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Growing up

Malia Obama is ready to escape the White House bubble

By WITW Staff on October 6, 2016

Malia Obama was 10-years-old when she gave her first interview, explaining to Access Hollywood’s Maria Menouno that it was her job to advise her father on how to be cool. Four months later, Barack Obama would become president elect and Malia and her younger sister Sasha, would be made off-limits to media outside of public appearances with their parents. Eight years on, Malia is 18 — and the rules appear to be changing as the Obamas are no longer policing her privacy they way they once did.

While Chelsea Clinton’s awkward adolescence was pushed into the limelight during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the Bush daughters were called party girls after being charged with violating Texas drinking laws, Malia has largely escaped the media spotlight during her father’s presidency. Part of that has been the Obama’s aggressive approach to quashing even the most benign of stories — in 2012, for instance, the White House emailed news outlets such as BuzzFeed requesting that they take down a photo of Malia at a One Direction concert.

But recent video of Malia dancing and even flashing part of her buttocks at famed music festival Lollapolooza, and even footage that appeared to show Malia taking a hit of a joint, has been allowed to stand by the administration. And while major news outlets, including Fox News, didn’t cover the episodes, it doesn’t appear as though they were asked to avoid the stories. “Not to be rude about it, but honestly, who cares?” said one reporter who had covered the administration for several years.

Already a famous face and style icon, Malia, a future Harvard freshman, can expect plenty of media attention in the future. There once was a time when it was expected that first children would court that attention and even write memoirs of their experiences living in the White House, said Carl Sferrazza Anthony, a historian at the National First Ladies’ Library. Malia, however, appears content to focus on living her own life.

Read the full story at BuzzFeed.


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