Sasha Obama: 22 Facts About The Former First Daughter & What She's Doing Now

Ever since her father took office in 2009, Sasha Obama has been known almost solely as a president's daughter. Growing up both in the public eye, but also under extreme protection, it's safe to say that Sasha's childhood was anything but ordinary. And yet, the famous daughter has had some moments over the years that help teens relate to her.

There's more to know about this presidential daughter than just who her father is. The little girl who once lived in the White House is no longer so little. And now that Obama is all grown up and is no longer obligated to be the first daughter, she's doing big things. While people of the United States and the world have seen Obama through the years, there are still quite a few things you probably don't know about her —  so let's take a closer look at some unexpected facts about Sasha Obama.

1. Sasha isn't her real name

We first met Sasha Obama during her father's race for the White House. Once he won the election, then 7-year-old Sasha was instantly in public view. Over her father's two terms in office, the world saw her grow up from a young girl to a full-fledged teenager. You would think by the time her father left the White House eight years later, there wouldn't be much unknown about the teen. Not quite! Did you know that Sasha isn't even her real name?

It turns out, Sasha is actually short for Natasha. Mind blown. Although this was first revealed in 2016 when news outlets reported she was using her full first name for a summer job on Martha's Vineyard (more on that later), it flew under the radar. That is, until Twitter user Ashley C. Ford shared the news in 2017 (via Refinery29), sending all of Twitter into a frenzy. One Twitter user commented on the first daughter's name, sharing, "My life is a lie." 

2. ​Sasha Obama had a childhood scare

It's not common knowledge, but Sasha Obama got very sick when she was incredibly young. Former president Barack Obama reflected on the experience in a campaign video that Politico reported on. "People ask me what was the hardest time in my life — they ask, well what about during the debt ceiling debate and this and that and the other thing," he noted. But those situations paled in comparison to what he went through when his youngest daughter was an infant. "Sasha got meningitis when she was 3 months old," he revealed. "I still remember going to the hospital together and they had to give her a spinal tap." 

"Your world narrows to this very small point," he continued, describing how it felt at the moment. "There's one thing you care about and you don't care about anything else." Fortunately, Sasha made a full recovery and lives a happy and healthy life to this day. 

3. Meeting Ryan Reynolds was major for Sasha Obama

Sometimes it's hard to picture Sasha Obama as a real teen going through the same things as the average kid, but then those beautiful moments happen to remind the world that Sasha Obama is super relatable and just like everyone else growing up... well, most of the time.

A perfect example of this came in 2016 when Obama attended her first state dinner. It just so happened that there were some celebrities there, including the crush-worthy Ryan Reynolds. And let's just say, being the daughter of the president has some major perks as Obama had the opportunity to meet the actor.

As Time reported, there was a great photo-op where Obama met Reynolds with her sister Malia looking on, giving a thumbs up to her lucky sister. Obama's joy at meeting the actor is just how other teens — and, honestly, adults — would react during that interaction. You go girl.

4. Can Sasha Obama take your order?

Being the president's daughter doesn't necessarily leave you with any special treatment — at least when you're an Obama. Like many teens who end the school year and head into summer with a lot of time on their hands, Sasha Obama landed herself a summer job. Customers who visited Nancy's, a seafood restaurant on the island of Martha's Vineyard, in the summer of 2016 may have noticed an employee who looked familiar. No, that wasn't a trick of the eye. You really were being served by a first daughter.

As the Boston Herald later reported, then-15-year-old Sasha Obama worked the takeout window at the restaurant for the summer months that year, accompanied by Secret Service agents. A fellow waiter told the Boston Herald, "We were wondering why there were six people helping this girl, but then we found out who it was." Not exactly your typical summer job experience, but close enough!

5. Sasha Obama is besties with Joe Biden's granddaughter

Having a friend who gets your way of life is key. This is why it makes total sense that one of Sasha Obama's best friends is Maisy Biden, former Vice President Joe Biden's granddaughter. Both girls were in the spotlight from a young age, which seems to have helped the ladies relate to one another. It also doesn't hurt that they have more in common than just that. Obama and Biden played basketball together and they both love soccer, according to the Chicago Tribune.

They're school friends too, having attended Sidwell Friends School in Washington. And, as the ultimate test of friendship, the two have even vacationed together in the past. As Us Weekly reported, the two were seen hanging out in Miami in early 2017.

