Chelsea Clinton: ‘It’s Never Been About My Mom — It’s Always Been About All Of Us’

by Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton–Activist 
and Humanitarian
The Clinton Foundation

I’m very biased toward my mom—just feel like I should get that out there. She’s my role model as an advocate and as a mom. She’s always inspired me and supported me—as a little girl, a teenager, an adult, and now a working mom. My mom always made sure I knew I was the center of her world, while also making sure I understood what she was doing to make our world a better place for kids in Arkansas, in the U.S., and across the globe. She talked to me about her work with legal aid in Arkansas—and listened to me worry about saving the whales or my spelling test the next day (while grilling me of course on how to spell “encyclopedia”). She shared her hopes and concerns in advance of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, where she would famously declare, “Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights.” I remember watching her speech and feeling so proud of how fierce she was—and fiercely graceful. When she got back from Beijing, she talked about all she’d learned, while asking about what I’d learned in school and how things were going with ballet (she knew autumn was peak stress time before Nutcracker parts were announced).

Now I am a mom. And while my kids Charlotte and Aidan are still too little for me to ask about their days at school, I do ask Charlotte about her days at the park and we read together every night. I can’t wait to have the same conversations with Aidan when he’s a bit older. Following my mother’s lead, I already talk to my kids about what’s happening where we live and around the world, as well as what I did that day. (I’ll tell them tonight about this piece I am writing now.) I try to explain how my work or life connects, or doesn’t, to the headlines—including campaigning for their Grandma. I appreciate my mom even more now as a mom—and I didn’t know that was possible.

My mom makes me fiercely proud to be her daughter—for her example to me and equally for her determination to break down the legal, normative, and cultural barriers that still hold far too many girls and women back and down around the world. It’s never been about my mom—it’s always been about all of us. Her belief that every child deserves to be valued, loved, supported, and given a shot—and her work over more than 40 years to make that belief a reality—that’s what drives her, and that’s why I am going to do everything I can to elect her as our 45th president. She’s more than ready—and I think we are, too.


This article originally appeared in the October/November 2016 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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