As is tradition, the Barack and Michelle Obama had their portraits painted after Barack's exit from office. Their portraits were hung in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Michelle's portrait was done by Baltimore artist Amy Sherald. It's a huge painting that shows Michelle in a full length gown, seated and staring out at the viewer.
Soon after the portraits went on public view, a man named Ben Hines went to see them. He ended up standing in line behind a little girl, who was completely absorbed by the image of the First Lady up on the wall:
Her picture went viral, because of the expression of awe on her face, and the inspirational story it tells about representation. A black girl could not have seen a black woman represented amongst the former presidential families until the Obamas, and it's pretty moving to see how it's effecting her. Basically, everyone was crying happy tears.
One person captioned the portrait on Instagram as follows:
Feeling all the feels. 😭 When I look at this picture I think back to my first field trip in elementary school to a museum. I had only seen paintings in encyclopedias up to that point in my life. There was a show up of work by painter @thebobartlettwhose work still inspires me to this day. There was a painting of a black man standing in front of a house. I don't remember a lot about my childhood, but I do have a few emotional memories etched into my mind forever and seeing that painting of a man that looked like he could be my father stopped me dead in my tracks. This was my first time seeing real paintings that weren't in a book and also weren't painted in another century. I didn't realize that none of them had me in them until I saw that painting of Bo's. I knew I wanted to be an artist already, but seeing that painting made me realize that I could. What dreams may come? #representationmatters
Buzzfeed eventually found the little girl in the picture. She's two years old, and her name is Parker Curry. Her mother, Jessica, confirmed that Parker was having an incredible moments for real not just in the photo.
"I was trying to get her to turn around so I could take a picture, but she wouldn't cooperate. She just wanted to stare at it. She was fascinated," she said. Jessica added that Parker though Michelle was a "queen."
Then on Tuesday, Michelle Obama shared a picture of herself hanging out with Parker.
There's even a video of them dancing together:
People are crying all over again:
These are the emotions we need right now!