One of the most photographed and scrutinized teenagers in the United States does not star in a reality television show.
Malia Obama, the 18-year old daughter of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, is often followed by paparazzi; her photos often end up being posted on the political sections of online tabloids for the benefit of Republicans who wish to take potshots at the First Family.
Malia Obama first made headlines in 2016 when she announced that she would take a year off before starting classes at Harvard University. This practice is commonly known as a gap year, and it is considered to be a good way to gain real-world experience by working or volunteering prior to embarking on four years of college.
Republicans and anti-Democrat partisans chided Miss Obama’s gap year decision, purporting that she was just touting her privilege and being lazy by postponing her education. Months later, Miss Obama was photographed at the Chicago Lollapalooza Music Festival; this time she appeared to be taking a drag off a marijuana joint.
Miss Obama appears to be a connoisseur of good concert music; weeks after Lollapalooza, she was photographed at the Budweiser Made in America Festival, which featured musical acts such as Coldplay, Chance the Rapper and DJ Khaled. As can be expected, paparazzi were on hand to photograph Miss Obama, who wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “Smoking Kills.”
The photos of Miss Obama and her aforementioned t-shirt were prominently published by British tabloid The Daily Mail, and Republicans were quick to pounce on them.
Comments published on the Daily Mail and echoed across online social networks show Republicans jeering at Miss Obama’s choice of attire. Some believe that she was probably coached into wearing that t-shirt by political strategists who wish to fix some of the damage caused by the Lollapalooza photo.
While many Republicans on social media believe that the White House instructed Miss Obama to wear that t-shirt to make amends for allegedly being caught smoking pot at Lollapalooza, the more likely scenario is that she just happened to choose an outfit in accordance to her teenage whims. She also wore a ball cap with the sports logo of Harvard University, her alma mater in waiting. The combination of her t-shirt and ball cap was the product of a teenage girl choosing what to wear at a modern music festival.