In February, President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle made a splash when their official portraits were unveiled at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. But the real headline-grabber is one girl’s reaction to Michelle Obama’s portrait, which is going viral for the most adorable reason.

Two-year-old Parker Curry visited the National Portrait Gallery with her mom and became so fascinated by Michelle Obama’s portrait that she couldn’t take her eyes off of it. Her awe captured the attention of another gallery visitor, Ben Hines of North Carolina.

Hines snapped a shot of Curry gazing up at Michelle Obama’s portrait and shared it on his Facebook page where it quickly became the post heard ’round the internet. Even Michelle Obama responded to Curry’s moment of awe when the picture was shared on Instagram by the portrait’s artist, Amy Sherald.

View this post on Instagram

Feeling all the feels. 😭 When I look at this picture I think back to my first field trip in elementary school to a museum. I had only seen paintings in encyclopedias up to that point in my life. There was a show up of work by painter @thebobartlett whose work still inspires me to this day. There was a painting of a black man standing in front of a house. I don't remember a lot about my childhood, but I do have a few emotional memories etched into my mind forever and seeing that painting of a man that looked like he could be my father stopped me dead in my tracks. This was my first time seeing real paintings that weren't in a book and also weren't painted in another century. I didn't realize that none of them had me in them until I saw that painting of Bo's. I knew I wanted to be an artist already, but seeing that painting made me realize that I could. What dreams may come? #representationmatters

A post shared by A M Y S H E R A L D (@asherald) on

Parker’s mom also discovered the post when friends sent her a screenshot of the picture on Twitter. As if Parker’s admiring gaze wasn’t adorable enough, her mom told CNN what Parker really thought of the painting—and it’s pretty priceless.

“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,” Curry explained to CNN. “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,” she continued.

Clearly, Parker was inspired by what she saw—and we’re inspired by her innocent admiration, too.

What do you think of this adorable picture? Share your thoughts in the comments.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Michelle Obama via Instagram 


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