Last weekend, a photo of two-year-old Parker Curry went viral. Captured by fellow gallery-goer Ben Hines, the image shows Parker standing in front of Michelle Obama’s official portrait at the National Portrait Gallery.
The tiny girl appears transfixed, staring up at the painting of the former First Lady.
The photo of Parker struck a chord with many after it was first discovered by BuzzFeed News. There stood a little girl from DC, rocking her Afro-puffs, clad in a pink coat and red rain boots, looking up at a culturally significant piece of art that reflected her own image, give or take a few decades. Parker’s mother, Jessica Curry, told media that her daughter considered Obama “a queen,” an opinion Parker herself shared Monday with BuzzFeed.
Now, Parker is sure to make headlines again. On Tuesday afternoon, Obama posted this video to her Twitter account.
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
Yes, that’s Parker and Obama dancing it out to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” The four seconds of pure cuteness, along with Obama’s tweet “…maybe one day I’ll proudly look up at a portrait of you!” gave me all the feels.
Amy Sherald’s painting means a lot for young black girls. Its existence, and prominence in one of Washington’s top museums, shows that we are worthy of celebration, despite past indications that suggest the opposite. Even though Parker is young, it’s a good as time as ever for her to learn about its impact and be inspired. And what better way to drive that point home than a dance party with the First Lady?