Did The NY Daily News Go Too Far By Publishing "Short-shorts" Photo Of Sasha Obama?

This is not the photo in question, but another shot from the same day, could be deemed inappropriate.

The NY Daily News isn’t exactly a national media outlet known for its integrity and its comment section is pretty much a cesspool of racism and sexism.  So it doesn’t shock me that they published a photo of Sasha Obama that could be considered a bit risque and inappropriate.  The photo in question was taken while Sasha Obama, 12, was visiting the New York City neighborhood of Soho, with friends and a security detail.   The photo is pretty much a “back-shot” of the photo posted above. 

Needless to say, the comments following the article ranged from pure outrage to suggesting the Obamas should do better when it comes to policing their child’s attire.

For example:



Those two comments were just the tip of the iceberg and the most “sane”.

The President and First Lady don’t have an easy job when it comes to shielding their daughters from the scrutiny of the media and paparazzi that’s known to follow them around on their public outings. The Obama daughters aren’t any different from your average teens and pre-teens when it comes to their fashion, but objectifying teens of any age, no matter who their parents are, should be something media outlets are cognizant of.

What do you think, Clutchettes,  should there be discretion when it comes to media outlets publishing photos of Sasha & Malia Obama that could be deemed inappropriate?

 Update: As of 10 a.m the photo in question was deleted.

 Update: As of 10:30, the entire article was removed from NY Daily News’ site. 

  • Afrostyling

    OMG she has grown so much! She is going to be so tall! Lovely girl!

  • Miakoda

    If this photo is inappropriate it is because once again the human female form is being sexualized.

  • Camryn


    The photo, which I saw, and I’m happy Clutch didn’t post, was basically the same photo above, but she was bent over!

    And yes, it was inappropriate!

  • No_chaser

    Many girls Sasha’s age are wearing short-shorts like those these days. I live in the burbs and the Caucasian girls are much more risque and even wear their midsections out and pile on full faces of makeup :-O
    I don’t see anything wrong with her outfit, though. She’s covered in a t-shirt and it looks like mom made her wear shorts layered under the denim cut-offs.
    The Daily News is trash for putting her out there like that. Somebody’s gonna be in deep doo-doo.

  • http://twitter.com/nLUVfiction DQUELUVN (@nLUVfiction)

    you are absolutely right because if you go to the site now, the picture is gone.

    ETA: The entire page is gone!!!

  • Yb

    I swear white girls in Cali make uggs, Colchis cutter shorts, and spaghetti strap tops their year round uniform.

    This is more of a case of black girls bodies being sexualized under racist sexist lens. Nothing about her outfit is sexual or innapropriate. Sasha doesn’t even have the stereotypical “black women’s body” but comments are still being made about her “wide hips” and “grotesque fat butt.”


  • Yb

    *coochie cutter shorts

  • Quelqu’un

    She’s grown up so much! She’s gonna be tall just like her momma and her daddy.
    I didn’t see the pic on the Daily News, but I’m sure they probably posted something ugly and inappropriate: /

  • http://awomynsworth.com awomynsworth

    “If this photo is inappropriate it is because once again the human female form is being sexualized.”
    Agree Agree Agree!
    Why can’t people just let women wear shorts!
    It’s summer on the east coast. It’s hot and muggy.
    Sasha was not “inappropriate.” I’m glad they removed it from the site.

  • Camryn
  • stef

    check the comment section of any or all local and national newspapers and they are a cesspool of racist comments. The most racist comments i have ever witnessed are without doubt on yahoo , AOL and the usatoday

    But i will say this about the daily news as a New yorker. The daily news was once the liberal alternative to the NY post but I have noticed in the last couple of years especially in the editorial section that its has gotten very conservative . This is a socalled liberal paper , in a hard blue city and state that endorsed Mitt Rommeny for president, is fully behind stop and frisk and whose owner mort zuckerman is a outspoken critic of obama and supports isreal racist policies.

    For me this is more reinforcement that almost all American media outlets are garbage

  • DeeDee

    The only reason I think they were wrong for posting it is b/c the Obamas don’t want the media taking/posting any candids of the girls. However, it’s not their fault she had on that outfit. I don’t really care what “girls theses days” are doing; at 12 years old, those shorts are entirely too short. Putting biker shorts under them only highlights that she shouldn’t have them on anyway b/c if she did’t and moved the wrong way, her butt cheeks would be showing.

  • Prissy1

    I think the shorts are too short and I’m surprised she got out of the house with them to be honest. However, I don’t think the newspaper should show a “back shot” of her because they too knew these a bit short and that’s probably why they did it.

