They say a picture speaks a thousand words. Looking at this photo speaks volumes to me, and it’s all lovely. I don’t wish to come across as soppy or silly, but with all the contrived, media staged, false and dubious photos that surface this is simply beautiful.
Often dubbed a ‘photo opportunity’ we are always lead to believe the photos we see for news items are as they happen, caught in the moment instances but sadly, very often this is not the case at all. They are set up, manufactured events, often brought about by the subject deliberately trying to show themselves in a good light, or to sell an album or book, or to get votes or followers.
It is very obvious most of the time, this has been done, and it insults the intelligence of the audience. Here though, I feel, and I hope, this photo is and was taken in a totally genuine moment. To me, it is wonderful. I love it.
A girl, whose father had worked for the Obama administration previously, desperate to get him another job in any way she can. And a mother, (not just the President’s wife), a truly wonderful, warm, genuine person, consoling and confiding in that sentiment and salutation.
Their faces and the warmth, appears like they’ve known each other for years. Truly breath-taking. I think this is made all the more remarkable by who they both are. Michelle Obama is being asked for help and hugged because she is the president’s wife, but she isn’t hugging back because she is the wife of the president. She is instigating and reciprocating the effect of the hug because she is a mother, and a compassionate and sincere person. For that moment, that second, it looks like she has forgotten where and who she is.
The girl Charlotte Bell who seems a smart, confident, resourceful 10 year old who just wants her dad to have a job. That is all she is thinking about. She isn’t thinking about how she looks, how she comes across, nothing. She is single minded and determined.
I don’t think I will ever forget this photo, for me it sums up what can be right with the world. It shows a bond and unity between two people in a moment where and when nothing else is in the way or matters. Not the cameras or the audience, or gender, or age, or colour or creed.