6. Sasha Obama's entourage includes a reality show star

Maisy Biden is not the only friend with whom Sasha Obama spends her time hanging out and vacationing. She's also not her only famous friend. The well-known teen has another friend, Skylar, who was spotted at Obama's 16th birthday celebration, (via AOL). Skylar has also famously been in front of the camera, but not for political reasons. In fact, Skylar and her family are famous because they live out their lives in front of the camera. Skylar's mom, Charrisse Jackson Jordan, is one of the housewives on "The Real Housewives of Potomac" on Bravo. 

While Jackson Jordan hasn't spent time with the Obamas, she spoke about her daughter's friendship with Obama on Bravo, sharing, "Skylar and Sasha [Obama] are friends. They go to lunch. Secret Service is out there standing outside while Skylar and Sasha's having lunch." It's just a totally normal friendship — sort of.

7. Sasha Obama has the best room in the Obama house

Being the baby of the family has some major perks, especially when your parents are decorating and designing a new house. When the Obama family left the White House, it was time to find a new house to call "home." Because they took the time to find the right house, the family members had a chance to have a say in the designs.

Michelle Obama spoke about their move during an interview on Ellen. And who did she think got the best deal? "Sasha actually killed in this house. She has, like, this two-room suite, it's all decked out. She's got, like, a living room area and a bedroom."

But what about the former president? He must have more space. That's not quite the case. The former first lady shared, "He's got the smallest room for his office." After explaining Sasha's posh digs, Michelle quips, "So he's really hating on her."

8. Sasha Obama went big for her super sweet 16

As the former president's daughter, Sasha Obama has seen her fair share of parties. It should come as no surprise then that when it came time for the famous teen to celebrate her sweet 16, she would do it big and have an epic celebration. And of course, she looked stunning in the process.

In May 2017 Sasha celebrated her birthday in a big way. No longer the little girl who first came into the White House, Obama wore a fabulous red dress by Jill Stuart for the big event, (via Daily Mail). Photos leaked on social media revealed that the teen was surrounded by friends for the big event, but she also made sure to include a couple of other important people on the guest list. This included her parents, who were by her side for her exclusive and private birthday party.

9. Live music for Sasha Obama, please!

The youngest Obama is definitely a fan of live music and has been to her fair share of shows. According to BET, Sasha Obama was spotted at Jay-Z's Made In America music festival in 2016 in Philadelphia, rocking out to Rihanna's set. Additionally, on her fifteenth birthday, Sasha, Malia, and Michelle went to Baltimore to see Beyoncé, according to The Washington Post. That wasn't her first time seeing Queen Bey either, as the trio saw her in Atlanta in 2012, and in Chicago in 2013 and 2014. That's not counting the performances Beyoncé has given at White House events such as the former First Lady's birthday party, or the Obamas' first inaugural ball.

Obama has danced with royals other than Beyoncé, too. In 2018, Barack Obama sat for an interview on the Netflix series "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman." There, the former president discussed dancing on stage with Prince: "This was probably three or four months before he died," he reflected. "Prince asked Sasha to come up and dance — and she's an excellent dancer. Then Sasha pulls me up, which surprises me because she always mocks my dancing, but I have dad moves." Jealous yet?

10. Sasha Obama's on social media... somewhere

You may not find Sasha Obama's Instagram account anytime soon, but that doesn't mean she's not using social media. According to The Hill, her father confirmed at a 2017 Hillary Clinton rally that she is. In his speech, he mentioned that Sasha does, indeed, tweet.

There's hard evidence that Sasha is on Snapchat as well, according to an interview President Obama gave on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" where he explains how she taught him to use a popular app. The former president recalls, "Sasha gave me instructions on Snapchat." He explained that he said to her over dinner, "So, tell me about Snapchat." Sasha obliged him, showing him how it works and what features it has. When she finished the demo, he remarked how interesting it was, and started discussing the implications of social media with his wife at the table. 

Then he says, "Come to find out, she was recording us the whole time and then sent to her friends afterwards, 'This is my dad lecturing us on the meaning of social media.' And she took a picture of herself sort of looking bored." Hilarious.

11. Sasha Obama is serious about her studies

The Internet went crazy when it learned that Sasha Obama was not present at her father's final farewell address (via The Guardian). People wondered how she could miss such an important event, and where she might be. As it turned out, she was fine — she was just busy. CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller broke the news on Twitter, revealing her location. "Where was Sasha? WH Official says she stayed back in DC tonight because she has an exam at school tomorrow morning." 

Michelle Obama confirmed this in a television appearance. On "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," the former First Lady said, "She had a final. And it's like, you know the Obamas girl, sorry. Better take your test. Like, you can say goodbye later." That shows just how important education is in the Obama household. There really are no excuses.

