Trendsetters Sasha and Malia Obama

Trendsetters Sasha and Malia Obama
ESSENCE.COM Apr, 21, 2009

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Miley Cyrus, her alter-ego Hannah Montana and even the Jonas Brothers have some serious competition these days. Tweens are now daydreaming about about meeting the First Daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama. From their book bags to fashion finds, the Obama girls have found themselves role models and fashion icons among the very young set. Listen and see just how Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, are changing the way little girls across the country think about themselves.

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Sasha Obama has no problem leading her own pint-size tour of her new home, the White House, during the family’s first time hosting the Annual Easter Egg Roll.

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Don’t be surprised if you see an increasing number of girls sporting bright colors, fun designs and prints as part of their wardrobe. The First Daughters have a flair for fashion, much like mom First Lady Michelle Obama.

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Sasha Obama has been in the spotlight since she was just a toddler when her dad was campaigning for the Senate. We’ve seen her personality blossom into a vibrant, confident girl who isn’t afraid to speak up and have her voice heard.

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We’ve heard about how much the Obama girls love to read and hope they are passing that trend on to other little girls around the country. The sisters join mom First Lady Michelle Obama during storytime at the Easter Egg Roll.

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The Obama girls transcend race, religion and most other differences when it comes to the girls who adore them. Mostly, tween girls just want to know more about what the girls are like and dream about getting a much coveted invite to their first slumber party in the White House.

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After months of speculation, the Obamas unveiled their new pooch, Bo, a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog, just last week. The President promised the girls a dog after the 2008 Presidential Election was over. The girls were inspired by their grandfather, whose nickname was Diddley, an apparent reference to the the late, great singer “Bo” Diddley.

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“I like the fact that even though Sasha and Malia are popular, they’re still down to Earth,” says 9-year old Asiyah Piper from Queens, New York. “They don’t come across as kids who are bossy or think they’re better than you because their Dad is the President. They do chores and [to know that] it doesn’t make it seem like doing chores is such a punishment.”

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Their new dog, Bo, is a sign of hope to other kids like Malia who are allergic to certain proteins found in animal dander. Bo will hardly shed making him the perfect pet for the Obama girls.

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Sasha and Malia’s close relationship is an inspiration to many, as they hang close and look out for one another.

For 8-year-old Jordan Leggin, the Obama girls are more than an inspiration, she says, “I feel like they are a reflection of me and it makes me happy to see girls my age in the White House.”

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Like many 7-year-olds, Sasha is a fan of the Jonas Brothers and has read all the Harry Potter books, reinforcing the family’s notion that the girls are just like everyday Americans.

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“I like the way Malia does her hair when it’s twisted,” says Alliyah Piper, 10, of Queens, New York. “She looks like she could hang out with me and my friends without feeling uncomfortable about having braids.”

Sasha and Malia Obama continue to be relaxed and unfazed as they are saluted and handled with care by the Secret Service.

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The girls carry their own book bags whenever they travel, including weekend trips to Camp David with the family.
“They’re at the age where they’re pretty self-sufficient,” the First Lady tells People magazine.

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“Malia and Sasha seem to get a lot of their style from their mother which is stylish and nice," says 11 year-old Dominique Thurston of Valley Stream, New York. “I look forward to seeing them on television and in magazines.”

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Showing that the girls have very different personalities, a focused Malia listens attentively with her parents while a restless Sasha seems to have other things on her mind.

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The adorable cuties stand proud watching their father take office.

Africa Turner, 8, says seeing the girls in the White House makes her feel responsible. She says, “They do a lot of chores and I really don’t do that much.”

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The girls have met many of their favorite stars, including Nickelodeon’s KeKe Palmer, but they may not even realize how much star power they have themselves. In fact, a pair of sisters from Tennessee run their own Malia and Sasha Fan Club Web site.

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A smiling Malia poses for the camera. She looks charming in her pea coat during Inauguration weekend.

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The Obama girls always look cute and comfy but the President and First Lady have done their best to discourage news outlets from covering their daughters too much, remembering that they deserve to have their privacy protected.

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Like her mom, Sasha Obama is a national style icon for her peers. After wearing a doll key chain on her backpack in January, the item quickly sold out in many Washington, D.C., stores.

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Whether they plan to be professional tennis players like Serena Williams or an astronaut like Mae Jamison, we’re sure Malia and Sasha will showcase their work with true grace.

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The duo are continuing to come into their own and cherish time with Dad, which includes playing UNO and other card games.

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Sasha Obama gives Dad a smooch before he speaks in Philadelphia during his inaugural train trip to Washington.

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Even with their exciting new life in the White House, Sasha and Malia are very well aware that everyone in the world isn’t as fortunate as them. The duo volunteered their time during the holidays last year.

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The girls head to their first day of school at their new school in Washington, D.C. After personally touring different options, First Lady Michelle Obama selected Sidwell Friends School for the girls to attend.

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“Finally there are kids like me in the White House and it’s not just all about serious work," says 8-year old Kaitlyn Hord from Lexington, Kentucky. "It makes me feel good and proud to have them in the White House. Maybe I can become president one day since they are there. Plus, I like the fact that they spend a lot of time together as a family. It makes me feel good.”

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Malia gives her Dad a warm hug after his acceptance speech once he became the forty-fourth President of the United States of America on November 4, 2008.

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Sasha Obama blows the President a kiss at the Denver Convention, following her mom’s speech. Her spontaneity and spunk make her a favorite for both kids and adults.

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The smart girls share some free time with their busy father during Christmas vacation in Hawaii. Middle school children across the country dream about one day meeting and becoming friends with the First Daughters.

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The beauties show off their piano skills during an exclusive ESSENCE magazine cover shoot of the Obama Family last year. We hope the girls continue to use their positive outlook and influence on tweens around the world.

Tell us, what’s your favorite Malia and Sasha Obama moment?

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