What Malia Obama's High School Prom Night Was Like

Prom is a special night for many high schoolers, with all the formalwear, fancy dinners, limo rides, and, if you're Malia Obama's date, a Secret Service detail. The eldest daughter of former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama experienced this quintessentially high school night out in the spring of 2015, according to Michelle Obama's book, "Becoming."

While Michelle and Barack didn't attend the dance itself — could you imagine a teenage Malia's reaction to such an idea? — the former first lady recounted the moment Malia got picked up for the dance by a "boy she kind of liked" (via Today). The nameless date entered through the southeast gate of the White House, drove around the South Lawn, and walked into the Diplomatic Reception Room to pick up the president's daughter.

Michelle recalled her daughter turning to her and Barack while they rode the elevator downstairs to the executive meeting room. "'Just be cool, okay?' Malia had said to me and Barack, her embarrassment already beginning to smolder," Michelle wrote.

Malia got a brief taste of freedom on her high school prom night

As intimidating as taking the president's daughter out to prom might be, it sounds like the Obamas were fairly laid back. When Malia Obama's date first met her parents, former President Barack Obama was in flip flops, and first lady Michelle Obama was barefoot. Per Michelle's memoir, the family did the usual pre-prom routine: the parents shook the boy's hand, took photographs of the couple in their formalwear, and then the teens were off.

"Malia wore a long black skirt and an elegant bare-shouldered top," Michelle wrote. "She looked beautiful and about twenty-three years old." Malia's dad echoed similar sentiments on an episode of "Live with Kelly and Michael," saying: "I think it's fair to say that the first time you see your daughter in heels, it's a little bit jarring. She's lovely. She's beautiful."

Malia's parents allowed her to break security protocol and travel to the dance in the car her date drove up in, but she wasn't completely exempt from the presidential treatment. As Malia and her date were leaving, Michelle advised them that her daughter's Secret Service agents would "basically ride the boy's bumper all the way to the restaurant they were going to for dinner before the dance." The agents remained on duty throughout the rest of the night.

Michelle and Barack had opposite reactions to Malia's prom send-off

Michelle Obama offered more details of her eldest daughter's prom night while on an episode of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," describing how she tried to ensure Malia Obama had as "normal" of an experience as possible. She explained that the White House security, Chief of Staff, and the Communications Director were all looped into deciding whether Malia would ride in her date's car. "My thing was, she's gotta ride in the car with her prom date. I mean, come on," Michelle said.

The former first lady tried to make sure the prom pick-up went off without a hitch by telling the White House security team not to harass her daughter's date. She also had some advice for the date himself: "I told Malia, 'Make sure his car is clean,' if you know what I mean, because dogs sniff the car, and I don't want him to be embarrassed. He's picking up in a different house."

Former President Barack Obama, on the other hand, didn't mind the extra security. After the Obamas' elevator ride — during which Michelle said Barack was holding back tears — and the meet-and-greet, Barack and Michelle watched as Malia and her date left being tailed by three security vehicles. "Barack was like, 'This makes running for a second term all worthwhile. My daughter is being followed by men with guns to prom.' He's like, 'I'm good,'" she said.