Inside The Obama Sisters' Relationship

Malia and Sasha Obama are not only close in age, they have a tight relationship too. The former first daughters had a unique upbringing, moving to the White House at a very young age and growing up in the spotlight, but it wasn't all glitz and glamour. 

Sure, they rubbed elbows with celebrities and travelled the world, but they also did their chores, had part-time jobs, and had slumber parties with friends just like any other teens. Unlike normal teens, however, Malia and Sasha will forever share experiences of which even few other sets of famous siblings can relate, like trying to date with the Secret Service in tow, and not being able to do literally anything in public without ending up on the cover of a tabloid. 

So, what's the status of their sisterhood? Let's find out as as we take a glimpse inside the Obama sisters' relationship.

First fashionistas

In early 2016, Sasha and Malia jetted off for spring break. While many teens head to the beach or just hang out at home for a week, the first family logged the first presidential trip to Cuba in nearly 90 years (above). The visit marked a historic international milestone, but it also solidified Sasha and Malia as style icons.

The Daily Mail hailed the teenagers as "fashionable forces to be reckoned with, even surpassing their mom Michelle's ability to send style bloggers into a frenzy." The Huffington Post went so far as to say the Obama girls "stole the show."

In fact, according to style expert Naina Singla, the year 2016 was something of a turning point for the Obama sisters' style game. "Other girls are looking to them as kind of trendsetters," Singla told E! News. "I think they've both been able to strike a balance of knowing when to look sophisticated and proper and then there are times when they kind of let loose."

Dating is going to be interesting

In November 2016, President Obama admitted his daughters had been dating, and he was okay with it for two reasons. "One is [their mom] Michelle ... she's such a great example of how she carries herself, her self-esteem, not depending on boys to validate how you look or you know, not letting yourself be judged by anything other than your character and intelligence," he told radio station WDCG (via Today). The other reason was much more embarrassing for the Obama girls: the Secret Service.

"There's only so much these guys can do," Obama quipped, referring to his daughters' suitors. "These poor young men come by my house and..." But even the daunting prospect of dealing with the sisters' security detail hasn't thwarted their young gentleman callers, as both Malia and Sasha have already had some high-profile hookups.

Malia was famously snapped smooching her boyfriend, Rory Farquharson, at a Harvard football game. They were also caught canoodling on the streets of New York City. Sasha had her own public fling when photos of her kissing a dude named Matt Metzler at Lollapalooza made the social media rounds in 2016.

Though these ladies still seem to have the eyes of the world on their every move and makeout sesh, here's hoping they're able to carve out some privacy in the future.

They landed summer jobs

Even the president's progeny have to earn their own spending money. Sasha spent the summer of 2016 working at Nancy's seafood restaurant in Martha's Vineyard, Mass. — one of the Obama family's favorite spots. She allegedly spent her four-hour shifts doing typical starter-job duties, such as bussing tables, doing prep work, and manning the takeout window, according to the New York Daily News. (The only difference was the Secret Service presence.) Perhaps in an effort to deflect attention, Sasha reportedly went by her full name of Natasha while on the job.

Malia's work experience is significantly more glamorous. She spent the summer of 2015 interning on the set of the HBO series Girls. She got even more Hollywood cred in the next few years when she "spent time" on the set of the Halle Berry series, Extant, and interned for the Weinstein Company in February 2017, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Definitely beats frying up clams, huh?

But Sasha may have gotten the last laugh. After the family moved out of the White house and Malia went off to school, Sasha got a nice upgrade on her living quarters. "She has like this two-room suite — it's all decked out," Michelle Obama told Ellen Degeneres. And Malia's room? "She's got a room up in the attic somewhere," Michelle joked.

They gave us all the feels at a state dinner

It was a moment applauded by sisters everywhere — Sasha and Malia attended their first state dinner, honoring Canada, in March 2016. At the black-tie event, the girls met Canuck actor Ryan Reynolds, who posed for an adorable photo with Sasha (and gave Malia the photobomb opportunity of a lifetime.) While little sis appeared to be totally starstruck over the Deadpool hero, Malia comically approved by sneaking in a two-thumbs up in the background of the pic.

Folks swarmed to social media to comment on the epic moment of sisterhood, snapped by official White House photographer Pete Souza. "Sasha is fangirling over Ryan & Malia is just kinda like 'nice embarrass yourself in front of freaking Ryan Reynolds,'" tweeted one follower (via Mashable). Another Twitter user said the photo actually made her "want a sister so bad." 

At the dinner, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau specifically mentioned the girls, saying (via Entertainment Tonight), "I admire you very much, both of you, for your extraordinary strength and grace."

President Obama also acknowledged his daughters at the soiree, saying (via People), "When I was first elected to his office, Malia was just 10 and Sasha was 7. And they grow up too fast. Now Malia is going off to college ... And I'm starting to choke up."

Who's the 'Grumpy Cat?'

Though Barack and Michelle Obama have worked hard to protect their kids' privacy, the parents have offered fleeting glimpses of their daughters' unique personalities. According to the New York Daily News, Malia is "an avid reader" who "plays piano and the flute, studies ballet and favors soccer." Sasha, known as "Sassy" to her mom, is "the family's cutup." She reportedly took piano lessons, and her father even helped coach her basketball team.

During a visit to The Late Show with David Letterman in 2015, mama Obama dished, "I'm not gonna say which one is which, but we have one who generally stays [even-keeled], and then we have one we call our Grumpy Cat. Our salty biscuit ... I'm not saying. They could be watching. But they know who they are."

