Dolls Resembling Daughters Displease First Lady

The company that makes Beanie Babies has introduced two new dolls, named Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia.

Hey, wait a minute, aren’t Sasha and Malia the names of the Obama daughters? Yes.

Coincidence? Ty Inc., the company in Oak Brook, Ill., that makes the dolls, said yes and no.

“They are beautiful names,” Tania Lundeen, a spokeswoman for Ty, said in an interview with The Associated Press. But, “there’s nothing on the girls that refers to the Obama girls,” she said.

But the first lady, Michelle Obama, who has publicly described her role as “mom in chief,” apparently was not amused. “We feel it is inappropriate to use young, private citizens for marketing purposes,” Katie McCormick Lelyveld, Mrs. Obama’s press secretary, said in a statement on Saturday.

The first lady’s office declined to comment further. A representative for Ty could not be reached late Saturday.

Here’s my question, and I’m being sincere with it: What is the problem with companies marketing things after famous people? There was a car dealership that had an Obama look-alike pushing cars in an advertisement during the presidential campaign and all kinds of people objected to it. Why?


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