Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Obamas Seem Not to Care So Much Anymore About their Daughters' Privacy

Back in August last year, president Obama wanted the press to keep away from his daughters.
Unlike recent presidents, Obama has two young children, and the first couple is adamant that the girls be left alone. That means no approaching, cameras in tow, when Sasha and Malia are trying to get ice cream, or perhaps ride on the island’s famed carousel.

Aside from wishing a good time for all, in fact, the president had one clear message yesterday for reporters, said Bill Burton, the deputy White House press secretary: “The first family would very much appreciate if you respect the privacy of the girls while they’re out here on vacation.’’
That sounds reasonable. After all, it's not the kids' fault that their parents are politicians; why should they be punished for it?

Now, however, it seems that the "first family" (do they really refer to themselves that way?) is somewhat less concerned about the daughters' privacy. In fact, Michelle Obama, the wife of the president, blabbed to the world about -- well, it appears as though Ms. Obama blabbed about her daughters' weight.
"We went to our pediatrician all the time," Obama said. "I thought my kids were perfect -- they are and always will be -- but he [the doctor] warned that he was concerned that something was getting off balance."

"I didn't see the changes. And that's also part of the problem, or part of the challenge. It's often hard to see changes in your own kids when you're living with them day in and day out," she added. "But we often simply don't realize that those kids are our kids, and our kids could be in danger of becoming obese. We always think that only happens to someone else's kid -- and I was in that position."
All "first ladies" (what an irritating term!) champion some sort of "issue" (what an irritating tradition!). With the previous "first lady" it was literacy. The one before that was into more general childhood/adoption issues (she also tried to pass universal health care). The one before that was literacy. The one before that was "just say no." Etc.

Ms. Obama's issue is apparently childhood obesity.
On the one-year anniversary of Michelle's move to the White House, she has finally chosen her pet issue: childhood obesity. This news comes at the same time as a CDC report that says childhood obesity has plateaued. 17 percent of children are obese—that's about the same as it has been for the past five years. However, the number of extremely obese children is on the rise, and Michelle seeks to reduce these rates through changes to the school lunch program and continuing to maintain the White House vegetable garden.
(My emphasis in the above because, really, how is a White House vegetable garden supposed to do anything about childhood obesity? Is the author of that post really so clueless, or are Ms. Obama's initiatives regarding her "pet issue" really so sparse?)

There is plenty to debate about the "obesity epidemic," but there are also a lot of kids who do not eat "healthy." I don't see anything particularly wrong with trying to educate people about what they can do to maintain better health. But it doesn't exactly have a "cutting edge" feel to it, does it?

First Lady taking on childhood obesity.

Okay, fine, I guess. But I wonder if any of Ms. Obama's childhood obesity initiatives will include any programs aimed at improving parenting skills? Because I have to say that if I had been the son of a "first lady" who went on television when I was a little kid (I have no idea how old the Obamas' daughters are) and implied to the world that I was almost, just by the narrowest of margins a little fatty boy, it would be enough to drive me to eat. A lot. Heck, it might even get me started on drugs, and make me stop reading, and caring about kids.

Which would be a slap in the face to all the "first ladies."

Did Michelle Obama forget that the White House has said her daughters are off limits?

Michelle Obama pic source.


shampoo said...

the white house has a vegetable garden? but, of course, the rest of the food supply is regularly contaminated. I too am at a loss as to how having it will help childhood obesity.

what would help childhood obesity would be to stop having school lunches catered by macdonalds et al. which I have heard some places do. to save money. then the kids go to classes where they must sit nice and still. really, there's no mystery.

the obamas' daughters both under 8, I think.

Ricky Sprague said...

shampoo, I'm sure you've seen or heard about this:

School lunches are worse than fast food.

We over-protect kids to the point they're not allowed to go out and run and play. They stay indoors. They bulk up. They get lazy. And we're all wondering why that is.

Although as I wrote awhile ago, the "obesity epidemic" is a bit overblown.

shampoo said...

ugh, gross, i'd missed that.

food sucks. I hate it. and our food supply IS contaminated. maybe ms. obama needs to do something useful and check into that.

i've been stuck in the house with some of those kids and let me tell you... oh lord... but then again, their mom was letting them play rather than giving them cookies and making them sit down in front of the tv. which is what many people are doing.

kids have a lot of energy so (unless the kid is sickly), getting them to be still takes some work. so again, no one should be too surprised when food + sitting passive = weight gain.

well unless they are drugged. I suppose kids that are drugged are not nearly as fidgety as normal kids.

Miss Malevolent said...

The Obamas are rank hypocrites, and they regularly exploit their children to look like the "All-American Family" prototype.

I doubt her children were in danger of being obese, they're more in danger of having a big ass like their mom.

That can't be helped with dieting.