Obamas Don't Want Photos of Daughters in Bikinis -- Can You Blame Them?

Mom Moment 18

President Obama on vacation
President Obama on vacation
It's hard to believe it's been four years since President Barack Obama first took office, but there's no better evidence of the time that has passed than his daughters. Sasha and Malia entered the White House as little girls with stuffed animals. This week they were teens snapped wearing bikinis on a Hawaiian beach by a photographer who has since been asked to destroy the images.

The request isn't the first that comes from a White House that considers it mission critical to protect the first daughters from a public that has been harsh to girls in their position before. And like those before it, this letter to the paparazzi who managed to capture the young Obama girls in their bikinis was just that -- a request.

This was not Barack and Michelle Obama abusing the power of the office. It was Barack and Michelle Obama, parents, politely asking a guy with a camera to give their daughters a break because, come on, they're just two kids who were trying to have fun on vacation.

As a journalist, I was relieved to see that the Obamas made sure to appeal to the photographer's better side. They are not trying to push the bounds of free speech here. 

But it's as a mother that I'm really struck by their request. I remember being Sasha's age, Malia's age.

My teenage body was my enemy. I was a mess of hormones and thoroughly confused by what was sprouting where. Wearing a bathing suit in front of total strangers on a beach seven hours from home was hard enough. Spotting a photo of myself in said suit in a national magazine, everything I was unsure about on display for everyone to see, might have rushed me even faster toward the eating disorder that was my teenage destiny.

In a world where Internet trolls think nothing of calling young children fat, ugly, and often worse, this photographer's decision to take a simple request and agree that, yes, Sasha and Malia should be spared is a kindness any mother would be grateful to have done unto her.

Being a teenage girl is hard. Your body is baffling you. Your coping mechanisms still developing. This is all true for the average girl, the girl who is trying to exist in Small Town, U.S.A. This is true for girls like Sasha and Malia Obama who are still just average American girls who are changing rapidly, who are becoming young women.

They may be the president's daughters, but they are still just two kids trying to grow up.

Would you want someone taking photos of your young daughter in a bikini?


Image via United States Government Work/Flickr

body image, celebrity teens, barack obama, michelle obama


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Kel

Ugh. If you don't want your picture taken in a bikini DON'T wear one. Wear a modest skirted piece. Did they not think people would photograph them? Really?

sweet... sweetcherry_59

If as parents they have an issue with their daughters being seen in bikini's they should have used their parental authority to ensure the girls wear one pieces....this is stupid.

nonmember avatar NoWay

Sweetcherry ... I was thinking the same thing. If you don't want to be seen in a bikini, don't wear one. It's really that simple. There is no such thing as privacy for anyone anymore so the Obama's better get used to it.

amber... amberdotsmom

I have to agree with sweetcherry.  I don't think I'd want my daughters photographed by strangers while wearing any skimpy outfit or bikini.  But at the same time if I take them to a beach or pool or any public place I can't really have an expectation of privacy.  Granted these girls are more likely to be photographed than most but they still have to account for their surroundings and their parents need to guide them on that. 

RMT1995 RMT1995

I can see both sides .... on the one hand, if you're OK with them being in a bikini, and THEY are OK with being in a bikini, it shouldn't really matter.

On the other hand, even if I were OK with my daughter being in a bikini, I wouldn't want some creepy guy taking my MINOR daughter's photo.

nonmember avatar Tonya

I like the Obamas. But come on.....don't let the kids wear bikinis. That solves that. This reminds me of Kate being photographed nude....umm, don't be nude outside of your home if you're going to be all up in arms when you get caught and photographed. If you're inn the public eye, right or wrong, you must always assume a camera is on you.

Doomy234 Doomy234

I think this is stupid. If you dont want your kids to be seen in bikinis then dont let them wear bikinis. Make them wear a one piece if its such a big deal. Its the first family, they know that they are going to be seen and photographed.

psych... psychofab

Letting your kids wear a bikini, and having those kids pictures splashed all over every media news outlet where anyone could use them for anything, is not the same. They aren't stupid. 

nonmember avatar Cass

Bikini or not, nobody should be photographing those girls unless they are at an official function.

TippyD TippyD

I agree that if they dont want photos taken of them in bikinis, they should't have had the girls wearing them. They know that no matter where they go, the papparazzi are around. 


1-10 of 18 comments 12 Last