Malia Obama Turned Sweet 16 on the 4th of July

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Malia Obama turned sweet 16 on Friday--the 4th of July. The daughter of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama is just one of several White House daughters to celebrate this milestone birthday while their dad was in office.

Twins Barbara and Jenna Bush turned 16 while their father George W. Bush was president. Chelsea Clinton--who is expecting her first baby in the coming months--turned 16 when Bill Clinton was in office. Who can forget little Amy Carter who skipped through the White House during Jimmy Carter's one-term White House reign? She turned sweet 16 at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., too.

And then there's Susan Ford, whom the media heard little about, except maybe for that 16th birthday milestone. Her mom Betty Ford was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after Gerald Ford took office, so Susan took a bit of a back seat to the media reports.

And Lyndon B. and Ladybird Johnson's two daughters Luci and Lynda both celebrated their sweet 16 birthdays in the White House, too, when their dad stepped into the presidency following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Even though all of these young girls--most of them grown women now--celebrated these milestone birthdays while their famous fathers were president, times have definitely changed from Luci and Lynda Johnson to Malia Obama. The president and Mrs. Obama strive for normalcy for both Malia and sister Sasha Obama.

"They really want normalcy, and the White House isn't normal," Michelle Obama said during an interview with Jimmy Fallon a few months ago.

"The truth of the matter is, they have more freedom than maybe we might have anticipated," President Obama said.

He added that he doesn't worry as much as he thought he might--especially about the prospect of dating.

"I've got men with guns following them around all the time," he told Steve Harvey a while back.

So exactly how did the Obama family celebrate Malia Obama turning 16? Well, Pitbull entertained on the White House Lawn as part of the annual 4th of July event there. That's not a bad way for a teenager to celebrate her big day.

Can you imagine what it must be like to be a teenager in the White House? Like all the young ladies who celebrated these birthdays before her, Malia Obama doesn't have the freedom of simply picking up her phone and arranging to meet a group of girlfriends at the mall. She can't accept an invitation to a new friend's home or arrange to attend a sleepover at another teen's house. Still she is enjoying opportunities that most 16-year-olds--and many adults, too--can only dream of experiencing. She's been privy to a wonderful wardrobe, a Pitbull concert on her south lawn, and world travels.

Life really isn't so bad for Malia Obama. And to top it all off, since she's now 16--she can apply for a driver's license. Does it get any better than that?

Image via YouTube

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.