Do you need a little pick me up, a helping hand to pull you out of the pit of despair? This should do the trick: a video of former First Lady Michelle Obama and a 2-year-old girl having a dance party.
“Parker, I’m so glad I had the chance to meet you today (and for the dance party!),” Michelle wrote, tweeting the video to her followers. “Keep dreaming big for yourself...and maybe one day I’ll look proudly up at a portrait of you!”
Readers may be asking themselves how one finds oneself in a position to dance alongside our former FLOTUS. Short answer: One moment of internet fame begets another.
Parker Curry captured national attention when an image of her at the National Portrait Gallery went viral. In it, Parker can be seen staring up at the very good painting of Obama — the work of Baltimore artist Amy Sherald — as if transfixed. Another visitor spotted Parker and posted her picture to Facebook, tipping his hat to this toddler “art lover & hopeful patriot.”
From there, the image gained traction, landing Parker and her mother on network news.
“Parker was in front on the portrait, and I really wanted her to turn around so I could get a picture with her, and she genuinely, honestly would not turn around,” her mom, Jessica Curry, told CNN. “She was uncooperative with me because she was just so focused on the portrait and studying it, and she was just so fascinated.”
Turns out, Parker thought Obama was a queen, which in many ways, she is.
“In further discussion with (Parker) yesterday and today, I realised that she believes Michelle Obama is a queen, and she wants to be a queen as well,” Jessica continued. "As a female and as a girl of colour, It's really important that I show her people who look like her that are doing amazing things and are making history so that she knows she can do it.”
This, as CNN points out, was precisely the sentiment Michelle expressed at the unveiling of her and Barack Obama’s portraits in February. “I’m … thinking about all the young people, particularly girls and girls of colour, who in years ahead will come to this place, 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 institution,” she said. “And I know the kind of impact that will have on their lives, because I was one of those girls.”
Parker’s viral moment made it all the way to the top, which is to say, Michelle herself. On Tuesday, Michelle had Parker over to her office for a visit, where they danced to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and strategised on the couch. And then Michelle generously shared the images on social media, so that we all have something to help us through this hellscape. A queen indeed.