An unauthorized photo of 16-year-old Malia Obama is creating a buzz on the internet.
Pro Era, a hip-hop music collective based in Brooklyn, New York, posted a photo of President Barack Obama’s daughter on their Instagram account. The photo shows the teen wearing a T-shirt with the company’s red and green logo on the front, with her hands raised above her head.
The White House has been very protective of Malia and her 13-year-old sister, Sasha, so the publication of the photo is surprising. In fact, the White House declined comment Tuesday, which some attribute as a sign of White House disapproval of the photo’s distribution.
The only time the girls are authorized to appear in the media is when they are with Obama and-or first lady Michelle Obama. Otherwise, no mention of their name or use of their image is authorized.
Looks like Malia Obama is a fan of @joeyBADASS and @PROERA http://t.co/EhOKVU9wWC pic.twitter.com/DoltrmNK28
— MTV Hip-Hop (@mtvhiphop) January 6, 2015
Bradley Bledsoe, a spokesman for Pro Era, told the Associated Press in an email that “the group received the photo from a mutual friend of Pro Era and Malia, and the photo is real.”
There is no independent confirmation that the photo is real.
Bledsoe also confirmed that Pro Era was never contacted by the White House.
According to the AP, Michelle Obama contacted Ty Inc. to voice her disapproval of the company naming a pair of the popular Beanie Babies toys after the girls. The company renamed them following the First Lady’s complaints.