Sasha and Malia Obama were just 7 and 10 years old when their father was elected president, but America’s First Kids have been in the headlines ever since. They grew up before our eyes and before we knew it we were watching them go off to college. Here are the most iconic moments depicting the amazing transformation of the Obama sisters.
Democratic National Convention 2008
Imagine stepping onto a stage in front of thousands of people at the age of 7 and 10. This is what the Obama sisters did at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. The girls handled it very well considering how scary it must have been. This also introduced their mother Michelle to the world stage, and the world was hooked. The Obamas had officially arrived.
Election Night 2008
On the night of the election victory, the Obamas appeared electric in their red-and-black ensemble, and it seemed the night would never end. Sasha and Malia took the stage with their parents and appeared at some, but not all, of the victory parties. After all, kids need their sleep, especially after such an exciting day!
Inauguration Day 2009
Sasha and Malia were all decked out for the cold of Washington for their father’s inauguration day on January 20, 2009, although as Chicago natives they were well acquainted with winter weather. Their specially designed outfits by J. Crew were so popular that the company’s website crashed from so many orders.
Making the White House a home
The Obamas didn’t waste time making the most of their new residence, and one of the most important parts was making sure the girls were able to live in a grounded environment. This photo is of the First Family sharing a moment in the Oval Office just a month after the first inauguration.
Off to school
Where do you send your kids to school in Washington D.C. for a well-rounded education that can meet your security concerns? The school of choice for many political families is Sidwell Friends, the same school attended by Chelsea Clinton and Joseph Biden, among others. Both Malia and Sasha attended the school throughout their time at the White House, graduating from the prestigious institution in 2016 and 2019 respectively.
National Christmas Tree Lighting 2011
One of the great perks of being a White House kid is that you get to meet everyone, and that includes anyone at all. On this particular night, Kermit the Frog joined in on the celebration, but Sasha and Malia would go on to meet so many celebrities during their White House tenure, everyone from heads of state to athletes and performers.
Democratic National Convention 2012
In 2012, we had another chance to see the pair on the national stage, again at the DNC. Sasha and Malia were showing definite signs of becoming fashion icons of the future in their tasteful outfits.
Inauguration Day 2013
At their father’s second inauguration on January 21, 2013, Malia and Sasha made quite a pair in their blue and purple wool coats. Now 14 and 11, the girls were the toast of Washington. But that didn’t stop them from being kids and taking selfies while their dad was being sworn in again.
Malia goes to the prom
We have Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming to thank for the inside info on Malia’s 2015 prom outing. Malia asked her parents to “just be cool please, okay?” and, rather than be driven to the event by secret service, her date picked her up and drove her in his own car, like a normal teen. Her security detail followed in the car behind them, though.
Sasha and Malia attend their first state dinner
It was a fairy tale come true in March 2016 when Sasha and Malia were finally permitted to attend their first official state dinner. The occasion was a visit by Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau. Both girls wore gowns by designer Naeem Khan, reportedly worth $20,000 each.
Malia turns 18
Malia’s birthday falls on July 4, so every Independence Day is an extra special day for her. On her 18th birthday in 2016, President Barack Obama serenaded her with “Happy Birthday” on stage with performers Janelle Monae and Kendrick Lamar.
Malia goes to Harvard
Like many high school graduates, Malia opted to take a gap year before entering university. She spent it first as a summer intern at the U.S. Embassy in Spain, and then traveled to Bolivia and Peru. After her gap year was over she entered Harvard University, where her parents went to law school. She soon met her current boyfriend Rory Farquharson.
Sasha goes to the prom
In May 2019, Sasha, now 17, followed in her sister Malia’s footsteps and attended her high school prom. The teen and her date, fellow student Chris Milton, caused a stir on social media with their adorable prom pre-party pics.
Sasha graduates high school
Two years after Malia entered Harvard, 18-year-old Sasha graduated from high school in June 2019. She had her pick of many universities, any of which would jump at the chance to have her. She chose something a little out of the ordinary for her Ivy League family, but prestigious nonetheless: the University of Michigan. She did not take a gap year but went straight to college after the summer break. Her major is still undeclared.