When Michelle Obama unveiled her portrait at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in February, she spoke about the importance of representation in art — and now a viral little girl is showing the world the meaning of the former first lady’s words.
On Thursday, Facebook user Ben Hines shared a photo of a two-year-old girl gazing up at the modernist Amy Sherald painting with reverence and awe, and it has captured the Internet’s hearts.
“Donna Hines and I made a pilgrimage today and we were delighted to wait in line behind this fellow art lover and hopeful patriot,” he captioned the shot, which has been shared thousands of times.
Buzzfeed identified the little girl as two-year-old Parker Curry, whose mom Jessica was urging to turn around and pose in front of the portrait.
“I was trying to get her to turn around so I could take a picture, but she wouldn’t cooperate,” she revealed. “She just wanted to stare at it. She was fascinated.”
People on social media are using the shot to highlight the importance of representation in our society, and it has reduced more than a few fans to grateful tears.
“I’m thinking about all the young people, particularly girls and girls of color who in years ahead will come to this place,” Michelle Obama told the amassed crowd in February, “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 institute.”