  • http:tontonmichel.tumblr.com Tonton Michel

    If the girl is not considered to be dressed inappropriately than how are the pics considered inappropriate? Either she is dressed way too grown or she is not either way media regardless of their intent can’t be blamed for her own choice of clothes. I do wonder if the President will talk to her about it or will he save that lecture for a more “appropriate” audience like college graduate ceremony, meeting of some white conservative group or maybe the national organization of nuns.

  • http://gravatar.com/chicmodernvintage chicmodernvintageTonia

    I think they are a tad too short however taking candid shots of a little girls backside is where I draw the line.

  • Miakoda

    Her choice of clothing isn’t inappropriate. The photographer, likely a male sexualizing the body of a 12-year-old girl and taking a picture of her for his personal monetary gain is what is inappropriate.

  • Kacey

    “check the comment section of any or all local and national newspapers and they are a cesspool of racist comments.”

    TRUTH!! When reading an online article where the subject is a person of color and/or immigrant I often cringe in anticipation as I scroll down to the comments section. If anyone wants proof that racism is alive and thriving in the hearts of many Americans all they have to do is read news comments. The NY Post comments sections were so out of control with racist vitriol that they no longer allow comments on any of their articles.

  • http://gravatar.com/geenababe geenababe

    You are very correct about the racist comments. I don’t even real comments on sites like that when it a story regarding minorities. It will scar you for life and it’s funny how the sites don’t do anything about it.

  • Kacey

    The photo was inappropriate and shouldn’t have been published. I saw this on another news outlet (and I also saw the photo in question on the NY Daily News site before they deleted it) and on the other site there are pictures of her tugging on the black shorts underneath because they kept rolling up as she was walking. I felt bad for her because she looked awkward once she realized that the photogs were capturing it all.

    I know lots of girls are dressing like this but I always thought the FLOTUS and POTUS were especially cautious about making sure the girls were conservatively dressed when out in public. Despite the fact that thousands of teen girls are wearing these type of short-shorts, these girls are under extra scrutiny being the children of the president (and, let’s be honest, also because they’re black). It also doesn’t look like something the president in particular would have approved of her wearing.


    Lets see. . why you taking pictures of a minor who is minding her own business! It must be the freak factor in some folks! Photopediphiles. . .leave this GIRL alone!

  • P

    Malia and Sasha are such beautiful and well – poised young ladies. The real beauty of it all is they would still process these qualities if NOT reared as the President’s daughters (I sincerely believe that).

    Quite naturally, they will constantly be under attack. They are a reflection of a positive image. So, any little itch that is given for the media outlets to discredit, they will use it. As that inappropriate photo was discovered, the public must let the media know it is unacceptable. If discretion is NOT used, these subliminal messages will eventually turn into MORE “direct” attacks as the Obama’s daughters become older.

    It runs deeper than a photo. At their ages, what type of messages are you really sending? Look, Look…The Obama’s daughters are not innocent little girls (growing into hoochie mamas)… Also, I can recall during a discussion in regards to Plan B – someone raised the question” is Malia going on birth control?” That was one the MOST right out disrespectful situations I’ve ever witness. That is NO BODY GOTDAMN BUSINESS. We can’t allow this to go on. These subliminal messages are the same as yesteryears. Not giving our daughters an opportunity before grouping them as “growing” into promiscuous women IF you’re not already saying that.

    I love both of the Obama’s daughters. But it is truly something about that Sasha which exudes a bright shining spirit. Both will be under attack – but just b/c Sasha has always possessed a feisty, outgoing personality – this is the light in which the media want to capture her in. Mean- spirited and not smiling.

    Let these girls LIVE and stop trying to stunt their growth. Ugh…Yes I am steaming! This one made me extremely upset. Leave my baby alone. … I love my Sasha! As expected, they both are continuing to grow into beautiful young ladies. Not surprised at all. The media is looking for something – just b/c they don’t have anything negative to report.

    So ridiculous.

  • Des

    Should she wear a burka too? Tis is NOT Afghanistan. Take a seat.

  • Des

    I am Team Maila all the way! ;)

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformation7 Ms. Information

    She is a cute baby but my mama would never let me wear shorts that short…lol wasn’t gonna ever happen..

  • Kay

    Though my first reaction was that she should be wearing something more,but… I remember wearing similar things when I was her age too. If you go to a local mall you will see kids in similar fashions all over. I think the central issue here is that people expect some higher level of behavior from the Obamas, even as Sasha is a normal teenager prone to doing teenage things. It should have just been a small story that the Obamas took in and quietly remedied by having their little girl just cover up a bit. However, by them taking such photos of her, it’s as if they are somehow sexualizing her, and that is inappropriate.

