Thursday, July 16, 2009

Follow-Up: Malia Obama's Peace Sign Shirt: Tween Trend or Political Statement?

By Carrie Stetler; The Star-Ledger

Eleven-year-old Malia Obama was attacked by Republican pundits last week for wearing a peace sign tee-shirt during the First Family's trip to Italy. Good thing she wasn't wearing a Soviet hammer and sickle or a portrait of Che Guevara.

True, Barack Obama had just convinced the Russians to cut back on the stockpiling of nuclear weapons at the G-8 talks, so maybe it was a political statement---in which case, big whoop! I don't think Obama is going to base his policies on the whims of a middle-schooler, otherwise Nick Jonas would be appointed head of FEMA and international disputes would be settled with rounds of Guitar Hero.

Have Malia's critics never set foot inside a mall? Have they not seen all the peace-sign logos in shops like Justice and The Limited Too?

My eleven-year-old daughter has several peace sign tees and even a peace sign bikini.

She is not championing the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament as far as I know. She just likes the way they look. Critics claim Malia's black and white tee featured the CND logo, but I haven't found any tees like that for sale on its website. Last I checked, there was no trademark on a peace sign.

Maybe Malia is starting to form her own opinions and her tee was a reflection of that. Maybe her dad brainwashed her. Maybe, like other girls her age, she's attracted to the idea of peace in it's broadest context: Being nice to people, loving others, not fighting. Maybe she's just being trendy.

It's clear from recent photos that Malia has changed her look. Gone is the straightened hair and the preppy wardrobe from earlier in the year. She's got boho braids and some hippified outfits to match. Maybe next week she'll be a Goth. But unless she's wearing a tee that is blatantly offensive or inappropriate, who cares what it means? I enjoy watching her find her own style as she moves from little girl to teen.

1 comment: