By Hilary Weaver. Photos: Getty Images, Courtesy of Instagram.
Lily Collins had better have a keepsake box ready, because she just received the ultimate souvenir. The actress, whose new essay collection, Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me, hit shelves in March, got a thank-you note for the ages from former First Lady Michelle Obama.
In Obama’s letter, which Collins read aloud in a video on her Instagram account, she thanks Collins for sending a copy of her new book. Collins, who in her essays touches on body image and self-confidence, said she was “in a deep state of shock” at the letter.
“The gift was such a nice gesture, and I look forward to sharing it with my daughters,” Obama wrote. “The outpouring of support I have received from women across the country continues to amaze me, and I am filled with a great sense of hope for our shared future.”
Obama then shared a familiar quote with Collins that she said reminded her of the book: “Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we raise them. May we be them.”
Collins said she was going to treasure the letter “forever and ever,” but she’s not the first woman to receive a special missive from Obama. She wrote Black-ish star Yara Shahidi’s college recommendation letter when she applied to universities (including Obama’s alma mater Harvard) on both coasts. Per People, Shahidi received acceptance letters from all of the schools to which she applied.
Obama has also received a great deal of mail herself in the past year. Last fall, Gloria Steinem, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Rashida Jones, and Random House executive editor Jon Meacham wrote the First Lady a series of thank-you notes in T magazine, titled, “To the First Lady, with Love.”
“Though I’m old enough to remember Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt in the White House—and all the couples and families since—I have never seen such balance and equal parenting, such love, respect, mutuality and pleasure in each other’s company,” Steinem wrote. “Michelle Obama may have changed history in the most powerful way—by example.”
Watch the Instagram video here.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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