As you probably already know, the Obama's official portraits were hung earlier in February 2018, in Washington D.C.'s National Portrait Gallery. And I don't know about you, but both paintings seriously took my breath away. Not only are both of them beyond stunning, but they're also a beautiful reminder of the love and acceptance that Barack and Michelle instilled within our country... and they even strike a chord in the youngest of art enthusiasts. If you're looking to feel some things RN, this photo of a girl looking at Michelle Obama's portrait will totally warm up even the most frozen hearts.
On Thursday, March 1, two-year-old Parker Curry visited the National Portrait Gallery with her mom, Jessica, and her one-year-old sister, Ava, according to BuzzFeed News. Jessica told BuzzFeed, she had initially planned on taking a photo of Parker posing in front of Michelle's portrait. But Jessica's photo op idea didn't quite work as planned. Young Parker, according to her mother, knows that Michelle Obama was the first black woman to live in the White House, and upon seeing her empowering portrait, she was just way too mesmerized to turn around or look away. The candid shot a stranger took, however, came out even better than what Jessica had originally anticipated, as you can see here:
Jessica told BuzzFeed news that she's trying to raise Parker to look up to other powerful black women — and that she didn't realize the photo would fascinate so many people. She said, "As a little person looking at a portrait that large, I can imagine it's fascinating. She had a little moment."
The credit for the heart-wrenching and gorgeous photograph of Parker, per BuzzFeed News, goes to onlooker Ben Hines, who traveled all the way from North Carolina to visit his mom in D.C. Hines initially noticed young Parker when she was standing in front of him in line and looked super excited to see the portrait. When her mom couldn't successfully take a photo of her in front of Michelle's portrait, as Parker was soaking in all of the glory of the painting, Hines felt like he totally had to capture the moment. And since his photo has literally gone viral on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it's clear that it really spoke to a ton of other people. Hines told BuzFeed News,
It was so touching and uplifting for me to see this beautiful child looking at a beautiful portrait of a powerful woman. I was so delighted to have been in the right place at the right time.
Hines continued to tell BuzzFeed News that it lit up the room, and that her reaction was literally infectious.
From the looks of the photo, meanwhile, it seems the portrait definitely had the affect that both Michelle Obama and the Brooklyn-based artist Amy Sherald, who painted the portrait, were shooting for. When the portrait was initially unveiled, Obama made a speech about the influence she hopes her portrait will have on young women — and especially on young women of color.
At the portrait's unveiling, Michelle mentioned that her position as first lady, as well as the portrait, will hopefully impact the lives of future generations, just as it would have affected her. In her speech, she said,
I’m also thinking about all of the young people, particularly girls and girls of color, who, in years ahead, will come to this place and they will look up and they will see an image of someone who looks like them hanging on the wall of this great American institution.
From where Parker was standing, as a young black girl, this is an extremely momentous sight. Sherald managed to paint one of the most powerful paintings of one of our nation's most powerful women, Michelle Obama. Merely seeing the painting appears to be life-changing and incredibly awe-inspiring, especially for little girls of color, just like Obama had hoped.