We must not forget what we were like as teenagers

Rick Jackson has hit the gym in an effort to be healthy  (Shutterstock)

RICK JACKSON: Who’s the wise guy? Me!

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The Obama daughters came in for some fierce criticism after appearing – dressed as the teenagers they are – at the annual Thanksgiving pardon in America.

As far as I can tell, this custom involves the president of the USA ‘pardoning’ one or two turkeys before the annual Thanksgiving.

The Obama girls, aged 13 and 16, were hauled up in an online Facebook post for dressing inappropriately and also for allegedly behaving without respect – looking bored, smirking etc – while their father, arguably the most powerful man in the world, saved two birds from ending up on the dinner table.

Let’s talk about the smirking first. Who, at any age, can control the urge not to laugh at the ridiculous?

We can all, I imagine, remember the heinous nature of the embarrassment our parents caused us.

So think about if your father was being beamed around the world pardoning turkeys. How would you react?

Between the ages of 13 and 15, what must that be like? Knowing deep down that your parent is fundamentally on earth to shame you and likely to break into the chicken dance at any given point just to add to your humiliation.

So for them to appear with him in public at all is, I think, a major plus on their behalf.

To then keep a straight face when turkeys are involved, well you’d need to be an A grade actress.

Then the girls’ clothes came into question.

The problem is, as we all know, what may be regarded as respectful by a teenage girl is not looked at in the same way by other generations.

Apparently, the length of their skirts caused some concern.

But think back to your teenage years. How did you dress? To look and feel good.

The Obama girls showed respect by making the effort to get out of bed, have a shower and put on clothes.

Yep, their skirts might have been shorter than a middle-aged woman’s, but it doesn’t mean they were dressed like women going to a bar (as was insinuated).

I say leave them alone, don’t judge them and let’s just hope that teenagers can be as forgiving of us oldies too.