So what if Malia Obama wants to dance? So what if Malia Obama wants to dance?
Stop the press. Hold the front page. An 18-year-old girl likes to dance! If this doesn’t sound particularly newsworthy, it’s because it isn’t. Or,... So what if Malia Obama wants to dance?

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Stop the press. Hold the front page. An 18-year-old girl likes to dance!

If this doesn’t sound particularly newsworthy, it’s because it isn’t. Or, at least, it shouldn’t be. But when you are a young black woman and your father is the president of the United States, all the usual rules about privacy, respect and general common sense apparently disappear.

So Malia Obama, who has shown extraordinary grace while growing up in the media spotlight, found herself plastered across the internet for the cardinal sin of dancing at a concert.

Less than a month after her 18th birthday, as Malia hung out at a festival with friends, she gave the briefest of shimmies, which was immediately captured on video and translated into: “Malia Obama Caught on Video Twerking and Flashing the Crowd” and “President Obama’s daughter flashes her undies at a camera”. Taking the public shaming one step further, social media users were quick to complain that Malia’s trip to the Lollapalooza festival coincided with the Democratic national convention, a major event in the political calendar that, of course, as an unelected citizen, she had absolutely no responsibility to attend.
Perhaps the most insidious aspect of these attacks is that the real target is never the “shamed” woman or girl, but the political man to whom they are related. Lauten’s true intent was revealed when her post continued: “Then again, your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter … So I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.” Her mean and inappropriate public derision of two teenage girls was a veil for the real mark: their political parents.
It wasn’t the first time that Obama’s daughters have experienced high-profile public attacks. In 2014, Elizabeth Lauten, a spokesperson for a Republican congressman, resigned after comments she made on Facebook about Sasha and Malia Obama went viral. Criticising the girls for apparently not looking enthusiastic enough when they appeared alongside their father at a televised event, Lauten suggested they: “try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play.” It was a casual occasion (the annual Thanksgiving turkey “pardon” ceremony), but Lauten castigated the Obama girls for wearing skirts she deemed too short, writing: “Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar.”

Perhaps the most insidious aspect of these attacks is that the real target is never the “shamed” woman or girl, but the political man to whom they are related. Lauten’s true intent was revealed when her post continued: “Then again, your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter … So I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.” Her mean and inappropriate public derision of two teenage girls was a veil for the real mark: their political parents.

By Laura Bates

Henry Okafor

  • Brianna Webb

    August 2, 2016 #1 Author

    She should let her , there’s nothing wrong with it . She’s just living the teenage life of a young girl ?

    Reply

  • Aj sutton

    August 2, 2016 #2 Author

    I think this a very tasteful page for kids,to show off their beauty

    Reply

  • Ray

    August 2, 2016 #3 Author

    They really making a big deal out of nothing like she’s not grown ?? let her live sheesh!

    Reply

  • Stacia

    November 28, 2016 #4 Author

    O pls, she should be left alone. Her dad is president so what? She s got her life too

    Reply

  • Stacia

    November 28, 2016 #5 Author

    Sticky noses. Shusssh

    Reply

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