How Chelsea Clinton Made A Real Change In White House Tradition As A Child

It appears that Chelsea Clinton was destined to be a political activist. In an equally endearing and impressive letter, the former First Daughter wrote to then-President Ronald Raegan in 1985. A photocopy of the letter was saved by her father, Bill Clinton, and released in her 2018 children's book "It's Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!" At just 5 years old, Chelsea wrote to Raegan: "Dear Mr. President, I have seen the Sound of Music: the Nazis don't look like very nice people. Please don't go to their cemetery." (via People)

She was referencing Raegan's controversial visit to the Bitburg cemetery, where Nazi soldiers are buried. In a bid for the president to take her seriously, her letter was also complete with a roll of colorful stickers. Once President Clinton entered office in 1992, Chelsea urged him to start what is now the Children's Correspondence Unit. "Now, all kids' letters get treated separately and [they] get a more kid-friendly response than just the letter that I missed, and that's continued under every administration," she explained to PageSix.

From a young age, Chelsea was encouraged to pursue education and activism. She released "The Book of Gutsy Women" in 2019 and an accompanying AppleTV+ series "Gutsy" in 2022. Hillary Clinton also joined her daughter in producing the series, which aims to spotlight women-led projects that are changing their communities for the better. As for her career, Chelsea has become a staunch advocate for women's rights, especially in the political sphere.

Chelsea Clinton overcame serious public scrutiny during the Clinton era

While being a public figure comes with its woes, there is perhaps no role more invasive than being part of the First Family. As the only First Child of former President Bill Clinton and former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, constant hate severely impacted Chelsea's childhood. She recalled the crowds that harassed her family during her father's 19992 election campaign as a young girl. "I remember being a little girl in Arkansas and people yelling hateful things at us, at my parents," she told CBS News. "Like, really active hateful rhetoric and actions that just permeated life when I was a kid."

Aside from targeting Chelsea for her father's political stances, the teen was also publicly scrutinized for her looks. In addition to comments from conservative commentators, an infamous "Saturday Night Live" skit made fun of a then-13-year-old Chelsea's appearance. She said that this experience changed her perception of comedy forever, even though the skit members sent her an apology letter (per Insider).

Unfortunately, this vitriol followed Chelsea into college and beyond. At Stanford University, her freshman year was plagued by the infamous Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky sexual harassment scandal. After her own experiences with unjust treatment, Chelsea's career as a health and political advocate is dedicated to protecting women.

Chelsea Clinton is dedicated to women's empowerment

Chelsea Clinton has been outspoken about the threats women in politics face. In 2016, Hillary Clinton ran as the first female presidential nominee in American history, against Donald Trump. The hate directed towards Hilary is synonymous with the 2016 presidential election, and witnessing this treatment firsthand, Chelsea explained that this vitriol is alarming on a larger scale. Of the abuse female politicians have to endure, Chelsea told Variety: "The fact that that was not answered and shifted aside opened the aperture for even more violent imagery and more violent language around every woman in politics today."

While the public health advocate has no plans to run for her own role in public office, she is dedicated to philanthropy. In reflecting on the active role she held during her mother's campaign bid, Chelsea explained that she will continue to fight for a just society despite the outcome of the elections. "I think being a citizen isn't just what happens when there's an election, she said (per Variety). She continued: "I'm committed to raising my voice in opposition to and affirmation of, when I think it's important to do so."

Currently acting as Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation and an assistant professor at Columbia University, Chelsea shows no signs of slowing down. She has pursued more literary works that aim to educate the younger generation specifically, encouraging them to make the world a better place — from climate activism to female empowerment.