Signs Malia And Sasha Obama Hate The Celebrity Life

As the daughters of Barack and Michelle Obama, Sasha and Malia Obama have been public figures since their childhood. However, that's not to say they're happy about it. In fact, there are several signs that the former first daughters dislike their celebrity status.

First off, their paparazzi pics. While most celebrities have had a bad day with the paps at some point, it's pretty clear from their expressions that Sasha and Malia would rather the media not tail them at all as they go about their daily routines. Speaking to People en Español in 2022, their mother even issued a request to the media to ease up on their coverage of the two. "They are not looking to be followed by the paparazzi just because their mom wrote a book ... And I hope the media hears me when I am saying this: They are not seeking the [limelight] in this regard," she said. 

Unfortunately, while the White House had the power to protect the Obama sisters when they were younger and their father was in office, that's no longer the case. As such, there's always a chance the paparazzi will follow the sisters — and there are a few ways they let us know that they hate life in the spotlight.

They're super quiet on social media

While many aspiring celebs have used social media to grow their following, it's safe to say Sasha and Malia Obama do not fall into that category. In her 2022 interview with People en Español, Michelle Obama actually pointed out that they weren't trying to build a fanbase online. "They are not social media stars," she noted. 

Granted, it's likely Sasha and Malia do have private social media accounts — and their mother was the one to tip everyone off. The tidbit came when the former first lady was interviewed as part of Oprah Winfrey's 2020 Vision Tour. Michelle shared that she didn't want to follow the girls herself but that people she trusted, like her communications director, did. "It's better for them to be checked by somebody other than me," she explained at the time. 

Even though Michelle was the one to reveal that the girls did indeed have social media, it goes without saying that she wasn't trying to suggest the rest of the world go out and follow them. As she told People en Español, any time she spoke about her daughters, it was so that she could open up about her parenting style. However, she added that she found it difficult to toe the line at times. "How much do I tell so that the media understands that my girls are not asking to be in the limelight?" she asked. 

Malia has clapped back at over-eager photographers

Back in September 2017, Michelle Obama shared at that year's Inbound marketing conference that she was proud of her girls for the way they responded to people who wanted photos with them. The two-time author shared that while they often said no, they were always polite about it. However, she was likely bringing it up due to an incident that had taken place a month prior when her eldest daughter had been pushed too far. 

As TMZ reported at the time, then-Harvard student Malia was out grabbing a meal with friends in Harvard Square when a woman requested a pic. Malia declined, and according to sources who spoke with the outlet, she did so in a respectful manner. However, once the former first daughter re-emerged from the restaurant she'd gone into, the woman was still there, recording Malia, anyway. Not one to take it lying down, Malia addressed the woman head-on. "Are you just going to take it in my face, like an animal?" she quipped in the video supplied to the outlet. 

Well, the woman got the snippet she wanted. However, it's safe to say she's far from being in Malia's good graces — and she certainly didn't get a smile.  

The sisters refuse to engage with paparazzi

While Malia Obama clapped back at the fan with a camera, when it comes to actual paparazzi, it's pretty clear Sasha Obama and her approach is to not engage at all. Such was the case in 2022 when a fun interaction between the sisters was caught on camera by a TMZ reporter. 

In the clip published by the outlet, Sasha was seen picking Malia up at LAX. The initial interaction was a jovial one, to say the least, with the sisters jumping up and down and seeming to chant, "Yas, queen." However, they quickly shut down when the reporter got into their space and started asking them to weigh in on the kind of questions the world simply had to know, like their favorite coast. Heartbreakingly, both sisters went immediately silent and tensed up, turning their sweet reunion into a decidedly uncomfortable experience. 

Sadly, the Obama family couldn't stop the video from being published, as had happened back in 2013 when Sasha and Malia were photographed on the beach in Hawaii. At the time, they still had Secret Service agents, but when TMZ approached them in 2022, Sasha and Malia were both adults and private citizens, sans Secret Service protection

Malia doesn't use her surname professionally

It might not be possible for the Obama sisters to completely get away from their fame, but the eldest sibling has taken some steps to distance herself from her famous last name. As seen on her IMDb profile, Malia goes by Malia Ann for her film career, which at the time of writing includes two writing credits, and one for directing. 

That Malia would opt to use her middle name as her last name isn't surprising, given her aversion to media attention. However, speaking to GQ in 2023, Malia's mentor, Donald Glover, pointed out that there was also a ton of pressure on her as a member of the Obama family. "The first thing we did was talk about the fact that she will only get to do this once. You're Obama's daughter. So if you make a bad film, it will follow you around," he explained. 

Even with that pressure, Malia has managed to do big things. The 2023 short film she wrote, "The Heart," has been nominated for a few awards at the Sundance Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, and The Chicago International Film Festival. Malia might not want the media following her around, but when it comes to her professional achievements, she's happy to share. Fair enough!

They do hang out with the stars, though

Sasha and Malia Obama would prefer to be left alone by the press, but that doesn't mean there aren't some perks to being raised in the public eye. For starters, they've snagged invites to some A-list hangs.

Page Six reported that the sisters had been on the guest list for Emma Stone's "Saturday Night Live" afterparty in December 2023. A few months prior, the outlet also published pictures of them at a party hosted by Drake. Plus, let's not forget that Malia's dating history has included rapper Amine and music producer Dawit Eklund. Granted, what with her own career in the entertainment business, there's a chance Malia would have brushed shoulders with A-listers at some point, anyway. And, with Sasha and Malia choosing to live together after college, she would likely have brought her younger sister and bestie along for those meetings. 

At the end of the day, Sasha and Malia aren't likely to ever be completely separated from their parents' legacy, and that means the press will likely always take an interest in their lives — and there's no denying that has an upside. However, it's pretty clear the paparazzi and even fans have overstepped in the past. Here's hoping at some point, that kind of attention dies down so they can live in peace.