  • guest

    Me either. My grandmother would have had a fit. That is why I believe Mrs. Robinson won’t allow Malia and Sasha to go but so far. Regardless of what Mr. or Mrs Obama will say…

  • Whatever

    Hmmm I totally agree she is dressed like an average American 12 year old. However, she isn’t the average American 12 year old. She is the daughter of the POTUS. She lives in the White House, flies in Air Force 1 and has secret service with her ever single day. Of course I don’t expect her to be dressed like she’s on her way to an inauguration every day, but I am also a bit surprised at the cropped t-shirt and cut off short shorts. Sorry, but I think Sasha and malia are beautiful young girls and I don’t expect them to be dressed like mall rats given who their father is. Also, I don’t care what the hell the “average child” is wearing. My 12 year old wouldn’t be wearing shorts this short or any top that could show the midriff when the wind blows. “We’ll they do it” isn’t good enough.

    As for the daily news, I’m not surprised that they used this as bait for their trolls. That paper is a waste of paper.

  • The Comment

    I sorry girlfriend…you vacation all over the world with bodyguards. It is not asking too much for you to cover those thighs up.

  • MommieDearest

    Honestly, I don’t think Mrs. Obama or Mrs. Robinson knew what Sasha was wearing when she left the house, because I’m positive that if they saw her ahead of time they would have made her change clothes. Particularly after the (undeserved) flack Michelle received for wearing camp shorts WHILE CAMPING IN THE GRAND CANYON ON VACATION a few years back.

    While I think the shorts are a little too short, and I certainly wouldn’t let MY 12 year old daughter wear them outside of the house, I don’t think Sasha deserves the derision she’s receiving. The photographer was wrong for taking the shot. The NYDN editor was wrong for approving it and posting it. This is a CHILD for Pete’s sake, and there is no excuse for sexualizing a child. NONE.

  • The Comment

    I’m just so happy she doesn’t have painted on eyebrows and fake lashes! *kiss finger and wave in the air* Thank you Lawd!

  • http://clutchmagazine opiland

    Those clothes were very appropriates given the temperature was over 90 degres.

  • Christine

    Did you not read this part of the article?

    “The photo in question was taken while Sasha Obama, 12, was visiting the New York City neighborhood of Soho, with friends and a security detail. The photo is pretty much a “back-shot” of the photo posted above. ”

    This is NOT about her outfit. This is about taking a picture of a 12 year old girl bending down in shorts and blasting it in the media. This is about sexualizing a 12 year old girl. The picture that Clutch put is fine. It’s not about whether you think her shorts are too short or not.

  • O’Phylia


    Why, next thing you know, they’ll let young girls wear pants above the ankle. Think of the children!!!

  • Christine

    I put this in reply to another comment, but so many people debating about whether they think her shorts are too short or not makes me want to put this as a comment of its own.

    This is NOT about her outfit. This is about taking a picture of a 12 year old girl bending down in shorts and blasting it in the media. This is about sexualizing a 12 year old girl. The picture that Clutch put is fine…the one that the other newspaper put (but now took down) is not. It’s not about whether you think her shorts are too short or not.

  • Black Womanist

    Now tell us why Clutch provided a link to the pic.

  • Camryn

    Actually they didn’t..they provided a link to the article’s source.

  • http://twitter.com/Author_JGail Teflon Jawn (@Author_JGail)

    The photographer who took a picture of a little girl bending over should be questioned and banned from any event involving the Obamas. Other than that I won’t even look for the photo and give this matter any more attention than it deserves

  • Anthony

    Five years is a long time to pretend that you respect the president and his family. I don’t like her shorts, but if I saw her I wouldn’t give her a second thought. She is just a kid in shorts. I feel sorry anyone making fun of the picture of her rear. That much hate is pathetic. Anyone over fifteen who finds it arousing needs o take a seat in jail.

  • Joan

    That looks like an outfit that slipped by Michelle and grandma because I just can’t see them approving of that. LOL. Yes, the person who took those photos is disgusting, but come on, now…We would not even be having this conversation if Sasha had not come out like that. The fact that the whole world is watching them and that certain people in the media will take any and every opportunity to make them look bad should be reason enough not to ever come out like that. Y’all can get mad at me all you want, but Sasha is one of Michelle Obama’s daughters: she should know better. Even my 10-year old daughter would know better than to come out like that. There are short-shorts and then there are what Sasha is wearing: My mother calls them “C@@chie Cutters.” I can just imagine the lecture she got when her parents saw that picture.

