Former first lady Michelle Obama used her Instagram account to offer support to a 4-year-old girl who was in a viral video in which she heartbreakingly refers to herself as “ugly.”
“Ariyonna, you are gorgeous. 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,” Obama shared with her Instagram followers on Wednesday.
The viral video was posted by an Atlanta hairstylist named Shabria. In the video, Shabria is brushing through the child’s hair when the little girl says “I’m so ugly.”
Shabria told the little girl, “Don’t say that.” The 4-year-old then breaks down in tears.
“You have this beautiful chocolate skin,” Shabria can be heard telling the little girl as she hugged her. “You are just so gorgeous.”
“It broke my heart into pieces because she has the GREATEST energy and the most beautiful smile and heart! She comes from a great home & 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 !” the hairstylist wrote in the caption of the video, which has more than 500,000 views.
Michelle Obama was not alone in her support of the 4-year-old. Actress Jada Pinkett Smith shared the video on her Instagram and wrote, “THIS made me cry! Kudos to this beautiful woman for loving on this beautiful child! We gotta love on each other! This made my heart sing.”
Actress Viola Davis wrote: “THIS is the motivating factor for Black women to leave a legacy…of WORTH of BEAUTY! We are fighting hundreds of years of brutal conditioning of being considered less than. 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!”
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of WORTH of BEAUTY! We are fighting hundreds of years of brutal conditioning of being considered less than. 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!❤❤ 🎥@lilwavedaddy
After the video went viral and received so much positive support, Shabria posted a second video of Ariyonna saying, “I’m black, and I’m beautiful. Thank you, everyone,” she then blows a kiss to the camera.
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I gave her a quote to resite and now she won’t stop saying “I’m Black & Beautiful” 😍 Devil you won’t steal this baby joy ! Thank you to everyone who sent kind words to Ariyonna 💕 today she’s more confident and vibrant like any other day but just more of it ! God is def moving in this place ! Pray for your kids even if they’re not yours . Pray for em anyway !