If you’ve heard the phrase “representation matters” lately, here’s a perfect illustration of what exactly it means: A little black girl staring up at a portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, stunned by the “queen” on the wall who looks exactly like her.
The now-viral image was snapped by fellow tourist Ben Hines of North Carolina. He tried to find the little girl – one Parker Curry – and her mother later on but lost them in the crowd. So he posted the image with the following caption, hoping they would see it and love it as much as he did.
“This is what America is all about. This young girl can now dream about being someone like Michelle Obama.”
After Michelle Obama got a look at the picture (how could she miss it?!), she invited Parker and her mom, Jessica, to come and hang out at her office. Afterward, she posted a video on Instagram. I suggest you prepare yourself for the level of adorableness, because it’s high.
Parker, I’m so glad I had the chance to meet you today (and for the dance party)! Keep on dreaming big for yourself…and maybe one day I’ll proudly look up at a portrait of you! pic.twitter.com/faUVTsYWun
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) March 6, 2018
Parker’s mother was as much in awe of their time with the former First Lady as her daughter – though she didn’t get to dance.
“She was so unbelievably generous with her time. She’s everything I thought she would be and more – classy, elegant, so down to earth.”
When Parker first saw the portrait, she told her mother that the woman on the wall was “a queen.” After the meeting, they told The Washington Post that Parker stands by her assessment.
Obama, for her part, said at last month’s unveiling that this is exactly what she hoped might come of her portrait (in so many words):
“[Little girls of color] in the years ahead will come to this place and see an image of someone who looks like them hanging on the wall of a great American institution…And I know the kind of impact that will have on their lives, because I was one of those girls.”
h/t: The Washington Post