UPDATED: 12:00 p.m. ET, June 10, 2021
Original story: Dec. 2, 2020
Sasha Obama has drawn attention in recent months for living her best life through a series of viral social media posts, but the internet was doing its best to return the favor on Thursday by showering her with virtual happy birthday wishes.
The youngest former first daughter of the first Black president turned 22 on Thursday and recognized June 10 as a moment to celebrate all-things Sasha Obama as her name became a top trending topic on social media.
It seems like just yesterday when Sasha was a little 7-year-old making the historic move into the White House with her family.
But if those aforementioned social media posts didn’t already ut folks on notice that she is all grown up, her 20th birthday sure should.
Still, she and her sister, Malia, who will be 23 next month, will always be their mother’s babies, Michelle Obama told People back in March.
Without directly citing them, the former first lady told People that she was forced to take on an updated maternal role once her daughters returned home from college after the pandemic hit last year.
“They didn’t come back into the same set of rules, because I didn’t want them to miss out on independence,” Michelle Obama said about Sasha and Malia. “They came back as young women, and our conversations are more peer-oriented than mother-to-daughter . . . a chance for me to explore how they see themselves in the world, what are their worries, how are they as students.”
While young people showcasing themselves on social media is age-appropriate behavior, Michelle Obama’s comments could help explain her youngest daughter’s increasingly viral moments like the one back in December when a photo was tweeted showing Sasha wearing a crop top and staring blankly into the yonder, perhaps while attending a party. That last part was conjecture since the only evidence she was at a gathering is the stalkerish stare of a young Black man pictured in the background, seemingly entranced by her presence.
Sasha was also styling in the photo, to be sure, rocking a cowrie shell choker, multiple apparent waist chains above a sarong-type garment unsuccessfully trying to hide her lower half. Oh, and her nails is did, too.
The tweet summed up the situation pretty accurately: “sasha obama is a HOT girl!”
The photo went viral nearly two weeks after the University of Michigan student broke the internet by starring in a Tik Tok video with her friends while dancing and lip-synching to a song.
As you can see, she was just vibing with her friends to the song, “Adderall (Corvette Corvette),” by rapper Popp Hunna.
Twitter users quickly noticed her wardrobe and accessories, like her fingernails, as further harmless evidence that she is indeed living her best life.
The cameo appearance on her friend’s Tik Tok, a video-centric app that routinely incorporates music in users’ posts, was far from Sasha’s only foray into social media stardom.
It was only in October when she appeared next to her friend in another Tik Tok video lip-synching the NSFW lyrics to the “Said Sum” remix by Moneybagg Yo and featuring his fellow rappers the City Girls and Da Baby.
As Madame Noire wrote in its coverage at the time, “Please let Sasha Obama rap her City Girl lyrics in peace.”
These instances are far from the only times Sasha has broken the internet.
Just last year she made headlines after photos from her prom went viral. The then-17-year-old looked seriously all growed up while keeping it simple by sporting a black dress, hoop earrings and flawless makeup.
To be sure, there is much more to Sasha Obama than social media exploits. Her famous father, President Barack Obama, revealed that she and her sister, Malia, participated in the Black Lives Matter protests following the 2020 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“They had a very clear sense of what was right and what was wrong and [of] their own agency and the power of their voice and the need to participate,” the 45th president told PEOPLE in November. “Malia and Sasha found their own ways to get involved with the demonstrations and activism that you saw with young people this summer, without any prompting from Michelle and myself, on their own initiative.”
Still, in spite of her devotion to activism, there was no shortage of responses to Sasha Obama’s forays on social media, with Twitter users rushing to encourage the young woman to continue living her best life while protecting her from detractors desperately looking for some social media clout. Scroll down to see what people were saying back then.