Sasha.

She also reveals the music on her "chill-out" playlist, including songs by Beyonce, Stevie Wonder and the duo of Tony Bennett and Lada Gaga.

And in a separate feature, Mrs. Obama reveals the stories behind some of her favorite photographs, including of her and her daughters walking along the Great Wall in China during a weeklong trip there last year and a photo of the Obama family on the steps of their Chicago home "before our new life was about to kick off."

Other photos show Malia sledding on the White House grounds during a 2009 snowstorm, using lunch trays borrowed from the White House mess, and the new president and first lady in a golf cart as they are driven from one inaugural ball to the next inside Washington's cavernous convention center in 2009.

"What most people don't realize is that there is not one inaugural ball but 10 separate events," Mrs. Obama wrote. "So we would walk out, our song would play, we would dance, and then we would move to a freight elevator on our way to the next ball. There were quite a few held all over the convention center. To save my feet, they had a golf cart to shuttle us."

The first lady was not compensated for her work, Seymour said.

With the issue, due on newsstands on June 23, Mrs. Obama also makes her third appearance on More's cover.

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