It has been an exciting couple of months for the president’s daughter, Malia Obama. She turned 18 on July fourth of this year and unfortunately for her, she lives in the spotlight of the modern age. Malia has been involved in a series of events that have given the media ammo to scrutinize and report her every move. This summer, she attended the Illinois music festival, Lollapaloza. As with most events of 2016, there was no shortage of cell phone camera footage. Malia was photographed taking a puff of a mysterious substance that looks very much like a joint. Naturally, the photo immediately went viral and the media ran wild. Next, at the same music event, Malia was video taped in the front row of a concert. As with the other concert-goers, she was dancing and having a good time enjoying the show. It wasn’t long before headlines read “Malia Obama Twerking at Concert.” Whatever truths lie behind the photos, the headlines and the scrutiny are only known to Malia and whoever was there. All the negative attention, however, has led to a wave of positive support too. As the photo and video were being pushed out into the public by mainstream media, twitter approached the situation from a different angle. The general message from Twitter, “Leave her alone!”
It is interesting to see how social media allows for such an instant relay of public opinion. Our more traditional outlets of media were treating Malia like any other random tabloid story, it was as if they were looking to stir up negative reactions. What was received was quite the opposite. On social media, people ran to her defense. Even now, days after the supposed incidents, if you check out #MaliaObama on Twitter, many people are sticking up for her.
UPDATE: Since writing this article, there has been even more attention drawn to Malia. Either she is being more closely watched because of recent events or she is really spreading her wings as a new 18 year old with a fresh taste of independence. Rumors indicate that she was recently in attendance of a party in Martha’s Vineyard that was in turn broken up by the police. Party hardy. Interestingly, the media has been less forgiving this time around. Rather than the majority of social media opinion being weighted on the side of Malia, people are reacting both for and against her. I guess there in lies the question “How many offenses does it take before people stop giving you the benefit of the doubt?” We’ll let Malia figure that one out.
SEE #MaliaObama on TWITTER and the mix of old and new responses to her recent times in the limelight.