Obama Threatens His Daughters With Family Tattoo, But Observers Wonder if it Will Work

 The public is getting plenty of laughs from President Obama’s strategic ploy to use embarrassment to keep his daughters from getting tattoos — namely, that he and the first lady will get tats in the same place and go on YouTube to show the world. But commentators are now starting to weigh in on this parenting strategy with one question: Will it work?

“What we’ve said to the girls is, ‘If you guys ever decided you’re going to get a tattoo, then mommy and me will get the exact same tattoo in the same place. And we’ll go on YouTube and show it off as a family tattoo,’” Obama told Today’s Savannah Guthrie. “And our thinking is that might dissuade them from thinking that somehow that’s a good way to rebel.”

But over at the Christian Science Monitor’s website, writer Peter Grier, who is raising teenagers himself, said the only reason the threat might work now is because the Obama girls are still young, 14 and 11, which means they still listen to their parents.

“Oh sure, it’s worked for now. They’re still kind of young… They’re not marching into any tattoo parlor near Sidwell Friends School in upper northwest DC,” Grier writes. “First, there aren’t any – they can’t afford the rents there. Second, you’ve got to be 18 to get a tat in the city, we believe. The city council approved that move recently. So they’d get thrown out, for being under age and because few tattoo parlors care to have Secret Service watchdogs at their door.”

“But the real reason the preemption strategy probably appeals to the Obamas right now is that their daughters still listen to them,” he continues. “They can process cause and parental reaction and weigh options. They haven’t entered that period where common sense gets suspended, and they focus mostly on their own needs and wants, because that’s what teenagers do. Oh, were we projecting there?”

Over at MyBrownBaby, writer Denene Millner is impressed by the president’s “gangsta” move, but Millner also feels that she’ll be fighting a losing battle in her own home—and since she is afraid of the pain of a tattoo, she can’t use the Obama threat.

“My 13-year-old is so anxious to get one she uses markers to draw a different symbol or word on her hand daily,” Millner writes. “But ain’t no way she’s getting a tattoo on my watch. She knows full well I can’t threaten her with the, ‘if you get one, I’ll get one that matches’ thing because, well, see the last paragraph. The closest I’ll ever get to one is a little Henna stain—aka tattoos for people like me who fear needles more than, like, birth.

“Still, when it comes to the girlpie, I think I’m fighting against inevitability here. My only prayer is that it doesn’t show when she wears a gown to an elegant event, or her patients don’t get freaked out when they see it on the way to the operating room, or she owns her own successful company and doesn’t have to worry about what the boss thinks about it because, well, she’ll be in charge.”

And at Slate, there is the priceless image, shown above, that their art department created, of the entire Obama clan sporting Mike Tyson-style face tattoos, with the headline “The Only Way This Obama Tattoo Ploy Can End.”

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