Everyone is gushing over Michelle Obama’s most recent iconic haircut.
On Wednesday, the former first lady was praised for his sporty braids during a performance with former President Barack Obama at the White House to unveil their official portraits.
Michelle – who arrived in an elegant pleated ombré silk dress with braids swept into a side bun – knocked out the crowd with her breathtaking nod to a historical and symbolic part of black and African cultures.
The braid pioneer’s haircut choice for the massive platform sent Twitter into a elated frenzy, with many pointing out that it was a milestone of cultural progress in America.
“Something that will mean A LOT to black people across the country: Former First Lady Michelle Obama wearing braids at the unveiling of her official White House portrait,” White House correspondent Eugene Daniels tweeted.
“Michelle Obama is at the White House for the unveiling of her portrait, and her hair is in braids,” another Twitter user wrote. “You have no idea what that means for black women. Little black girls. I’m emotional.”
Adjoa B. Asamoah, President Joe Biden’s national adviser on black engagement, joined in the praise, applauding the former First Lady for “shifting [the] culture.”
“People will see a lot of things in this photo. Me too, but I’m lifting a beautiful @MichelleObama in braids, which means a lot to black girls and women – including ME as the one who conceived and led the CROWN Act movement. We don’t ONLY change laws. We are also shifting culture!” Asamoah tweeted.
First introduced in Congress in March 2019, the CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act prohibits employers from discriminating against black people with natural hair textures and hairstyles based on race.
More than five years after she left the White House, Michelle spoke at the ceremony on Wednesday about the importance of her portrait being displayed, according to the Associated Press.
“For me, this day is not just about what happened. It’s also about what could happen because a girl like me should never have been up there next to Jacqueline Kennedy and Dolley Madison. She wasn’t supposed to live in this house, nor was she supposed to be the first lady,” said the 58-year-old, reflecting on her journey growing up as a black girl on the south side of Chicago.
“Too often people in this country feel that they have to look or act a certain way to fit in,” she continued, before adding that the portraits are a “reminder that there there is a place for everyone in this country.”