UPDATED: 2:00 p.m. ET, March 11, 2021
Original story: Dec. 2, 2020
Sasha Obama has drawn attention in recent months for living her best life through a series of viral social media posts, but a new interview with her mother may provide some insight into them.
Without directly citing them, Michelle Obama told People that she was forced to take on an updated maternal role once her daughters returned home from college after the pandemic hit last year.
“They didn’t come back into the same set of rules, because I didn’t want them to miss out on independence,” the former first lady said about Sasha, 19, and Malia Obama, 22. “They came back as young women, and our conversations are more peer-oriented than mother-to-daughter . . . a chance for me to explore how they see themselves in the world, what are their worries, how are they as students.”
Aside from teenagers showcasing themselves on social media being age-appropriate behavior, Michelle Obama’s comments could help explain her youngest daughter’s increasingly viral moments like the one back in December when a photo was tweeted showing Sasha Obama wearing a crop top and staring blankly into the yonder, perhaps while attending a party. That last part was conjecture since the only evidence she was at a gathering is the stalkerish stare of a young Black man pictured in the background, seemingly entranced by Obama’s presence.
Sasha Obama was also styling in the photo, to be sure, rocking a cowrie shell choker, multiple apparent waist chains above a sarong-type garment unsuccessfully trying to hide her lower half. Oh, and her nails is did, too.
The tweet summed up the situation pretty accurately: “sasha obama is a HOT girl!”
The photo went viral nearly two weeks after the University of Michigan student broke the internet by starring in a Tik Tok video with her friends while dancing and lip-synching to a song.
As you can see, she was just vibing with her friends to the song, “Adderall (Corvette Corvette),” by rapper Popp Hunna.
Twitter users quickly noticed her wardrobe and accessories, like her fingernails, as further harmless evidence that she is indeed living her best life.
The cameo appearance on her friend’s Tik Tok, a video-centric app that routinely incorporates music in users’ posts, was far from Sasha Obama’s only foray into social media stardom.
It was only in October when she appeared next to her friend in another Tik Tok video lip-synching the NSFW lyrics to the “Said Sum” remix by Moneybagg Yo and featuring his fellow rappers the City Girls and Da Baby.
As Madame Noire wrote in its coverage at the time, “Please let Sasha Obama rap her City Girl lyrics in peace.”
These instances are far from the only times Sasha Obama has broken the internet.
Just last year she made headlines after photos from her prom went viral. The then-17-year-old looked seriously all growed up while keeping it simple by sporting a black dress, hoop earrings and flawless makeup.
To be sure, there is much more to Sasha Obama than social media exploits. Her famous father, President Barack Obama, recently revealed that she and her sister, Malia, participated in the Black Lives Matter protests following the police killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day in Minneapolis.
“They had a very clear sense of what was right and what was wrong and [of] their own agency and the power of their voice and the need to participate,” the 45th president told PEOPLE late last month. “Malia and Sasha found their own ways to get involved with the demonstrations and activism that you saw with young people this summer, without any prompting from Michelle and myself, on their own initiative.”
Still, in spite of her devotion to activism, there was no shortage of responses to Sasha Obama’s latest foray on social media, with Twitter users rushing to encourage the young woman to continue living her best life while protecting her from detractors desperately looking for some social media clout. Scroll down to see what people are saying.