This Little Girl in Awe of Michelle Obama's Presidential Portrait Is the Best Thing You'll See Today

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This Little Girl in Awe of Michelle Obama's Presidential Portrait Is the Best Thing You'll See Today

Politics is cynical, nasty and overly depressing—especially these days—which is why images like these are so important.

BuzzFeed caught up with the man who took the photo, Ben Hines of North Carolina, and he said that this little girl couldn't take her eyes off the portrait. Per BuzzFeed:

He said the unidentifed girl was excited and full of energy. As her mom tried to get her to turn around to face her for a picture, he said the girl would not cooperate and just wanted to stare at the painting.

“I think we were all just smiling, and her joy and her awe was infectious,” he said.

Donna [Ben's mom] said time seemed to stop as everyone around the little girl watched the moment.

“It's hard to describe in words,” Donna said. “She had such wonder on her face and her entire body just stopped as she looked at her, and she had this wonder that was silent and yet seemed to be saying something very big at the same time.”

Amy Sherald, who painted the portrait, spoke about this powerful photo on Instagram.

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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 Amy Sherald; (@asherald) on

In a country devoid of many non-white men in positions of power, this photo says it all. We can only hope that the symbolism in these photos will translate into a tangible change in leadership for future generations.

Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.

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