Michelle Obama says daughter Malia begged her and the President to ‘be cool’ when her prom date came over to pick her up several years ago.
The former first lady, 54, shared details of then-16-year-old Malia’s first prom in her new book, Becoming, which is out today.
Michelle admitted that she and Barack did cause a bit of embarrassment for the teenager, but they were also determined to make sure she had a good time.
Malia, who is now 20, attended the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.
In the spring of 2014, Michelle wrote in her book, ‘a boy she kind of liked’ asked her to prom, and Malia begged her parents to ‘just be cool please’.
They were cool in at least one way; Malia was typically only allowed to be driven in Secret Service vehicles, but her parents made a special exception for prom and allowed her date to give her a ride.
The Secret Service just trailed behind them all night.
Painting a scene that could have been taken straight from the 1998 Disney Original Movie My Date with the President’s Daughter, Michelle described the moment that Malia’s unnamed date arrived at the White House.
‘On the appointed evening, her date arrived in his car, clearing security at the southeast gate of the White House, following the path up and around the South Lawn by which heads of state and other visiting dignitaries normally arrived, and then gamely — bravely — walking into the Dip Room dressed in a black suit,’ she wrote.
‘Her embarrassment [had] already [begun] to smolder as we rode the elevator downstairs.
‘I was barefoot, and Barack was in flip-flops. Malia wore a long black skirt and an elegant bare-shouldered top. She looked beautiful and about twenty-three years old.’
The proud parents kept it cool while basking in how grown up their daughter had become.
‘Barack and I shook the young man’s hand, snapped a few pictures, and gave our daughter a hug before sending them on their way,’ she went on.
‘We took what was perhaps unfair comfort in the knowledge that Malia’s security detail would basically ride the boy’s bumper all the way to the restaurant where they were going for dinner before the dance and would remain on quiet duty throughout the night.’
Michelle had spoken about her gratefulness for Secret Service being at Malia’s prom before.
‘Our daughters had their own detail all the time, so imagine trying to go to prom with eight men with guns and doing anything else you’re trying to do as a teenager,’ she said this summer at the American Library Association conference in New Orleans.
‘Barack and I were very happy about it. But we had to learn how to discipline them without letting them think their agents told on them.’
President Obama had also shared his relief that Secret Service was there to keep an eye out when he spoke about the prom several years ago.
‘The truth is, I’m pretty relaxed about it for two reasons,’ he said on Raleigh radio station WDCG in 2016.
‘One is Michelle — she’s such a great example of how she carries herself, her self-esteem, not depending on boys to validate how you look or not letting yourself be judged by anything other than your character and intelligence.’
‘Hopefully I’ve been a good example in terms of how I show respect to my wife,’ he went on.
Second, he added, was that the Secret Service would stick close.
Later, after the prom, he spoke more about the experience on Live! With Kelly and Michael.
‘Malia did have her first prom,’ he said. ‘It’s fair to say that the first time you see your daughter in heels is a bit jarring.’
In her new book, Michelle said that Malia ‘still laughs’ when she thinks back to her date meeting the parents, which she describes as ‘a bit excruciating’.
Michelle’s memoir, for which she received part of a $65 million advance in a joint book deal with her husband, features a number of tidbits about the family’s life in the White House, including the occasionally-stifling presence of so many staff members, and the rigorous security regulations.
During a recent interview with Oprah for Elle magazine, the former first lady discussed a moment in her book when she revealed that she and her daughters weren’t even able to window without ‘causing a fuss’.
‘As first lady, you’re not alone much. There are people in the house always, there are men standing guard,’ she wrote in her book.
‘There is a house full of SWAT people, and you can’t open your windows or walk outside without causing a fuss.’
When pressed by Oprah about whether she was being serious about opening a window, Michelle insisted she was telling the truth, explaining that both of her daughters ‘tried to’ but they quickly ‘got the call’ from the Secret Service telling them to ‘shut the window’.