Sasha Obama Was A Really Good First Teen

A celebration


Tuesday, Barack Obama gave his last speech as President live from Chicago, Illinois. It was an emotional occasion for all of the obvious reasons, and First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were among the attendees. But a lot of viewers were surprised when, at a certain point in his speech, the President addressed daughters Malia and Sasha and the camera panned to reveal that only Malia was there. “Where is Sasha????” Twitter screamed. Just that question. Where is she? Keyword search it. People were revved up.

It’s being reported that Sasha had a science exam Wednesday morning, which makes sense because everyone just got back from holiday break and that’s exactly when teachers are like, “Lol time to own u.” Remember that move? It’s rude. But also, “I have a test” is an age-old parent-proof excuse not to have to do some shit you don’t want to do. Family reunion? Craaaaap I have this project. Aunt Gina’s forty-third birthday party? Ughhhhh drivers’ ed! Regardless of whether or not Sasha actually needed to stay home and study, her absence confirmed something I’ve been appreciating throughout her dad’s eight year presidency: Sasha is a really good first teen.

She was seven when her dad became President, and she’s only fifteen now, so she’s never been old enough to have an arrested-for-having-a-fake-ID moment like the Bush twins or an interning-at-“Girls moment like her sister. Sasha’s just… regular. America’s little sister. She scooped ice cream on Martha’s Vineyard as a summer job. She wore a choker and lip synced all the words when Chance the Rapper performed at the White House Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

And while her older sister Malia seems to share their parents’ affinity for continual camera-readiness and extreme composure, Sasha always looks how I imagine I’d look if someone tossed me in a pea coat and made me watch a turkey pardoning: disinterested but doing my best to hang.

Often, the Obamas disembark a plane in coordinated looks. It’s a nice photo opportunity, and you know every time you land in a place the local paper wants a nice portrait of the first family for their front page. But while the rest of the Obamas would lean into the visual, sporting matching blue and yellow florals, or three different takes on gingham, Sasha would be wearing… all black.

Can’t you hear the argument now? It’s every argument any teen has ever had with their family in the history of time. Yelling down a White House hall, “I NEVER ASKED FOR THIS, MOM!!!!!!” and slamming a door. “Accidentally” “forgetting” a gingham jumper in the closet and sliding a black dress into the suitcase instead. Our emo queen. Our fifteen-year-old selves.

The same way that I hope Malia was smoking weed at Lollapalooza, I’m glad Sasha ditched her dad’s work event for whatever reasons she had. Coming of age is wild, and doing that with the world’s eyes on you, braced for you to be breathtaking and inspirational in the face of some truly wild circumstances, is something I cannot imagine would be fun day-to-day. So yeah, study for your test Sasha. Stay home on a Tuesday. Peak teen. Best teen. America’s teen.