Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Barack Obama to daughters: If you get tattooed, I’ll get one to match

U.S. President Barack Obama leaves with his daughters Sasha and Malia (left) after he pardoned the 2012 National Thanksgiving Turkey in The Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, November 21, 2012.

Yuri Gripas/Reuters

President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, have further limited their two daughters' narrow range of options for expressing garden-variety teen rebellion by telling them that, if they ever get a tattoo, their parents will get exactly the same tattoo in the same place.

Not only that, said the president, "we'll go on YouTube and show it off as a family tattoo."

"Our thinking is that might dissuade them from thinking that somehow that's a good way to rebel," the most powerful man in the world said on the Today show.

Story continues below advertisement

The only way to find out if that's true or not would be for Malia, 14, or Sasha, 11, to get the very worst possible tattoo imaginable and then see if their father really is willing to have Justin Bieber's face set in a circle of crying dolphins inked onto his lower back.

They could also go for "I LOVE MITT" on their biceps and see how their famously sleeveless mother responds.

Not that we want to give them ideas. It's just that, as the children of the president, it's probably already difficult enough growing up and finding your own way without your totally square father going on national television and talking about you in an embarrassing way.

What do you think: Is this a good way to dissuade a child from getting a tattoo?

Report an error Licensing Options

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at