Malia Obama Is About As Normal As A Former White House Child Can Be

Malia Obama is about as patriotic as you can get. First of all, her birthday is the same as America’s, the Fourth of July. Plus – not sure if you know this – but her dad was the President of the United States for two terms.

She also currently attends one of the most prestigious universities in the world, which both of her parents attended as well. She’s an All-American Girl. She interned at an international embassy, she’s traveled all over the world, speaks two languages, the list goes on. And she’s only 21.

Moving Into The White House

Photo of the obama family in 2009
Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz/White House via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz/White House via Getty Images

Malia Obama, the eldest daughter of the former POTUS and FLOTUS, was born in Chicago, Illinois, but lived nearly half of her life in the White House in D.C.

Her dad was elected as President in 2008, and Malia turned 10 the year they moved into the white house and was 18 when she moved out. Her sister Sasha was 7 when they moved in, and was the youngest person to have lived in the White House since JFK Jr.

No Online Presence

Barack Obama with Sasha and Malia at Turkey Pardoning 2016
Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Despite growing up at the beginning of the age of social media, you won’t find Malia anywhere on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Unlike other famous celebrities or children of celebrities, Malia has always stayed away from social media and does not have any public accounts.

It is of course rumored that she may have private accounts under different names, but after years of speculation, no accounts have ever surfaced that are linked to her. Malia’s younger sister Sasha also does not have any active public social media accounts.

Keeping Her Private Life Private

Malia Obama in Vicenza 2015
Photo Credit: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images
Photo Credit: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images

Malia is supposedly dating fellow Harvard classmate Rory Farquharson, and after rumors began to circulate about the two of them, he deleted his public social media accounts as well. His accounts disappeared after footage of Farquharson and the first daughter kissing at a football game surfaced in the fall of 2017.

The move to delete his social media has been likened to Meghan Markle removing her online presence when she started dating Prince Harry. Yes, Malia is not royalty, but it’s difficult to date someone who is constantly under scrutiny from the public.

Lollapalooza 2016

malia smoking kills shirt at lollapalooza
Photo Credit: Instagram / @bcgmag
Photo Credit: Instagram / @bcgmag

Speaking of public scrutiny, while attending the Chicago summer music festival Lollapalooza in 2016, a video surfaced of Malia with what appears to be a joint or cigarette in her mouth. Malia was a frequent attendee of the music festival, and in 2017 she even skipped the Democratic National Convention in order to attend.

News outlets spread the 2016 video with headlines like “wild child Malia” but fans weren’t buying it. She was wearing a t-shirt that read “smoking kills” in the video, which seemed to add a sense of irony.

Leave The Girl Alone!

Malia Obama walking alone in Tribeca
Photo Credit: Alo Ceballos/GC Images
Photo Credit: Alo Ceballos/GC Images

People were unfazed by the 18-year-old’s actions, pointing out that she is an adult who is free to do as she pleases. Meghan McCain, daughter of the late U.S. Republican Senator John McCain, tweeted out her support, saying “leave Malia Obama alone!”

President Barack Obama has openly admitted he experimented with drugs as well as alcohol while in his teens and early adulthood, so it’s hard to judge Malia for this one.

Eye To Eye

malia and barack obama at LAX in 2016
Photo Credit: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

You can see in pictures that Malia is pretty tall, but how tall is she exactly? She’s reportedly 6’1″, which is the same height as her dad. Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama stands at 5’11” and Sasha stands at 5’9″, which is why Malia doesn’t look significantly taller in pictures.

Malia participated in a number of sports in high school that her height came in handy for, including volleyball and basketball. President Obama even took a break from running a country on the weekends to coach Malia’s basketball team.

The Smoking Gun

Malia and Barack Obama at Democratic National Convention 2012
Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

In November of 2017, a second smoking-related scandal seemed to emerge. A conservative website leaked a Snapchat video of what was alleged to be Malia – who was 19 at the time – blowing smoke rings in an unknown location, but the website may not have received the response they were hoping for…

Many were quick to fire back at the opinion-based site for the low blows against the Harvard University student, especially considering Obama had been out of the Presidential office for nearly a year by the time of posting.

Coming To Her Defense

Malia and Barack hugging at speech in 2016
Photo Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Photo Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

First daughter Ivanka Trump and former first daughter Chelsea Clinton both came to Malia’s defense on Twitter, with Trump saying Malia “should be allowed the same privacy as her school-aged peers,” and Clinton saying Malia’s private life “should not be your clickbait.”

The general consensus online was the Malia should be left out of the spotlight, especially now that she’s simply trying to live her life and attend college like a “normal” 19-year-old.

Living A Normal Life

FLOTUS Michelle with Malia and Sasha at USTA Tennis Center in Queens
Photo Credit: Uri Schanker/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Uri Schanker/Getty Images

While living in the White House, President Obama and Michelle strived to keep the lives of Malia and Sasha as normal as possible, given the circumstances. The parenting duo agreed that keeping to a routine would be the best way to do this.

In interviews, Michelle has mentioned how prior to moving into the White House she talked with staff members about what she expects from her kids and how she didn’t want them to rely on servants. In one interview with Rachel Ray, Michelle said she told the housekeepers to make her bed but skip the girls’ rooms!

