What Dreams May Come

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Photo by Ben Hines

Taking a small glad moment away from the madness, we present Michelle Obama and Parker Curry, a two-year-old girl recently photographed staring mesmerized at the official portrait of the First Lady unveiled last month at the National Portrait Gallery. At the time, Obama had thanked African-American artist Amy Sherald for the gift: "As a young girl, even in my wildest dreams, I never could have imagined this moment." She went on to explain her pride in helping make history: “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."

Then here comes Parker. Last week, her mom Jessica, a small business owner in DC, took Parker and her one-year-old sister Ava to the gallery to see the Obama portraits. "In the world we live in today," Jessica explains, echoing the First Lady, "I'm just trying to raise a little girl who has opportunities to see women who look like her doing great things." Parker was transfixed, her mouth agape and her feet planted so firmly before the painting she wouldn't even turn for Jessica to take a picture: "She had a little moment." Ben Hines, visiting from North Carolina, captured the moment of wonder. The image went viral, and on Tuesday Obama met with Parker. She told Parker to "keep dreaming big, and they danced. They also proved, says Sherald, that "representation matters."

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