At the beginning of March, a photo of a little girl staring up at a picture of former First Lady Michelle Obama took the world by storm. Two-year-old Parker Curry reportedly didn't even want to turn around to look at her mom for a photo, she was so transfixed by the new image of Michelle featured in the National Portrait Gallery. And as if that story wasn't already cute enough, it just got even better. Michelle Obama met Parker on Tuesday, after she went viral for visiting Michelle's portrait, the little girl got to participate in what is possibly the rarest of rare experiences — a dance-off with a former first lady.
When Parker and her mom, Jessica Curry, visited the Gallery on Thursday, all Jessica wanted was a picture of her daughter looking at the camera while she stood in front of the portrait of Michelle, according to The Washington Post. But Parker was simply too in awe of the portrait, and "wouldn't turn away from it," Jessica said.
And I really can't blame her. The official portraits of former President Barack Obama and his wife were revealed last month, according to CNN, and considering how beautiful they look on a computer screen, I bet they're stunning in person. And seeing Michelle captured in the portrait, right in front of her eyes, was clearly moving for the toddler. And now, Michelle — who was evidently also moved by Parker's reaction to her image — has had the chance to meet her little admirer in person, and it looks like they had a wonderful time together.
When the painting of the former first lady, created by artist Amy Sherald, was unveiled, Michelle said she was especially thinking of how little girls like Parker could be impacted by it, according to BuzzFeed:
I’m also thinking about all of the young people, particularly girls and girls of color, 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.
I know the kind of impact that will have on their lives because I was one of those girls...
And who knows just how getting to see a woman who looks like her in a prestigious place like the National Portrait Gallery will impact Parker, but Michelle sure seems to hope it will make a difference. In an Instagram post including a photo of the former first lady and Parker meeting face-to-face, Michelle wrote, "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!"
Because yes, that's right. Parker didn't just meet Michelle Obama — she also got to have a dance party with her.
I was certainly hoping that Parker and Michelle would get to meet after that photo of Parker — taken by another Gallery visitor, Ben Hines — went viral. But I never imagined we'd also get a glimpse of their epic dance-off, and now, frankly, my entire week is made. Nothing can top this, everyone else can go home.
And yes, somehow, it gets even better. Parker apparently doesn't completely get the significance of seeing a former first lady who is also a woman of color in the gallery — because she thinks Michelle is actually a queen. Her mom, Jessica, told CNN:
In further discussion with (Parker) yesterday and today, I realized that she believes Michelle Obama is a queen, and she wants to be a queen as well.
As a female and as a girl of color, 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.
And while Michelle isn't truly royalty, I think we can all agree that Parker's assumption isn't unreasonable. In any case, after seeing her portrait and participating in that incredible dance party, it's safe to say that Michelle is a queen in Parker's mind, and that's all that really matters here.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.