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Monday, January 26, 2009

First Lady Rightly Upset?

I don't know exactly how I feel about the First Lady, Michele Obama, being upset about her children being portrayed as dolls from the Beanie Baby manufacturer- Ty, Inc.

On the one hand I can understand because she has made it completely clear, along with her husband, President Barack Obama, that they wish nothing else than for their daughters to have as normal a life as possible. They also would like to minimize the amount of press exposure they receive and the amount of attention focused on them. With that in mind, it can be understood that having dolls that are made in their image does bring about unwanted press coverage and attention. The Ty company has said that the dolls are not meant to be replicas of the first daughters, but I can't really believe that. They claim that the dolls (who don a darker complexion and are named Sasha and Malia) are just regular dolls fashioned after no one in particular. When asked about the identical names to the first kids, the manufacturer says they are just beautiful names that they felt would fit the dolls (yeah right- the names are beautiful, but not exactly floating around on the top 100 names of 2008 list).

Conversely, I would imagine that having a doll made to imitate your daughters could be an immense honor and something you should be proud of. The idea that millions of children around the world will be able to use the likeness of your children as a companion or keepsake, should make the First Family feel very proud of the children they have raised and the example they are setting for other families. It's also the risk that you take when you enter into a highly publicized position such as the Presidency. I know that they want a normal private life for their daughters, but I'm not sure if they are expecting too much with that request. These are highly voyeuristic times and everyone wants a little piece of the Obama action and that includes the kids.
It is a conundrum- and a reality they will probably have to face for at least the next 4 years.

10 comments:

Trannyhead said...

I think I'd be horrified if my kid had a doll named after her. It just feels like exploitation to me. The same way I feel when my MIL suggests I get my kid involved in modeling. *shudder*

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lettyrburrage said...

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Yes! You are absolutely right. It's really impossible to keep their kids from press. It is one of the consequences they have to face by entering that position or anything about politics especially the presidency. It just so hard but at least they are trying to protect their kids. Every parent would do their best for their children. We couldn't take it from them.

Lester King said...

Keeping their kids after entering the presidency is so difficult I guess. She should be proud that her kids are like role models to young girls out there but maybe she has a different point of view about it.

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