12. Sasha Obama had a pretty normal upbringing for a first kid

Despite growing up in the most public possible way, Sasha Obama had a relatively stable upbringing, thanks to Michelle and Barack's hands-on method of parenting. According to the New York Daily News, she wasn't allowed to watch television or use the computer during the week unless it was for homework purposes. She ate dinner with her family most nights at 6:30 and had her fair share of chores. She also took piano lessons and enjoyed going to the movies, and to the mall with friends.

Barack and Michelle tried hard to make things as normal as possible for Sasha. Michelle discussed this at a summit for the Obama Foundation, according to In Style. She said that rather than feel sorry for her daughters, she accepted that they "were living in a bubble, that every misstep for them would be on YouTube." However, there was no room for pity. She continued, "But our view was this is their life, and we can't apologize for the life they have because a whole lot of it is good." No doubt that kept Sasha grounded.

13. The Internet went crazy over Sasha Obama's prom picture

Before Sasha Obama graduated high school and enrolled at the University of Michigan, she celebrated another rite of passage that most American high schoolers do: She went to prom. And thanks to a relative of her prom date, we all got to see just how stunning she looked on the big night on social media. The original snaps have since been deleted, but thanks to the Internet, we have the images for posterity.

According to an article in Page Six, Sasha stepped out in a long, black gown with a high slit and super thin straps. She wore her long hair down and accessorized with simple hoop earrings and a pendant necklace — the picture of class, just like her mother. Her date wore a classic tuxedo with a black bow tie, equally elegant and refined, yet simple. Mom Michelle Obama and sister Malia Obama were present for the pictures, as they appear in some of them as well, and everyone was all smiles.

14. Sasha Obama is officially a high school graduate

On June 9, 2019, Sasha Obama accomplished a major milestone: She graduated from high school, as reported by an article in Us Weekly. That marked the culmination of her four years at the prestigious Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., where other presidential children such as Chelsea Clinton, Al Gore III, and the Nixon girls got their education (via Time).

Sasha wore a white dress to the ceremony and was accompanied by her mother, father, and sister who were there to celebrate the momentous occasion. Also in attendance was Vice-President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, as their granddaughter (and Sasha's bestie) Maisy also graduated that day. Talk about the end of an era!

The school took to Instagram to commemorate the occasion, sharing a quote from commencement speaker Sheila Johnson in the caption. "Life has never been about you or about me. Life and all that matters within it has always been about us," the caption read. Congrats, Sasha!

15. Sasha Obama attended the University of Michigan

When it comes to college, Sasha Obama bucked the family trend of attending an Ivy League school like Yale or Harvard. Instead, Sasha decided to attend the University of Michigan, which is a public Big Ten university, according to The Detroit News. That means that Sasha would become a Wolverine and call Ann Arbor her new home away from home.

Sasha was spotted by other students at the university while attending freshman orientation in the summer and seen later with men who are likely Secret Service agents. "I was walking by pushing a vacuum and she walked out right in front of me," film student Zach Lassen shared. "I said, 'Excuse me.' It was a crowded hallway with her and some Secret Service dudes." Lassen added that he thought it was "cool" that she was attending the university. Other students spotted her near the library and one remarked that "she's just a normal student to me."

16. Will Sasha Obama join Alpha Kappa Alpha?

Sasha Obama might have broken with family tradition by attending a public Big Ten university instead of an Ivy League college as both her parents and sister did. But there's still a chance she could follow in her mom's footsteps for another reason that's related to her education.

Specifically, former first lady Michelle Obama was made an honorary member of the prestigious sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, according to an article in Yahoo! Entertainment. Interestingly enough, it wasn't during her undergraduate years at Princeton University that she joined the historically Black sorority. Rather, it was during her tenure as first lady that she was invited to join, which she did in 2008. There's a chance that Sasha could choose to join Alpha Kappa Alpha while at the University of Michigan, as they have a chapter there named Beta Eta. It just depends on what direction she chooses to go in, as she's her own woman now.

17. Sasha Obama likely has healthy eating habits

When Michelle Obama was first lady from 2008 to 2016, her primary directive was her Let's Move! initiative, which was aimed at reducing childhood obesity in the United States. Additionally, she planted a garden at the White House, and frequently championed healthy eating.

To that end, you know that Sasha Obama was taught to develop healthy eating habits, both at home and out in the world. This has been confirmed on a number of occasions, such as when Michelle told the Food Network that her daughters have to eat vegetables and balanced meals. She also admitted to sneaking vegetables into meals, such as hiding cauliflower in mac and cheese.

