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Leave Malia alone

Celebrity gossip is all around us. From tabloids at the grocery store to whatever is trending on Twitter, society eats up every latest celebrity scandal it can get its hands on.

Everyone knows fame and fortune comes with a price to pay: privacy. Some don’t have any choice in their fame, but have been thrust into the spotlight nonetheless.

Almost a decade ago, Malia Obama’s life was turned upside down when her father became president of the United States. Her family was under the critical eye of the entire world for most of her life.

But when the Obama family left the White House, they did not leave the national spotlight behind. In fact, 19-year-old Malia Obama has been the latest target for the tabloids as they continue to cover her every move while attending college at Harvard.

On Nov. 20, infamous tabloid site TMZ posted a video of Malia kissing a boy before the Harvard-Yale football game. People acted completely shocked at Malia’s behavior, talking about everything from the boy’s skin color to what her parents would think, blowing it way out of proportion. Then just four days later, a video of her blowing smoke rings went viral on social media, causing many mixed reactions and vile comments.

The way people are reacting makes it seem like this was some sort of national scandal, but in fact, it is quite the opposite. Last time I checked, kissing a boy at a college football game or blowing smoke rings at a party is no sort of earth-shattering criminal act. If this were just an average college student, no one would think twice about it.

This wasn’t just a hot topic in the U.S. either. It quickly spread internationally. Newspapers and magazines all across the world were trying to learn more about Malia’s love life. In fact, The Telegraph, a popular newspaper in the UK, went as far as finding a bartender who worked at a pub near the boy’s home.

This is not only a breach of privacy but also blatant disrespect. Malia Obama is no longer in the White House with her family and presidential father, and even if she was, she does not deserve the public scrutiny she has received. Even Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton have tweeted in her defense.

Malia did not sign up to be some sort of impossibly perfect and poised president’s daughter that some people seem to expect her to be. She is human just like the rest of us. She deserves to freely live her life as a young adult, enjoying all the mistakes and fun that college life brings to her. So, please, let it go and let her live.