Former First Lady Michelle Obama joined actresses Laverne Cox and Viola Davis and others in rallying online support to reassure a young girl who went viral after saying she felt “ugly.” “Ariyonna, you are gorgeous,” Obama, 56, posted on Instagram where she shared a video showing the girl saying, “I’m so ugly” and crying in the arms of Atlanta-based hairstylist Shabria (who goes by Lil Wave Daddy on Instagram).
Obama continued: “In a world that sometimes tries to say otherwise, I want to tell you—and every other beautiful, intelligent, brave black girl—just how precious you are.” In the video, Shabria immediately tells the girl “don’t say that!” and reassures Ariyonna, who is reportedly 4 years old, that she is “so pretty.”
“You have this beautiful chocolate skin,” the stylist tells the young girl, hugging her as she cries. “You are just so gorgeous.” The exchange was posted on Instagram on Thursday with the caption, “We Must UPLIFT Our Queens.” “It broke my heart into pieces because she has the greatest energy and the most beautiful smile and heart,” the stylist wrote.
“She comes from a great home and loving mother.
I just think when kids go to school they learn and pick up sooo much different things that they don’t know the definition but they know the feeling.” Cox and Davis joined Obama in uplifting Ariyonna and calling for followers to be positive toward themselves and others. “We are fighting hundreds of years of bad conditioning of being considered less than,” Davis wrote on Instagram on Sunday.
“It is sprinkled in our language, behavior, laws, music…etc.. and trickles down to our youth. I’m speaking LIFE into Ariyonna. From a sista who looks a lot like you….you were born worthy therefore you were born beautiful!” Cox wrote in her own Instagram post on Tuesday: “I saw this post a few days ago on twitter and it broke my heart. And Viola Davis wrote here what I was too overwhelmed to express.
“Obama, who in 2018 released the bestselling memoir Becoming and traveled around the world last year promoting young women’s education, recently opened up to Oprah Winfrey during an interview at the Barclay’s Center in New York City. During the discussion, the former first lady discussed everything from her marriage to President Barack Obama, 58, and what her advice is for her own daughters, Malia, 21, and 18-year-old Sasha.
“I don’t want them measuring themselves by external influences and for young girls that is hard to do,” Mrs. Obama said then, adding before then that “they have to take the time to get to know themselves — give themselves a moment to figure out who they want to be in the world, not who they think I want them to be, not what the rest of the world says about them, but to really think about how they want to shape their lives and how they want to move in this world.”
This Article Was First Published On people.com