    Michelle: “SASHA!!! What did I TELL you about those c@@chie cutters?”

    Grandma: “Michelle, I put them in the TRASH the other day. Miss Sasha must have dug them out of the trash!”

    Barrack: *SIGH* *Shakes head.* *Looks down at iphone.*

    Sasha: :( *Sniff.*

    Malia: *Giggle.* Whispers: “I told you to stay out of my closet.” LOL.

    I wanted to fuss at MY daughter when I saw that picture and she hadn’t even done anything! I think that after watching the Obama girls grow and admiring the family so much, sometimes they almost feel like distant relatives. When I see them looking like their usual beautiful selves, I feel proud and it makes me look forward to when my daughter is a teenager.

  • JoeSchmoe

    I left a comment on the since-deleted article chastising them for creating an issue where there was none, for playing into the hands of racists and pedofiles, and for sinking to new lows in journalism. It disgusts me that they do not police their comments section.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    THIS!!! It seems like people are missing the point here. Yes you can establish a side argument of whether if her shorts are a little too short for her age group but that is NOT the issue here but the fact that this publication decided to run a very inappropriate picture that basically sexualize a girl in front of the world regardless if it is Sasha Obama or Jane Doe. Furthermore, MOST people would look at her as a kid in shorts and nothing more (unless you are a creep, pedophile, etc.)

  • lhoskins

    amen to both!

  • Sharon Lowd

    I’m an old-fashioned Mother of 62; I would not let my daughter or granddaughter go shopping with me wearing shorts that “short”. She’s a little girl with a blue bow in her hair, little girl shape and form and way too exposed with those shorts. The photogs are wrong and her Mom or whomever she was shopping with, should not have let go out in public like that. I’m betting that Michelle Obama’s mom never let her wear what we old folks used to call “short-shorts”.

  • sixfoota

    Kinda off-topic but then kinda on (lol I always say that) but I’m 6’2. Even if the shorts are longer than most shorts that are sold (dresses & skirts ESPECIALLY), when us long-legged ladies put them on, they look like panties.

    Anyway, like everyone else said, she’s dressed just fine. Her shorts are adorable & IDK about y’all, but this is how I dressed when I was a child & it was summertime. Hell, it’s hot.

  • Miakoda

    Once again, you all want to police what girls and women are wearing and not the fact that this photographer (most likely a man) felt at liberty to take a picture of a 12-year-old girl without her consent and use it promote her negatively. The only reason your grandmothers and mothers wouldn’t allow you to wear those kind of shorts is because they wanted to ‘protect’ you from the male gaze.

  • Miakoda

    “We would not even be having this conversation if Sasha had not come out like that.”

    No, we wouldn’t be having this conversation if men (and women) saw women as actual people.

  • yoshposh

    Yes!!! I live in California as well. In high school white girls were never reprimanded for wearing risqué attire, yet black girls were often scolded for their clothing. It’s clear that this has everything to do with the policing and the hyper sexualization of black women’s bodies.

  • http:tontonmichel.tumblr.com Tonton Michel

    The shorts are too short no way I’m buying it’s because of the heat out there either. Now the press taking the shots of her is debatable, but for certain they would have no ammo if she was wearing shorts 7 inches longer.

  • http://nenointhecity.wordpress.com nenointhecity


  • http://gravatar.com/solfresh solfresh

    I don’t think it matters whether there should be discretion because the media will post what they want. Clearly, Barack is on it if the entire article and photo has been pulled. I could stop right here.

    I’m 23 so I don’t think Sasha should be reprimanded or judged for her outfit. In that part of NY it is BLAZING. Girls her age and my age more than likely wouldn’t bother to wear biker shorts to cover whatever extras may hang out (peruse through tumblr to see young women flaunting their cheekage in the same exact shorts). Cropped, died, and cut of shorts are still in this summer.

    Sasha and her sister seem like they’re very normal despite their father and mother, so I don’t judge them at all for their fashion choices, present and future. She’s with her friends shopping, that’s a shopping outfit. I don’t find it inappropriate at all. Poor thing was just taken advantage of like most celebs.

  • Cam

    Obama and his wife have no problem chastising black people on how to raise our children…ie stop feeding your kids Popeye for dinner. So I am going to return the favor, those shorts are inappropriate for a 12 year old.

