And proves why representation matters.
As adults, most of us have lost the gift of seeing the world as a magical place. But a picture of a little girl staring in awe at a portrait of Michelle Obama is helping adults see the world through her eyes—at least for a moment.
The snap shows 2-year-old Parker Curry mesmerized by the former first lady’s portrait at the National Portrait Gallery, a sight that was captured by fellow museum-goer Ben Hines. In a now-viral Facebook post, Hines wrote, “We were delighted to wait in line behind this fellow art lover & hopeful patriot.”
Speaking to the Washington Post about the moment, Parker’s mom, Jessica Curry, said she was actually oblivious to what was taking place. All she wanted was for her daughter to smile cooperatively for a picture. Curry says, “She was just so fixated on the portrait and wouldn’t turn away from it.”
Who can blame Parker? The newly unveiled painting of the former first lady shows her gazing confidently ahead while wearing a stunning floor-length gown.
At the unveiling, Obama herself said she hopes the image will inspire young girls of color, “who 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.”
THIS is why representation matters: When our children see people who look like them in roles they may aspire to hold, it’s that much easier for them to believe they can actually achieve those dreams.
Of course, we still have a long way to go in all fields from politics to media—but recent blockbusters like Wonder Woman and Black Panther as well as the rising rates of women in Congress show we are making progress. The more momentum we put behind that today, the easier it will be for our children tomorrow.
Or, as Obama put it when describing her own meeting with Parker, “Keep on dreaming big for yourself...and maybe one day I'll proudly look up at a portrait of you!”
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
And, for now, moments like this with little Parker are magical all on their own. ✨