She Still Had Chores Like Everyone Else

Michelle, Sasha, Malia at 2012 DNC watching Barack Obama
Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Malia was required to do chores just like every other child, including making her bed every day and cleaning her room. She was also responsible for walking their family dogs and cleaning up after them.

When she was younger, Malia stuck to a strict 8 p.m. bedtime, enforced by her parents. During his Presidential campaign and through his years of presidency, President Obama knew he had to be home by 8 in order to say good night to his children because Michelle would not let them stay up late.

No Birthday Presents

Obama first Family at TNT Christmas in 2014
Photo Credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage
Photo Credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage

In an interview with People magazine, Barack and Michelle said they don’t even give the girls gifts on their birthdays, in an effort to not spoil their children. This tradition started long before the White House. Malia would still have a birthday party, but her parents justified not giving gifts by taking into account the expense of the party.

Michelle said in the interview that “they get so much stuff that it just becomes numbing.” Considering the opportunities and gifts that they were given as First Daughters of the United States, it seems pretty reasonable.

Rules Of The Road

Presidential Limousine in front of Air Force One
Photo Credit: Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images

For security reasons, current and former presidents and vice-presidents, as well as high profile government officials, are not allowed to operate motor vehicles on public roles. This rule can also extend to their spouses. For instance, neither Bill nor Hillary Clinton drives themselves anywhere. Barack and Michelle Obama follow that same rule.

Sow what do you do when your 16-year-old daughter wants to learn how to drive but you legally aren’t allowed to teach her?

A Rite Of Passage

presidential limousine with secret service walking beside
Photo Credit: DOUG MILLS/AFP/Getty Images
Photo Credit: DOUG MILLS/AFP/Getty Images

That’s where the Secret Service comes in. The Secret Service took it upon themselves to teach Malia to drive, despite being available to her 24/7 if she needs to go anywhere. This was one rite of passage Malia wanted to participate in so her agents offered to teach her.

Michelle said in an interview that the Secret Service wouldn’t even let her come in the car while they were teaching Malia. The agents took the task upon themselves solely.

Prom Night Exception

Malia at White House State Dinner For Justin Trudeau in 2016
Photo Credit: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

Despite knowing how to drive, Malia still wasn’t allowed to ride in a car without agents present in public, or drive herself anywhere public. The only exception for this was the night of her prom back in 2015.

Malia’s date was given permission to pick up Malia and drive them to dinner beforehand as well as prom. Rather than having the Secret Service in the car with them, they just tailed the couple closely the whole way and remained on duty from a distance for the evening.

Her Gap Year

malia obama in front of air force one
Photo Credit: Instagram
Photo Credit: Instagram

After being accepted to Harvard for her undergrad degree, Malia chose to defer her acceptance for a year and take a gap year. This was no regular gap year though where you travel a bit and work a minimum wage job to fill your time. No no, this was the next level.

In the summer of 2016, Malia used her gap year to work a summer internship at the U.S. Embassy in Spain, because why not?

Being Bilingual Comes In Handy

Malia with Obama and Castro on March 2016 visit to cuba
Photo Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
Photo Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Malia is known to speak fluent Spanish, which must’ve helped during her internship at the Embassy, but it’s also come in handy at other times. She is said to speak far better Spanish than her father, and has actually served as a translator on trips with him.

During the historic Presidential trip to Cuba in March 2016, Malia served as a translator for her father throughout the course of the trip.

Malia The Movie Buff

Inside the White House movie theater waiting for a screening to start
Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Malia considers herself to be a movie buff and is interested in working in film as a career, potentially working towards directing. One feature of the White House that the First Family took full advantage of was the movie theater where they frequently hosted family movie nights or bigger events.

A perk to being the President is you can basically request a copy of any film and someone will get it for you, and a studio executive said in an interview “there was never a film they [the Obamas] didn’t request to watch.”

Working For Weinstein

Barack and Malia Obama at the 2013 turkey pardoning
Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

During her high school summers, Malia had the opportunity to work on a number of film and televisions sets as an intern or production assistant.

Malia worked on the set of Halle Berry’s TV show Extant as a production assistant, and she worked as an internship on HBO’s Girls with Lena Dunham, who sang her praises afterwards. She was also an intern during her gap year in 2017 with The Weinstein Company to learn about filmmaking.

Puppy Promises

The First Family (obamas) with their new puppy Bo in 2009
Photo Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Photo Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

One of the promises then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama made along the campaign trail leading up to his 2008 election as President was that if he won, he would get Malia and her sister Sasha a dog.

Two months into his presidency they still hadn’t got the pet and the public was starting to call him out for making false promises. It turns out the family was just taking their time choosing the right pet because Malia is allergic to dogs.

The First Dogs

Barack Obama's portuguese water dogs Bo and Sunny
Photo Credit: Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images

It’s funny that Obama would promise to get the girls a puppy when Malia is allergic, but they made it work! The family chose to adopt a 6-month-old Portuguese Water dog, originally named Charlie, and they changed his name to Bo.

A few years later the family adopted a second dog of the same breed that they named Sunny. Bo and Sunny were apart of many events at the White House and were dubbed the ‘First Dogs.’