  • Cam

    What kind of 12 year old you people know? SMH

  • bob

    those shorts are too shorts a 12 year old should not be showing her body that way. Ny is hot , thats just an excuse women use to dress provocative, you can keep cool wearing longer shorts, but lets be real its about whats in style and looking sexy is in style so women where the short shorts, and girls tweens are trying to be like adults by wearing them. she is a normal girl trying to look more grown then she is. but those shorts are too short and the photographer is a sick person. this is soft core kiddie porn for some creeps out there.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the shorts were too short.
    what does that say about the GROWN MEN who took the picture and published it?

  • Miakoda

    You’re the same man who said girls and women contribute to being street harassed by the way they are dressed, so what makes this any different?

  • UgoBabeeeee

    Oh you people are full of crap….this outfit is absolutely inappropriate for a 12 year old- who gives a damn that others are wearing the same- that does ot make it right!!!! Really you want to hang your hat on herd mentatility reasoning???!!! OMG am amazed at the decaying of morals amongst our (black) people….Not appropriate for a typical 12 yr old and definitley unaacceptable for a sitting presidents daughter- sorry if you want to bury your head in the sand- continue to do so but she is a president’s daughter whether she wants to accept it or not and has to purport herself accordingly…if not she should stay in the house…she is held to a higher standard- thats just the way it is….i didnt see the picture in question but i saw a back view of the picture and you can almost see her buns….come on already!!! people using the argument that it is hot blah blah blah- go and naked yourselves in the process!!! my goodness- and really some harping about policing a woman’s body- a black woman’s at that?? y’all need to sit down….you people are just ridicoulous….This is appropriate to some of you because this nation glorifies over-sexualziation…..

    yes there are typos……

  • bob

    The photographer is sick. These shorts are inappropriate for any 12 year old to be wearing. I seen some beautiful women in my neighborhood last night wearing jean short shorts and had dudes across the street hollering obscene things in a jamacian accent. I am confilicted on these things because their is a part of me that loves women in jean short shorts, honestly one of my favorite things to see women wear in the summer time, but as a big brother I would hate to see my little sister wear something like that and get attention from men like that. This is the type of attention a womans body draws, this is why I say it is inappropriate for girls to dress like this.

  • Somebody

    Exactly. To whom much is given, much is expected. But there are some people who love the Obamas so much that everything they do is perfect and if YOU don’t , then you’re a HATER. *smh*

  • Somebody

    Hmmm. I really wonder what Caucasian girls have to do with this. Are they what we should compare ourselves to? So if a Caucasian girl is doing something worse, it’s all good????

  • Amina

    Thank you. I can’t even with some of the comments on here. Why can’t we teach own young daughters not to be ashamed of their developing bodies, instead of covering them up. These sound like the same fools who think it’s your fault if you get sexually harassed.

    However appropriate/ inappropriate she was dressed is not even the issue at hand, it’s the continued lack of respect that the media has for the Obamas. They care so little for them that even their daughters are fair game, remember the outrage of those on the right when Malia wore a simple tee with the ‘peace’ sign and had her hair in cornrows while out on vacation?

  • LaShic Mondrell

    Once again, it is up to little girls and adult women to police their attire as not to attract the wrong attention to their bodies because people don’t know how to conduct themselves in the presence of the female form. This is similar to rapists blaming their inhumane actions on their victims because of her clothes; in fact, this is why this thinking is even upheld because of people like you. I hope you’re proud of your life.

    In order to be respected and not get the wrong attention, women must wear turtlenecks and over the knee skirts or wide leg pants while men get to run around without their shirts on. The hypocrisy of it all.

    The real question shouldn’t be why little girls wear shorts President’s daughter or not but should be why are grown people sexualizing little girls?

    P.S. The time it took you to type the sentence about your typos could’ve been spent correcting them. Just a thought. (Smiles =)

  • http://www.keepitkinky.net DC

    Ultimately, when you leave your house, you could get photographed… even if only in the background of another photo. I’m sure that many publications have published photos of her in other attire given her place in American society. If she or her parents didn’t want her to be seen in this outfit, she shouldn’t have left the house in it. Unfortunately, she has many more years of being followed by people who want to earn a high figure for her worst picture so she has to be very, very careful.

Latest Stories

Maya Rudolph Scores Her Own Variety Show! Janelle Monae, Craig Robinson & Raphael Saadiq to Appear


Dating Don’ts: Love In The Age Of Instagram


New Study: Young Women View Incidents of Sexual Assault as Normal


Pew Center: Only a Quarter of Americans Consider Pres. Obama ‘Black’