“Ariyonna, you are gorgeous,” Obama, 56, posted on Instagram, where she re-shared a video showing the girl saying, “I’m so ugly” and crying in the arms of hairstylist Shabria (who goes by Lil Wave Daddy on Instagram.)
Obama went on saying: “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.”
The video shows Shabria quickly telling the girl “don’t say that!” while reminding Ariyonna, who is just 4-year-old, how she is “so pretty.”
“You have this beautiful chocolate skin,” the stylist said as he hugs the crying girl, reminding her how she is “just so gorgeous.”
The heartbreaking moment was posted on Instagram on Thursday along 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.”
Both Cox and Davis joined Obama in lifting up Ariyonna, asking for followers to not only be positive towards themselves, but also others.
“We are fighting hundreds of years of brutal conditioning of being considered less than,” Davis posted on Instagram this past 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 shared in her own Instagram post this past Tuesday, saying: “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.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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