By Wednesday evening, I was sick of hearing about the election. My friend, Sun Arts and Entertainment Editor Zachary Zahos ’15, was also sick of the election. Specifically, he was sick of reading about it in The Cornell Daily Sun, and said to me, “Thank god your column’s on Monday. I can always count on you to talk about something not serious.” Well, sorry to disappoint you, Zach. I’m talking about the election. Specifically, I’m talking about how thrilled I am to have four more years of media coverage of my favorite celebrities on the planet: Sasha and Malia Obama.
From an early age, life as a child in the White House has fascinated me. I was captivated by the idea of growing up in the spotlight. On a family vacation to Washington D.C. when I was about five or six, my mom bought me a book of paper dolls of First Families. I have many fond memories of playing with these dolls including the time I accidentally beheaded Mary Todd Lincoln while attempting to cut her out of the book. But mostly, it was the kids who intrigued me. I would play for hours with the Kennedy kids and make Chelsea Clinton sit with my Barbies.
Much of this fascination has to do with the films My Date with the President’s Daughter and Chasing Liberty which were both powerful influences on my imagination. In both of these movies, the teenage daughter of the president is tired of the pressures of being a member of the most important family in the country and just wants to experience normal life. They paint the White House as a stuffy and oppressive place for a girl to grow up in.
In my lifetime, the only presidential children I got to see were Chelsea Clinton, and Barbara and Jenna Bush. By the time I was old enough to pay any attention at all to the world outside of Cocoa Puffs and Scooby Doo, these women were already women to me. They were real people, which to me translated as boring and thus reinforced the “truth” behind My Date with the President’s Daughter and Chasing Liberty.
But Sasha and Malia are different. When Barack Obama was elected, Sasha was 10 years old and Malia was seven. At the end of President Obama’s second term, Sasha will be 18 and Malia will be 15. America will truly have watched them grow up. Eight years isn’t a whole lot of time relatively speaking, but there is a whole lot of difference between a ten year old and an 18-year-old. I know this from having attended a school that taught 7th grade through 12th grade, and knowing how tall I felt as I walked through the 7th grade locker hall as a senior.
And I am happy to say, that Barack and Michelle are breaking the stereotype created for me by the Disney Channel and Mandy Moore. Sasha and Malia make the White House seem, not like the straitlaced, Secret Service nightmare of those films, but like the most amazing place to be a kid ever. They are growing up to be just as undeniably awesome as their parents (especially their mother). Although they’ve met my idol Beyoncé, the girls do their own laundry, go to summer camp and wear that really cute coral-colored coat from Anthropologie. Hey Malia, if you’re reading this, a) AHH OH MY GOD MALIA OBAMA IS READING THIS, and b) if we are ever besties, can I borrow that coat?
Tuesday night was a fantastic night, and not just because the President was reelected. When Sasha Obama reminded her father to turn around and wave to the people sitting behind him, my heart melted. Anyone who doesn’t think that isn’t super adorable, doesn’t have a heart. It was then, that I was reminded that this election didn’t just mean four more years of the President, but four more years of his family.
Even if you were a supporter of Mitt Romney, you have to admit, that it is way more fun to watch Sasha and Malia than it would have been to watch Tagg and the rest of the Romney brood who all look the same. On an SNL skit a couple of weeks ago, Jay Pharaoh as the President said, “Sasha, Malia, go to bed. I do that to remind you that I have two adorable young daughters, and not five creepy adult sons.”
So Republicans: learn to find the silver lining and embrace the little things in life. Be grateful that we have four more years of Sasha and Malia. Everyone can appreciate the J.Crew-fabulousness of our First Lady and the overall fabulousness of her daughters. At the end of the next four years, the President will no long have two adorable girls, but two adorable young women who I am very excited to see grow up and do amazing things. Also, Bo, the First Dog, is really cute.