Last week, President Barack Obama and his family were in Hawaii for their annual Christmas vacation. Photographers captured several moments of POTUS during the trip, including a jaunt to a shave ice shop and a golf outing. Some vacation shots, like this one, are actually released by the White House itself. But when a paparazzo snapped photographs of the First Daughters, Sasha and Malia, walking along a beach — eeeerrrrr, record scratch.
According to Celebuzz, the photographer was actually waiting for Jessica Simpson — who was also in Kailua, Hawaii — when he spotted the Obama sisters walk by.
"After he took the photographs, agents from the United States Secret Service came over and asked him for identification," according to a source who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Celebuzz has chosen not to name the photographer."They were nice enough to him and didn't seize his camera equipment.
"But when he sent the photographs out via the agency's wire, he received a letter, on a White House letterhead, requesting that the images not be released."
The letter was from the White House Press Office, the source added.
"It stated that Sasha and Malia's privacy should be maintained as they were on a private holiday," the insider told Celebuzz.
"The letter said that other media had been respecting these requirements."
The AP issued shots of Sasha and Malia walking on the beach back in 2008, but the girls were with the President. In this case, it seems that they were unaccompanied, and it makes sense that these young ladies should be able to stroll along the sand (possibly even in swimsuits?) without the images being dispensed to whole world. But for how long?
Right now, Malia is fourteen and Sasha is eleven. In 2016, when Malia is (eek!) eighteen and Sasha is fifteen, will they be afforded the same privacy? As we saw with Kate Middleton, photographers are eager to catch women in the public eye exposing skin during private moments, and the public gobbles up issues of tabloids featuring "bikini bodies." And most of the folks devouring these images are women, not men. While some famous families delight in submitting images of their teenage daughters in swimsuits for public consumption, the Obamas are not these kind of people. If you search hard enough, you can find fuzzy telephoto lens pix of both Michelle Obama and (a very young) Sasha Obama swimsuits. But the appetite for their flesh is pretty mild. For the girls' sake, hopefully it lasts even when they're out of the White House.