Barack and Michelle Obama Wish Daughter Malia a Happy 23rd Birthday

Happy birthday, Malia Obama! Barack and Michelle Obama’s firstborn child turned 23 on Sunday, the Fourth of July, and they couldn’t help but celebrate with loving tributes to the recent Harvard graduate. 

“Happy Fourth of July, everybody — and also, happy 23rd birthday to our dear Malia!” Michelle wrote on Instagram alongside a throwback photo of her and Malia. “It’s been a few years since we took this photo, but I know that she’ll always be my sweet little girl whose big hugs and big heart always lift up my day. Malia, we love you, and are so excited to see what this year will bring for you!”

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Barack also shared a throwback photo of himself with the birthday girl. 

“Happy Fourth of July, and Happy Birthday, Malia!” he wrote. “It’s been such a joy to watch you begin to make your own way in the world with poise, grace, and humor. I miss the days when you thought the fireworks were for you.”

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Barack and Michelle couldn’t be prouder of Malia and 20-year-old Sasha. In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper last month, the former president opened up about his daughters’ political activism. 

“I always worry about their physical safety; that’s just the nature of fatherhood…But in terms of them having a good sense of what’s right and wrong, and their part and role to play in making the country better, I don’t worry about that,” he said. 

But Malia, Sasha and their peers are more strategic about their activism than generations past, figuring out ways to not only engage the system, but change it.

Barack said his daughters’ generation is less tolerant of the injustices his generations and others put up with, and instead opt to fight for real change.

“What you and I might have tolerated as ‘That’s sort of how things are,’ their attitude is ‘Why? Let’s change it,'” he explained. “That’s among not just my daughters, but it’s among their white friends. There’s this sense of, ‘Of course, it’s not acceptable for a criminal justice system to be tainted by racism. Of course you can’t discriminate against somebody because their sexual orientation.’ There’s things they take for granted that I want them to take for granted.”

“They’re not just interested in making noise, they’re interested in what works,” he added.

Find out what Michelle told ET about family dinners at the Obama house in the video below. 

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