Any Inauguration Day provides for a lot of strange photo-ops, but especially when it involves a transfer of power after a long and bitter presidential race. Hillary Clinton smiling as she takes her seat next to George W. Bush. Clarence Thomas saying words out loud. Still, no moment seemed to be stranger than this interaction between the incoming and outgoing First Ladies. Melania Trump showed up with a huge Tiffany’s box for Michelle Obama and, well, Michelle’s face spoke volumes.
If we choose to do a close read, Michelle’s face is a chorus of conflicting emotions. The arched left eyebrow that is pure, unadulterated WTF, the narrowed eyes that are struggling to make sense of the whole thing (by which I’m going to go ahead and say means everything that’s happened since the Republican convention), the subtle smile that is 100 percent "what is this? I can't even," and, capping it all off, the direct, can-I-get-a-witness direct eye contact with the camera. "Is somebody else seeing this?" her eyes seem to say. "Please, tell me I'm not the only one seeing this."
Fortunately, the internet was not asleep at the wheel (the way the Democrats were in October and November) and they had plenty to say on the matter.
The Whole Interaction Feels Kind Of Like An Abbott And Costello Routine
But This Is The Moment That It All Crystallized
Really, There Should Be An Oscar For Single Looks, Because Michelle Nailed It
It Says So Many Things
Part Of The Problem, Of Course, Is Trump Proclaiming To Be A Man Of The People While His Wife Gives Michelle The Gift Of The Man
More Than Anything I Think Michelle Just Wanted Some Help In That Moment
It’s Today’s Best Example Of Flying The Flag Upside-Down
"What fresh new hell is this?" she seems to be saying.