Michelle Obama stood up for Black girls and women during the unveiling of her and husband Barack Obama‘s new official portraits at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. on Monday. It was her most recent display of strength while advocating for girls of color.
I’m “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,” the former first lady said.
Artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald debuted their official portraits of the Obamas to largely rave reviews. Wiley, who painted Barack Obama, is best known for his colorfully vibrant, large-scale paintings of African-Americans. Sherald, a Columbus, Georgia, native whose work also focuses on Black subjects, painted Michelle Obama after being selected by the former first lady in October. Sherald won the 2016 Outwin Boochever award, a national portraiture competition administered by the National Portrait Gallery, according to CNN.
Both Wiley and Sherald are the first African-American artists to ever be commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to paint officials portraits.
With the praise of Wiley and Sherald’s works, some folks on Twitter used the portraits to create humorous memes. Here are a few of the ones that circulated on social media:
Could folks have posted the memes to express disapproval about the portraits? Well, maybe. With most things in life, haters will hate. There will be supporters, and there will be critics. But if any two people know how to rise above or skillfully clap back at the hate, it’s Barack and Michelle Obama.