Sasha also had numerous healthy options at Sidwell Friends School, which has a super fancy cafeteria. And in Michelle's memoir, she revealed to the world that Sasha has a penchant for watching cooking shows and experimenting in the kitchen. Of course, Sasha likes burgers and fries as much as the next person, according to an interview Michelle gave to CNN, but mom made sure that was in moderation.

18. Sasha lives with her sister Malia in LA

Sasha Obama transferred from the University of Michigan to attend USC in 2022. As Sasha's mother, Michelle Obama, revealed during an appearance on NBC News (via Page Six), Sasha moved in with her older sister, Malia, in Los Angeles. "We were going to take them to dinner, and they said, 'Why don't you come over to our spot for cocktails?' And we were like, 'OK let's see what this is going to be like,'" Michelle said. "The martinis were a little weak. I don't think they really knew what it was." 

As Michelle went on to explain, the two young women have become "best friends." "The thing that I love the most is that those two girls are each other's best friends," she said, adding that in LA, they were "in that place where they're one another's support systems and they've got each other's backs, it's the thing that a mother would want."

19. Drake considers Sasha Obama a Style Popper

Both Sasha Obama and her older sister, Malia, have been popular with the press, but it wasn't just writers and photographers who have shown interested in the two young women. They have received some celebrity notices as well. Specifically, it was the younger Sasha Obama who grabbed the attention of a certain rapper.

In early 2017, Obama was spotted in Miami enjoying some fun and relaxation in the sun. As reported by Us Weekly, the teen was spotted on the beach wearing a baseball hat with Drake's OvO symbol on it. Not only did Drake notice that photo of Obama, but the rapper went even further and gave her a shout-out on social media. According to Essence, the rapper posted a photo of the teen in her baseball cap, with the caption, "Style Popper."

Just another normal day for one of the coolest teens ever. No big deal, right?

20. Sasha Obama might be dating the son of a Hollywood actor

In 2022, the Daily Mail reported that Sasha Obama had a brand new beau. The publication claimed that the former First Daughter was in a relationship with Clifton Powell Jr., the son of actor Clifton Powell, known for his roles in "Ray" and "Deep Rising." Clifton used to be a basketball player at the collegiate level but went on to become a commercial director for sports brands like Nike and Peleton.

The news of Sasha's new boyfriend came shortly after Michelle Obama opened up about her daughters' dating lives on "The Ellen Show." "Now, they're bringing grown men home," Obama said of her two daughters. "Before it was just, like ah, pop bands. Now they have boyfriends and real lives and all that stuff." 

Even though they have their dating lives, they're independent in their own rights. Michelle explained that her goal was to raise them to be capable in the real world. The proud mother praises the girls' and the responsible people they've become, calling them "amazing young women."

21. Despite her mother's dislike of them, Sasha Obama has a tattoo on her arm

In 2022, it was revealed that Sasha Obama may have gotten a tattoo — even though her mother, Michelle Obama, had previously spoken out against them. As the Daily Mail reported, Sasha was spotted with what appeared to be a delicate hot air balloon tattoo on her inner elbow. The colorful ink adds to Sasha's individual and unique style.

However, it seems that Sasha went against her mother's wishes with the tattoo. "My generation didn't...tattoos meant something totally different," she explained to Kelly Clarkson on "The Kelly Clarkson Show." "We used to threaten our kids. If you get a tattoo, we're going to get exactly the same kind, and show it on TikTok or whatever." Their plan was to "take the cool all away," as Michelle put it. Since then, Michelle has come to understand that expressing your style is about "individuality" rather than any "value system." So, who knows, maybe Barack has a hot air balloon tattoo on his arm, too. 

22. Sasha Obama may be friends with Euphoria actress Storm Reid

When Sasha Obama made the move from the University of Michigan to USC, she made some new friends at her new school. One of them may be Storm Reid, the actress known for playing Gia, Rue's younger sister, in HBO's "Euphoria," and Riley in HBO's video game adaptation "The Last of Us." Reid has been attending USC since 2021 — and by the looks of things, she and Sasha may have come across each other on campus. 

As photos published by the Daily Mail showed, the pair appear to be in at least one class together, having arrived on campus only moments apart. We don't know for sure whether Reid and Sasha are close, but it seems pretty likely that they have at least crossed paths while studying at USC. And as they both have experience of life in the spotlight, we can bet they have a lot to talk about!