Malia Obama, President Barack Obama’s eldest daughter, has been in the news a lot since she arrived at Harvard University last week to begin her first year as a college student. Many of Malia’s classmates have caught photos and videos of her walking around campus and moving into her dorm room and, for the most part, they have been fairly innocuous.
However, the former first daughter was also harassed recently by a woman who tried multiple times to get a photo of her for her grandchild, even after being asked not to.
According to TMZ, the woman approached Malia as she and a friend were about to enter a restaurant in Harvard Square and asked her for a photo. When Malia politely declined, the woman refused to take no for an answer and decided to wait for her outside the shop.
Obviously frustrated by the woman’s persistence, when Malia noticed her waiting with her camera as she left the shop, she asked:
‘Are you just gonna take it in my face like an animal in a cage?’
An eyewitness told TMZ that the woman was not deterred by Malia’s question and took the photo anyway.
Watch the video of Malia and her friend leaving the restaurant in the video below, available via YouTube.
Malia clearly — and understandably — wants to keep as low of a profile as she can on campus. She also declined an interview with the Boston Globe last week and the reporter who requested it handled her rejection a lot better than the woman discussed above did.
Elliot King, a professor of communication at Loyola University Maryland, said during a recent interview with The Washington Post that he thinks Malia will stop seeming like a celebrity to her classmates after a while. He explained:
‘When you see somebody every day, they stop being a celebrity. Part of being a celebrity is the distance, their mediated image. You’re not really seeing the flesh-and-blood person who has to raise their hand and answer a question or be your lab mate.’
If King is correct, Malia’s fellow Harvard students will soon stop gawking at her. Hopefully, the rogue grandmothers lurking around Harvard will also follow suit.
Featured image via Robert Kamau/GC Images.