Michelle Obama is the Official Hugger in Chief
As the Chief Official White House Photographer, Pete Souza has given us some of the most iconic images of the Obama presidency so far. But yesterday Souza took to Medium to share a photo set we are super excited about, and gave Michelle Obama a new title in the process: Hugger-in-Chief.
It’s a fitting title, and Souza has plenty of shots to back up her credentials. As he says, she’s been hugging people since the first day of the Obama presidency, and he’s been there to capture it.
“My staff and I have been photographing her since Inauguration Day, and as the following photographs clearly show, she’s been hugging people nonstop since Day 1. Whether it’s a school child, a family member in peril, a surprised tourist, or even a famous person, the First Lady greets them with a hug.” (She even hugged the Queen of England.) In other FLOTUS hug history, the photo of the First Lady and President Obama hugging broke serious social media ‘like’ records when it was posted after his second term win:
The thought process behind the hug is that it’s a friendly, humanizing move that the First Lady hopes puts people at ease, and Souza has seen enough people break into smiles to suggest that she’s right. Who wouldn’t love to get a hug from FLOTUS? These pictures are giving us some serious hug envy!
“I’ve always been a big hugger —that’s just how I am — and it’s always my first instinct when I meet someone,” Souza says Michelle told him. “Hugging is how I connect to people — how I show warmth and make folks feel at home . . . While I might happen to have a fancy title, I’m just Michelle.” Thanks for keeping it so real, Michelle.
Here are a few of the shots Souza shared of the First Lady hugging, and you can see all of them over at Medium!