Malia Obama is more than just another child of a famous politician. This daughter of former president Barack Obama has become a celebrity in her own right, and she has millions of adoring fans all around the world.
This goes to show how far Malia has come over the years. She has experienced an absolutely stunning transformation, and the public has had a front row seat to witness the amazing woman she has become.
To fully appreciate how much Malia has changed, it’s important to look back at several key moments throughout her life that made her the woman she is today.
Early days in politics
The first thing you should know about Malia is that her life completely changed when she was only six years old. That was when her father was elected as the senator representing Illinois. Obviously, this wasn’t quite as big as when Barack Obama was elected president, but this was when Malia’s life and the world of politics became completely intertwined.
Before the election results were in, Malia also got her first real experience concerning politics. She helped her dad cast his own vote during the election. After that, she huddled up with her family in a hotel room waiting for the results to come in.
Of course, this was just a taste of politics for Malia. It wouldn’t be too long before she had to jump feet first into the political waters!
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Conflicted about her dad’s chances
Barack Obama wasted little time making a name for himself as a senator. After three years of generally wowing people, he announced that he was running for president in 2007.
Symbolically, Barack Obama made this announcement from the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois where Lincoln’s own political career began. And in typical fashion he brought his family, including Malia. At only eight years old, Malia wore a black coat, white scarf, and cute beanie.
While she stood beside her father, Malia was a bit conflicted about the presidential election. According to People, she sometimes found herself hoping he would lose the presidential election. Barack Obama chalked this up to nerves about moving far away, but it’s quite possible young Malia had an inkling of how much this would change her life.
Finding the right dog
Despite Malia’s misgivings, her father won the 2008 presidential election. She may have felt conflicted about moving, but she got an interesting consolation prize. Barack Obama promised to get his girls a dog in his victory speech, and after he won the election, the family set out to fulfill that promise.
But this was harder than you might imagine. First of all, as the Mercury News reports, Malia is allergic to animal fur. And second of all, the Obamas really wanted to adopt a shelter dog instead of purchasing a pet.
As it turns out, they couldn’t find a good shelter dog that also happened to be hypoallergenic. So they ended up accepting a Portuguese water dog from Ted Kennedy. Malia and her younger sister Sasha quickly fell in love with the dog and named him Bo. And the breed really grew on the family: they brought in a second Portuguese water dog (which they named Sunny) in 2013.
Malia captivates the public
Early on, Barack and Michelle Obama did their best to keep Malia and Sasha out of the public eye. But this was a lesson the family had to learn the hard way back in 2008.
When Barack Obama was on the campaign trail in 2008, he agreed to an interview with Access Hollywood. He brought Michelle, Malia, and Sasha with him, but he was very surprised at the public fascination with his daughters. That same year, Today reports that Obama regretted this decision. “I think that we got carried away in the moment… I was surprised by the attention it received.”
As she got a little older, Malia started making headlines on her own, and not always for great reasons. But after that 2008 interview, her parents did their best to keep her out of the spotlight.
Working behind the scenes
Barack and Michelle Obama may have been able to keep Malia out of the spotlight for a while. However, it turns out that Malia actually enjoyed working behind the scenes!
While still a high school student, Malia completed internships for TV studios in Los Angeles and New York. In 2014, when Malia was about 16, she was a production assistant for the Halle Berry mini-series Extant. While working for the show, i-D reports that she impressed Berry quite a bit. As Berry would later tell Andy Cohen, “She was down to do whatever a PA is asked to do, and I had wild respect for her for that.”
This wouldn’t be Malia’s last time impressing celebrities, either. In 2015, she was an intern for HBO and sometimes helped out on the set of Girls. And in an interview with Howard Stern on SiriusXm Satellite Radio, Girls creator and star Lena Dunham said Malia was “so smart.” Dunham was particularly impressed when she asked about Malia’s favorite movie and she responded “Well, do you want me to list by my favorite director, actor, or cinematographer?”
This kind of media knowledge is about more than impressing celebrities, though. It may just point the way to Malia’s future career.
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A future in media
In 2016, Malia completed an internship at the U.S. embassy in Madrid, and some thought she might have a political career ahead of her. Soon after, though, she completed an internship at The Weinstein Company film studio in New York City. And it appears Malia’s interests lie in the entertainment industry.
Now that Malia is about to graduate Harvard, she is ready to pursue a career in entertainment full-time. In February 2021, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Malia is joining the writing staff of one of Donald Glover’s projects for Amazon. This project, a TV series called Hive, is going to center on a woman inspired by none other than Beyoncé.
Normally, it would be tough to write for a character who is as cultured and effortlessly cool as Beyoncé. Fortunately, Malia has a lifetime of her own experiences that makes her perfect for this job!