Barack took a bit more of a sentimental tack when he discussed the girls' personalities with GQ in 2015. "My daughters are amazing girls. They're smart, they're funny. They take after their mom," he said. "Michelle's done a great job with them." Aww!

They love a good live show

One of the clearest shared traits of the Obama sisters is their love of music, particularly live shows. Malia spent some time in Chicago during the summer of 2016, reportedly twerking and maybe smoking at the Lollapalooza music festival. The aforementioned evidence of a teenager being a teenager was caught on smartphones and rebroadcast for the world to opine.

Sasha also apparently enjoys a good concert. Later that same summer, she was spotted at Jay Z's Made in America music festival in Philadelphia, grooving to Rihanna's set. In 2018, she stepped up her game considerably when she snagged a backstage selfie with Cardi B and Offset from Migos at Broccoli Fest in Washington, D.C.

The girls even jammed out together with their mom at a huge Beyoncé concert in Baltimore in 2016. According to The Washington Post, the show reportedly coincided with Malia's high school graduation and Sasha's 15th birthday. Word is the Beyhive even sang "Happy Birthday" to Sasha that night. Hard for two siblings to hate sharing that kind of special occasion, right?

Think they were waited on hand and foot? Think again.

Despite spending eight years in the White House surrounded by staff, Malia and Sasha still had to do chores and maintain a strict bedtime. According to a 2009 article in The New York Times, the girls had an 8 p.m. bedtime and set their own alarm clocks for school the next morning. They were also expected to clean their rooms, and once first dog Bo came on the scene, the sisters were expected to take him for walks and clean up after him.

On an episode of The View, Barack said (via News One), "We don't let them watch TV or use their computer except to do homework during the week." He said Malia got a cell phone in 2011, but could only use it "on weekends." Sound strict? Wait, there's a method to these measures.

In her remarks at the Obama Foundation summit in Chicago (via InStyle), Michelle laid out her and Barack's overall parenting philosophy. "I can't cherish you to death," she said, referring to her inability to shield Malia and Sasha from every possible anguish of growing up in the public eye. "We have to raise our children to be the adults that we want them to be, and that starts young," she said. "You can't be so afraid that life will break them that you don't prepare them for life."

Social media wasn't a must

Barack and Michelle Obama worked hard to shield Sasha and Malia from social media. According to the New York Daily News, the girls were not allowed to use Facebook while the family occupied the White House. Michelle reportedly told them, "You can't go off on somebody, you can't act bratty. Because you may be having a moment, but somebody could use that moment and try to define you forever. ...You're not going to have Facebook for a long time." That was in 2013.

By 2016, Barrack admitted to Jimmy Kimmel that Sasha was at least on Snapchat. He also possibly let it slip a few months earlier that his youngest daughter may have secretly been on Twitter as well. So, why the social media lockdown in the first place?

For starters, you could point to the aforementioned internet meltdowns that occurred after both Malia and Sasha were caught kissing guys in public. For these uber-famous siblings, even the most ordinary teenage shenanigans get inflated into full-blown social media scandals in no time. Their mom's advice became particularly prescient when Malia went viral in August 2017 when she was caught on camera acting not-so-pleased to have her picture taken by an onlooker. "Are you gonna take it in my face like an animal in a cage?" Malia reportedly snapped at the amateur photog, according to TMZ.

The point is this: If social media is already ready to scandalize every bit of Obama sisters content that the girls are not creating, imagine what would happen with their own original posts.

They still keep connected with their crews

Though they may not be endlessly tweeting or posting to Facebook and Instagram, that doesn't mean the Obama sisters aren't glued to their phones like every other American teenager. Well, one of them, at least. In a 2015 GQ interview, Barack referred to both Malia and Sasha as "complete ninjas on the phone," who "do things I don't even understand." But he conceded that it's really just Sasha who is super connected.

"There's almost a mini-generational gap in terms of Sasha being so connected seamlessly to this smartphone in a way that Malia, who was already a little bit older when it really started to take, is not," he said. He also marveled at just how reliant Sasha's social life was on being connected via phone, but that's not to say that the girls don't enjoy good ol' fashioned IRL relationships, too.

In fact, according to Michelle, who spoke at the American Institute of Architecture conference in May 2017 (via AOL), the girls spent their last night in the White House having a slumber party with friends. "They had a sleepover, because of course on Inauguration Day, because my girls are so normal, they're like, 'Well, eight girls are gonna be sleeping here because it's our last time, and we want pizza and we want nuggets.'"

Okay, honestly? That would have made a perfect picture for the Gram.

They were with her

The Obama sisters weren't thrilled when republican candidate Donald Trump won the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Not exactly a shock since for eight years their dad was the leader of the Democratic Party, right? However, the girls were able to channel their anguish in a thoughtful way, albeit through the admittedly helpful filter of their father's articulation.  

During his final press conference in office (via Cosmopolitan), Barack fielded a question from a reporter about how he and Michelle were "talking to your daughters about the meaning of this election," particularly when framed against Michelle's vocal opposition to "Donald Trump's misogyny."

The former president began by saying how Malia and Sasha "surprise and enchant and impress me more and more every single day as they grow up." He then said that although they "were disappointed," they had "paid attention to what their mom said during the campaign and believed it." He then described how the girls were not "cynical" about Trump's win over Hillary Clinton, and that they'd been imparted with the understanding that "democracy is messy," and that things don't "always work exactly the way you might want."

Perhaps most importantly, however, Malia and Sasha's dad shared the following about his impressive daughters. "There's a core decency to this country. And that they've got to be a part of lifting that up," he said. "And I expect they will be. In that sense, they are representative of this generation that makes me really optimistic."