Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton said the “relentless” media scrutiny she experienced as a teenager during her father’s time in the White House made her want “to fade into the background.”
Clinton, now 42, became the target of national media attention as a 13-year-old when she moved to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with her dad, former President Bill Clinton, and mother, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 1993.
In an interview with Variety, where she is featured as one of the cover stars of the magazine’s Power of Women issue, Clinton said she couldn’t remember a time not being in the political spotlight and hopes to shield her children from the same experiences.
“Sometimes I really wanted to fade into the background because I didn’t want as many people looking at me, or as many bright lights glaring at me,” she said during her joint interview with her mother, Hillary, who is also on the front cover.
Clinton feared being mocked, she said.
“I thankfully don’t feel that residual fear. I didn’t feel fear as a child, because otherwise I would have just been afraid all the time. As I think about raising brave, resilient kids, I try to think more about what I want to learn from my experience as a child instead of being reactionary to it,” she said.
“I feel such a palpable sense of responsibility because I wish more people had been standing up publicly for me.”
Clinton repeatedly defended former President Donald Trump’s teenage son Barron when he himself was subject to attacks from the media despite her and Trump’s political differences.
She said she makes a conscious effort to keep her own three children — Charlotte, 8, Aidan, 6, and Jasper, 3 — out of the limelight, and tries to keep them out of the limelight
“One thing that Chelsea has done repeatedly is to tell people to back off from kids,” Hillary Clinton told the magazine. “She’s been so consistent, and I really respect that.”
Clinton and her mother have launched a new Apple TV+ series, “Gutsy,” based on their 2019 bestselling book “Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience.”
The show follows mother-daughter as they sit down to meet and talk with a variety of female artists and activists, including a recent interview with Kim Kardashian. The show is produced by their production company HiddenLight.
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