Charlotte Hannah
April 25, 2013

Obama Has a Plan to Keep His Daughters From Getting Tattoos (VIDEO)

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama don’t want their daughters, Sasha and Malia, getting tattoos – and they’ve got a very unique plan to ensure that terrifying possibility never comes to be.

In an interview with Savannah Guthrie on the Today show, the President revealed that if either of his daughters – who are currently aged 11 and 14 – ever decide to get inked, he and Michelle will get the same tattoo in the same place on their bodies, and then show off their new mods on YouTube.

“Our thinking is that might dissuade them from thinking that somehow that’s a good way to rebel,” Obama told Guthrie.

Ah, the old embarrassment tactic. Sure, it can be effective – my own parents often ensured that I’d be waiting outside for them when they came to pick me up from a friend’s house by threatening to come to the door wearing a bathrobe and Crocs if I wasn’t. But I see two big problems with the Obamas’ plan to shame their daughters into remaining ink-free.

First of all, a truly rebellious teen would take this as a challenge, an opportunity to turn the tables and dish out some serious embarrassment to her own parents. Enjoy your giant lower back tattoo of a butterfly, Dad!

Second, the idea that a teen only wants to get a tattoo “to rebel” is outdated and inaccurate. There are plenty of reasons a person might want to get a piercing or tattoo that have nothing to do with sticking it to The Man — or one’s parents.

And, considering the myriad ways a teen can get into trouble, is getting a tattoo really so bad in the grand scheme of things? Would a better tactic not be to have a discussion about the long-term consequences of making such an alteration to one’s body and ensuring the teen in question has the information and resources they need to make a smart decision?

Yes, I’m biased. I got my first non-ear piercing at 16 and my first tattoo at 17, with my parents’ (somewhat begrudging) consent. Unsurprisingly, the world didn’t end – and I turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself.

What do you think? Is trying to prevent a teen from getting a body modification worth the trouble? Is getting tattoos something teens do to rebel? Is the Obamas’ embarrassment tactic a good one? Let me know.