The untold truth of Sasha Obama

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 Obama'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 teen than just her father. At 16 years old as of June 2017, the little girl who came to the White House is no longer so little. And now that Obama is well into her teenage years and 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's 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.

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 young girl to full-fledged teenager. You'd 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, sending all of Twitter into a frenzy. One Twitter user commented on the first daughter's name, sharing, "My entire life is a lie." And, of course, the GIF responses were amazing, as one expects from Twitter.

​A childhood scare

It's not common knowledge, but Sasha Obama got very, very sick when she was very, very 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." Meningitis is a serious, life-threatening disease, so it's no surprise that he was acutely concerned. 

"Your world narrows to this very small point," he continued, describing how it felt in 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. 

Meeting Ryan Reynolds was major for her

Sometimes it's hard to picture 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 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.

Can I 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!

Drake considers her 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. He posted a photo of the teen in her baseball cap, with the caption, "Style Popper."

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

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 vacation together in the past. As Us Weekly reported, the two were seen hanging out in Miami in early 2017.

Her 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, as reported by 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.

She 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 spoke to their move during an interview on Ellen. And who did she think got the best deal? "Sasha actually killed in this house. She has this two-room suite, it's all decked out. She has 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. So he's really hating on her [Sasha]."

She 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.

In May 2017 she did just that with her party. No longer the little girl who first came into the White House, Obama wore a fabulous red dress by Jill Jill Stuart for the big event, as reported by Business Insider

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, as seen in additional leaked photos on Instagram that gave the public a quick glimpse into the big evening.

Live music, please!

The youngest Obama is definitely a fan of live music, and has been to her fair share of shows. According to BET, she 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?

She's on social media...somewhere

You're not going to find Sasha Obama's Instagram account anytime soon, but that doesn't mean she's not using social media. In fact, 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!. "So, tell me about Snapchat," he said. 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. 

Come to find out, Sasha recorded the entire thing, and sent it to her friends with the caption: "This is my dad lecturing us on the meaning of social media." Then she took a picture of herself looking bored. Hilarious.

Serious about her studies

The Internet went crazy when it learned that Sasha Obama was not present at her father's final farewell address. 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." Basically, she was at home studying for an important exam.

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. You can say goodbye later." That shows just how important education is in the Obama household. There really are no excuses.

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.