Malia Obama’s choice to attend Lollapalooza rather than the Democratic National Convention (DNC) caused her name and her decision to be splashed across the headlines of various news sources. People also took to social media to express their opinions on whether they thought she “should” have gone to the DNC instead of the Chicago music festival or whether they think she’s doing what “normal” teenagers do – having fun.
— E! News (@enews) July 30, 2016
Headlines such as “Malia Spotted at Lollapalooza,” “Malia Seen Dancing at Lollapalooza Instead of Attending the DNC” and “Malia Obama Continues to Live It Up at Lollapalooza” suddenly began popping up everywhere. The judgement Malia is facing right now is only one of the many times she has been judged.
Having grown up in the public eye for the last several years, President Obama’s eldest daughter has faced what every offspring of the President of the United States has faced – intense scrutiny. Remember the scrutiny Chelsea Clinton was under during former President Bill Clinton’s years in the White House? And how about George W. Bush’s twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara?
In 2014, Elizabeth Lauten, the communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), resigned after writing a scathing Facebook post about Malia and Sasha.
“Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. 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… Act like being in the White House matters to you… And certainly don’t make faces during televised public events.”
While Lauten apologized after she was accused of cyberbullying Malia and Sasha, she still wrote the post criticizing the girls in the first place.
Social media blew up with some users blasting Malia for skipping the DNC, while others applauded Malia for going to Lollapalooza, adding she has the right to just be a normal teenager for the weekend instead of succumbing to what some people expect her to do.
Glamour reports Lollapalooza is held at Grant Park in Chicago, which, coincidentally, is where Malia’s father gave his victory speech after the 2008 presidential election, and a new library is to be built there in his honor.
Malia didn’t attend Lollapalooza alone. Secret Service agents surrounded her, keeping an eye out for her safety and wearing matching plaid shirts and khaki pants. A Twitter user shared a snap of the agents and their matching, “casual” outfits.
Thursday night, around the same time Hillary Clinton was making history as the first woman to secure a major party’s presidential nomination, Malia was among the crowd watching Norwegian producer Cashmere Cat’s set, according to the Huffington Post. Those in the crowd near Malia took pictures and recorded videos of her watching the musical act.
Cashmere cat with Malia Obama today lmao pic.twitter.com/seupJdkqQb
— lexi (@lexidubb) July 29, 2016
One Twitter user wrote, “Was going hard to @CASHMERECAT and then Secret Service and Malia Obama just pull up.”
— Alex Lao (@alexanderlao) July 29, 2016
Then Friday night at Lollapalooza, Malia was seen up on stage dancing to Mac Miller’s set, and Just Jared reports the “crowd went crazy.” Malia’s younger sister, Sasha, was spotted watching Major Lazer and Future on Friday night.
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) July 30, 2016
Malia is heading to Harvard in the fall and deserves to let loose once in a while, but it isn’t surprising that people have taken issue with her decision to go to Lollapalooza instead of the DNC. Remember what it was like to be 18? Which would you have rather done at that age?
This weekend’s trip to Lollapalooza isn’t the first one for Malia. Malia also attended Lollapalooza in 2014 and was seen at Chance the Rapper’s set.
A White House spokesperson declined to comment on Malia’s attendance at Lollapalooza.
[Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images]