Even though Barack Obama isn’t in office anymore, him and his family members are still on our minds as one of our favorite White House families of all time. After spending eight years as the daughter of the POTUS, we think she came out as a lovely, well-adjusted young woman. Here are some facts about Malia Obama that you’ve probably never heard before.
1. She has a love for travel
Even though her birthday falls on July 4th, America’s most patriotic holiday, her interests lie outside of the US borders. A natural explorer at heart, Malia has summered in the UK, interned at the US embassy in Spain, and traveled all over the globe with her family to new countries like Italy. One of her favorite journeys? Indonesia, where dad Barack grew up for party of his childhood. Her mother Michelle has been quoted saying she encourages her children to travel so that they can learn new perspectives and discover more about their identity by going out of their “comfort zone.”
2. A proud activist
Some daughters of politicians stay far away from the field, but Malia has always been a bold and outspoken activist, standing up for what she believes in. In 2019, she marched for equality with her loved ones in honor of the holiday Juneteenth — the day when slaves were freed thanks to the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. And when she was only 18, she arrived at the Sundance Film Festival to protest the creation of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
3. A not-so-perfect rep
In our eyes, she’s a dream, but to many, Malia has a sullied reputation due to her decision to do exactly what she wants in life. That makes her a role model rebel queen to us — rather than faking it and going off living her secret teenage life in the shadows, she’s open about her lifestyle and never ashamed. Headlines attacked her for letting loose at Lollapalooza, kissing her boyfriend in public, smoking, and underage drinking. Mrs. Obama apparently told her daughter to stay out of the gossip columns when she attended university, but stuff happens, mom!
4. The secret service taught Malia how to drive
Most of us learn to drive from a parent, sibling, or driving instructor. Malia has a vastly different experience. Her coming-of-age driving story is that the Secret Service taught her how to drive. Why, you might ask? Because sitting presidents are not allowed to drive! Therefore, she learned from them too. Retain a “sense of normalcy.” Honestly, if we could get chauffeured around all day, we’d probably pick that option.
5. Malia has a passion for filmmaking and interned on Girls
Back in 2017, Malia was trained for the duties of writing assistant on the popular HBO show Girls and Lena Dunham herself called her “so smart” and “an angel”. Fellow cast on the show had equally beaming praise to say on her, which obviously made Barack and Michelle proud. Back in 2014, she also spent the summer interning on Halle Berry’s sci-fi flick Extant.
6. She was never spoiled
You might think that just because she’s the president’s daughter, she could get whatever she wants. But in reality, this beauty got into Harvard completely on her own merits. Part of that is probably because her parents enforced chores and homework during the eight years that she was in the White House. They received no special treatment and Michele Obama even said that the first thing she told staff at the WH was that they should never make Malia’s bed, as that task was hers to do, and hers alone.
7. First dog Bo was a gift for Malia and her sister from Senator Ted Kennedy
Portuguese water dog Bo Diddley stole our hearts when he joined the White House family as a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy, after Barack won his bid for the White House. Bo checked all the boxes — namely that he was hypoallergenic (Malia is allergic). He was named by the sisters, who were inspired by a cat they knew called Bo, and Michelle Obama’s father, nicknamed Diddley.
8. Malia united two first daughters, Chelsea and Ivanka
We love when feuding women reunite for the sake of feminism and camaraderie. Though their parents were rivals Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump, once friends, were reunited during a public discussion about privacy for presidents’ children. When Malia was photographed with bae Rory Farquharson and other compromising tabloid shots, they both issued statements saying that this “private citizen” should be “OFF limits”.