Imagine yourself juggling school, boys, parents, friends, and extracurricular activities all while trying to maintain your physical and mental health? This isn’t an image that is difficult to conjure because as a student in your twenties you have learned to master balancing all those things. Now, imagine having to keep up with all of that while also being constantly watched and judged by the entire world. That is the life of Malia Obama, the eldest daughter of the 44th president of the U.S, who continuously has her face plastered across magazines with headlines that portray her as some sort of delinquent. In reality, Malia is only doing what every other college student her age is doing: having a good time.
In recent news, Malia was photographed making out with a coed at her first Harvard tailgate while holding a lit cigarette. As these pictures surfaced people were outraged at her lack of graciousness and the obvious ignorance for her health. Sure, maybe she shouldn’t be smoking cigarettes or kissing boys in public, but are random citizens supposed to be the ones concerned with her behavior? Surely that is a job for her parents. If I were to be chastised by people that I don’t even know for things that their own children are probably doing, I would never leave my house. Should Malia hideaway in her Harvard dorm and bury her nose in books for the next 3 years just because her dad was our president? No. Instead she should be able to kiss boys, travel the world, go to festivals and succeed at life all on her own terms without any random third party trying to bring her down or judge her actions. The irony of all this is that the boy in the picture was not some random university student, but actually Rory Farquharson, a British scholar who is also attending the prestigious university who is now Malia’s boyfriend. I’m sure many parents would be delighted to learn that their daughter was dating someone with such a rich educational background.
This isn’t the first run in that Malia has had with the media. Last year, she was video taped having fun with friends at a famous music festival called Lalapalooza. In the video, she can be seen smoking an unknown substance and just generally having a good time. Although smoking and dancing is common practice of festival goers, people chewed Malia out and blamed her actions on the bad parenting style of the Obama’s. What everyone failed to realize was that all the festival goers surrounding Malia were doing the exact same thing, but the only significant difference were who their parents were. Critics argue that being the daughter of a president brings with it great a responsibility to be upheld, but that is an unfair assumption given the fact that Malia was 10 years old when her father became president and has had to live to please the public since- something i’m sure she has grown sick of doing.
In the wake of the controversy surrounding the pictures of Malia and the boy kissing, Ivanka Trump, the daughter of our current Celebrity in Chief, took to twitter to voice her disdain for the treatment the young adult has been receiving from the media. In her tweet she explains that EVERYONE deserves to be treated as a private citizen regardless of their age or public image. That is saying something coming from the daughter of our current president, who has made his distaste for the Obama’s quite obvious. She, along with people like Chelsea Clinton, understand the importance of giving a child or teenager privacy while they suffer through the trials and tribulations that are conditional to growing up. Malia Obama has been scrutinized for her actions, actions that are becoming of every girl her age, all because she is a part of something that was completely out of her control. Being the daughter of a past president does not automatically discredit the fact that she is a young adult with rights whose life should not be exploited for the world to see.
Sources: https://www.opposingviews.com/i/social/malia-obama-caught-camera-making-out-guy-smoking-cigarette, http://www.businessinsider.com/malia-obama-dating-rory-farquharson-harvard-2017-11?yptr=yahoo&r=UK&IR=T