5 Times Sasha Obama's Fashion Was Unfairly Criticized

When you're the daughter of a former president, chances are you figure out from an early age that everyone will have an opinion about what you're wearing, what you say, and what you do — whether you like it or not. First daughter Sasha Obama found that out the hard way as she and her sister Malia Obama transformed before our eyes from little girls to young women. There's a lot of expectations on any current or former first child to look and dress a certain way, and, unfortunately, that can be almost impossible to live up to. 


Sasha really hasn't had it easy when it comes to the court of public fashion opinion, having been subject to numerous occasions where her outfits have been criticized. She's been called out for everything from dressing too provocatively, to wearing outfits that are too expensive, to wearing outfits that don't look expensive enough. And allow us to be clear when we say every time it's happened, it's been totally unnecessary.

Sasha Obama was wrongly slammed for carrying a Telfar bag

Back in 2022, Sasha Obama felt the wrath of social media when she was criticized for allegedly carrying a Telfar bag worth $700, which not a lot of 19-year-old college students would be able to afford, around her college campus. However, the hoopla was totally unwarranted because the designer bag actually retailed for much less than that – $257, to be exact. The drama began after entertainment reporter Peter Dredd falsely claimed in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the young Obama had been spotted walking around with the supposedly $700 purse. "Sasha Obama Spotted Using A $700 Designer Bag To Carry Her College School Books," they wrote. The tweet has since been deleted, but not before several X users went in on Dredd for not only criticizing the young woman for a purse she may well have purchased herself, but also for spreading inaccurate information. "This Telfar Bag is $275. Why lie??????" one X user hit back in Obama's defense. 


The moral of the story here: No matter if Obama's bag was $200 or $2,000, if she's working hard and earning her own cash,  she can spend whatever she wants on her own accessories. Even if the gift was from a loved one to help her with her college education, that's Sasha's business. And no one else's.

Her outfits were even slammed when she was a young teenager

Even when Sasha Obama was a new teenager, she still caught unnecessary heat over what she was wearing. From grown adults in high positions, no less. In this case, the person throwing shade was none other than former Republican communications director Elizabeth Lauten who unceremoniously took aim at Sasha, who was only 13 years old at the time, and Malia Obama, who was 16, for their clothing. The criticism came after Sasha sported a maroon mini dress with black boots and pulled up white socks with a beige cardigan for the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon at the White House. Calling out the sisters for the way they behaved and the way they were dressed, Lauten wrote in part (via Daily Mail), "Dress like you deserve respect, not a place at the bar." Yikes.


Understandably, many people were horrified at her comments on the social media site, particularly as the Obama sisters were so young. So much so that Lauten ended up resigning from her role and returning to Facebook to issue an apology to the teens. "I quickly judged the two young ladies in a way I would never have wanted to be judged when I was a teenager," she wrote in part in her apology. The irony here? Sasha, and Malia, both actually looked super young and chic for the event and were simply showing off their personalities and having a little fun with fashion.

Sasha Obama's crop top and cargo pants ensemble was actually on point for a Drake party

In August 2023, candid photos hit the web showing Sasha Obama and her older sister, Malia, emerging from a post-concert party held by rapper Drake in a Los Angeles club. Both sisters showed off their fashionable sides for the event, with Sasha rocking a slinky, low-cut corset-style crop top with lace across the chest, and green cargo pants with black heels. Malia rocked a lace-up front long-sleeved top and sheer printed pants. And the internet had a lot to say about the ensemble. "Where did these young women get their clothes? [...] Sasha looks ok but her clothes look like she slept in them....did their parents not raise them right?" one persona asked on X. "This is very 'unBECOMING,'" another person tweeted, referencing their mom Michelle Obama's book, "Becoming."


All the criticism was totally unfair, though, considering these outfits were worn to a casual, private party, and not a public-facing event. Moreover, the Obama sisters didn't ask to be public figures. They also have the right to wear whatever they please. Equally, Sasha's outfit was totally appropriate in context. Cargo pants were (and continue to be) totally hot, and, let's be real, her outfit was super on point with what fellow Gen-Z celebs would wear to a night out.

Sasha Obama's string bikini top look raised some eyebrows

Sasha Obama also hit the headlines in September 2023 when candid photos surfaced of her chatting with friends while smoking a cigarette and wearing a pastel rainbow shades string bikini top. She paired the skimpy top with wide-legged black pants, which sat just below her bellybutton. Barack and Michelle Obama's youngest daughter had been attending a Labor Day party in Los Angeles when the paparazzi spotted her — and the internet went in on her super casual look. One X user even had the audacity to write alongside the images, "Avoid such women, if she doesn't mind bringing shame to her father, then she won't mind bringing shame to you."


But the criticism was totally unfair. And even more unnecessary. We loved seeing Sasha show off her gorgeous figure in her triangle bikini top, as she showed us how to be proud of our bodies and not listen to those who only have negative things to say. Plus, like us, Sasha clearly knows that a bikini top can be a great streetwear staple. It can get still be pretty hot in Los Angeles in September too, so why shouldn't she make the most of the sunshine? It's also possible that the party Sasha was attending had a pool, so it makes total sense why she would be in a bikini.

Sasha Obama has also been criticized for dressing in clothing deemed too expensive

Sasha Obama's fashion choices really can be summed up as 'darned if you do, darned if you don't.' Seven years before the bikini backlash, she was called out for wearing something that was deemed too fancy. Really. That outfit was a stunning, beaded black and red gown by Moda Operandi that she wore to a State Dinner for Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, in 2016. The dress was certainly on the pricier side of things, as it retailed for $19,990. Several political watchers were quick to criticize Sasha (and her sister Malia Obama, who wore a dress that retailed for $17,990) for opting to wear something so ostentatiously expensive. One of the more outspoken voices was that of San Francisco-based "ABC News" anchor Kristen Sze. Per News One, She tweeted and then deleted a message calling out the Obamas for allowing their young daughters to pick dresses that were so expensive, when so many people in the country were struggling financially.


The only problem here, though? The sisters were actually loaned their dresses, and Hello Beautiful confirmed that no taxpayer money went towards buying or renting the gowns. After that news was made public, Sze offered up an apology on X. "Deleted tweets when realized they failed big time. Didn't mean 2 hurt any feelings. #mybad," the news anchor wrote.