I signed up Facebook when it was still called “The Facebook.” I didn’t have a cell phone until I was getting ready to go away to college. I’m showing my age here, but I was among the last generation of kids to grow up without the 24/7 interconnectivity that smart phones and social media have brought us, and I am incredibly grateful for that. Not having my entire adolescent history of loser ex-boyfriends, slutty outfits, and various high school and college drama floating around on the internet somewhere? Pretty sweet.
But that is not, unfortunately, a luxury my own daughter is likely to have. And I actually feel bad for her, because I am going to be ALL UP IN HER SHIT online. In an age where any dumb mistake your kid makes can and probably will spread like wildfire thanks to the internet, that’s what you have to do. I’ll be keeping her Insta and Snapchat as cleavage free as possible. I’ll be sliding into her DM’s, making sure there are no dick pics. I’ll be scouring her Facebook profile to make sure she’s not claiming to be a 22-year-old co-ed when she’s in 8th grade. And you know who my parenting role models are going to be in this endeavor? Barack and Michelle Obama.
Do you know how absolutely remarkable it is that neither of their daughters has done anything remotely scandalous in the past 8 years? It blows my mind.
It wouldn’t surprise me at all if like, some White House communications staffer was monitoring and/or approving everything Sasha and Malia do online (because you know they have secret social media profiles somewhere that the rest of us will never find). But the fact that we haven’t seen any scantily-clad selfies or expletive-laced status updates (in other words, things that pretty much every other teenager in the world does literally all the time) leak out from either of them speaks to an incredible upbringing.
Their good behavior extends way beyond internet savvy. Sasha, who I have just learned is actually named Natasha, is making headlines this week for a completely un-criticizable-reason (though I’m sure someone on Twitter is trying). She’s currently working a glamorous summer job manning the takeout window at a seafood place on Martha's Vineyard. Sure, it's probably a swanky joint frequented by the richest people in America, but it's still a job that requires her to work hard and don a geeky uniform (and I don't even want to imagine what one's hair and clothing would smell like after a shift there). Is she working there for extra cash? Is she hoping to gain experience in the restaurant business? Does she just really like lobster rolls? Who knows, but it's a pretty down-to-Earth way to be spending her time.
The most risqué thing we’ve seen either of the First Daughters do so far (and please God don’t let me jinx it) is Malia dancing on stage at a music festival recently, and I don’t think anyone can legitimately argue there was anything particularly salacious about it. But apparently some people want to judge the Obamas' parenting chops based on the moves their daughter busted at a concert and not say, the fact that she’s going to Harvard next year. Haters gonna hate, obviously.
If twerking at Lollapalooza is the “worst” thing my kid ever does, please know that I would prefer a cash gift instead of a trophy for my Mom of the Year award.
These two young ladies have grown up with the eyes of the world on them, and they’ve proven themselves remarkably responsible and astoundingly mature. And the awesome thing is, the Obamas didn’t have to do anything all that crazy to raise these girls into poised young women. The president read the entire Harry Potter series out loud to Malia. He coached Sasha’s basketball team. The family makes it a point to have dinner together 5 nights a week (despite that whole dad leading the Free World thing). Basically, just being present, loving them, and of course, keeping them from starring in any viral videos. That is a plan I’m 100% confident I can follow.