Columns, Opinion

American Protest: It’s time to leave Malia Obama alone

Last week, pictures of Malia Obama blowing smoke rings were published in a conservative magazine. They quickly blew up online, receiving both negative and positive attention. This is not the first time Malia has been targeted by the media for smoking, and it probably won’t be the last.

It is time to leave Malia alone. She is a 19-year-old freshman at college who deserves her privacy and the right to enjoy her college experience. I imagine the college adjustment only becomes that much harder when the paparazzi is following you and trying to portray you as a villain.

These pictures are a total invasion of privacy. Malia shouldn’t have to balance an education at a top-tier school while dealing with constant attention from the media. There is literally no purpose to publishing these photos besides attempting to revive an anti-Obama agenda.

The promotion of that agenda is useless now anyways — and I’d bet many Americans would take President Obama back any day, especially compared to the joke of a president we have in office right now. So his daughter smokes — Trump’s adult children have done far worse.

The idea of holding Malia to some high standard of perfection just because her father was the president is ridiculous. She should have the right to be a teenager and make mistakes without being slammed by the conservative media. After all, she is just a teenager.

There was never a time when she should have been followed by paparazzi who were trying to criminalize her for smoking. Even if this had happened while she was living in the White House, her habits would have had no impact on her father’s ability to be a president — so why is the media so caught up on her actions?

As much as it pains me to say it, Obama is not our president anymore. And Malia Obama’s actions certainly do not represent her father’s presidency. There are much more scandalous things to be reporting on that are far more relevant — like the many issues with our current president, for example.

Last time I checked, it was Donald Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyers, not Malia Obama. In my book, the child of our former president blowing smoke rings is far outweighed in importance by the son of our current president meeting with Russians.

Media outlets need to get their priorities straight and report on what the public actually needs to know — which is definitely not how Malia Obama spends her free time. Just because the Trump train has gone far off the rails does not mean the media can distract from Trump’s disastrous presidency by attacking Malia.

Additionally, what Malia was smoking was never confirmed, so there really is no way to try and make her seem like a villain. In fact, the Twitter response these pictures elicited ended up being largely about how cool Malia is and how blowing rings like that is really difficult.

I hate to break it to the conservatives bashing Malia for smoking, but these pictures are not distracting the rest of us from how far downhill Trump’s presidency goes every day. It also does not make Obama a bad president.

The idea of the Trump family having more class than the Obama family is one conservatives have been trying to create for a while now — but in reality, the Obama family was extremely classy and scandal-free. Trying to create a scandal out of nothing is really not working in diminishing the Obama name.

Trump’s children have been blatantly racist (see the Skittles tweet from Donald Trump Jr., for example). For someone who has their priorities straight, Malia blowing smoke rings does not even compare. She is a teenager. Trump Jr. is an adult, and the adult needs to be much more accountable for his actions.

Malia spent the last eight years in the spotlight alongside her father. Now, we need to keep her out of the media and let her enjoy what little childhood she has left — it’s time to focus on the family currently in office.


  1. Finally a sober, balanced article. But wait until the conservative commentary team get here with weird comments.

  2. Well said young Lady.
    I apl’Aude You for defending Malia.
    She should not be the one to focus on (and was never)
    We have far worse to look into and resolve.