lifestyle

Picking on the President's daughters is not fair game. It's just plain cruel.

Do you remember being a teenager? I do and I can tell you, I wasn’t exactly a delight to be around and I also know, I was most definitely NOT taking advice from my Mother about how to dress. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I was doing the exact OPPOSITE of what she said, just to spite her. You know why? Because I was a teenager.

So knowing what happened over the weekend, Thanksgiving in America, to Sasha and Malia Obama (yes, the daughters of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama) is just beyond reproach.

Elizabeth Lauten, the former Communications Director for Republican Stephen Fincher (she has since resigned), thought she might just post the following on her personal Facebook page:

obamas daughters look bored

Elizabeth Lauten’s Facebook post. 

It reads:

“Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you’re both in the 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 u pa little short in the “good role model” department. Nevertheless, stretch yourself. Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like deserve respect, not a spot at the bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised, public events.”

This, this spray, came after the traditional “pardoning of the turkey” on Thanksgiving. A televised event where the President of the day, “pardons” or gives a turkey a stay of execution and it’s meant to be, I’m guessing, a bit of fun.

obamas daughters look bored

ADVERTISEMENT

President Obama Pardons National Thanksgiving Turkey At Annual Ceremony (Via Getty Images).

Clearly, that picture above only shows a moment in time. As can be seen below, both girls were enjoying the moment and from what I can see, are certainly not dressed to “hit the clubs” but more in a style that THEY feel comfortable with.

obamas daughters look bored

President Obama Pardons National Thanksgiving Turkey At Annual Ceremony (Via Getty Images).

My first reaction to Lauten was this: I can’t help but think that this says a lot more about the writer than it does those two girls.

Plus, I can’t even see what’s wrong with their outfits or for that matter, their demeanor. I’ve seen my daughter roll her own eyes so hard at me I feared she’d lose her sight when I’ve asked the innocent question of whether she’d be warm enough in what she was wearing. I for one, actually love how unaffected they are, that to them, it’s just their dad, doing something he has to do as part of his job and one that they were MADE to be involved in.

ADVERTISEMENT

Here’s the thing though, in a world where Mean Girls are a well established and universal clique, one where we KNOW that cyber bullying is rife and often the precursor to teenage suicide and self harm, why on earth did this lady, in this position, EVER think it would be okay to criticise ANY teenage girl in this way. Take away the fact that these are the President’s daughters, take away the fact that they are going to be in the public eye, all people, especially teenagers, can suffer terribly from low self esteem and predominately, depression. It simply, was just not cool.

obamas daughters look bored

President Obama’s daughters at Annual Thanksgiving Ceremony (Via Getty Images).

After Lauten’s Facebook post was shared on Twitter, the online reaction was not pretty, with her even being accused of having racial overtones in her criticisms. By Saturday evening, the hashtag #ElizbethLauten was trending. Not surprisingly, she this was not a good thing and also unsurprisingly, her comments were retracted:

“I quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager,” she wrote. “After many hours of prayer, talking to my parents, and re-reading my words online I can see more clearly just how hurtful my words were. . . . I pledge to learn and grow (and I assure you I have) from this experience.”

Oh great, a few Hail Marys and we’re all good to go then yeah? Seriously, this shit has GOT to stop. Presidential daughter or not, no one should be calling out a teenager on their appearance on ANY medium. Public, social or print.

These are not simply easy targets, they are living human beings with hearts and minds that take in everything, often obsessively.

00:00 / ???