'Traditions like this matter': Michelle Obama stuns in ombre outfit as she unveils her official White House portrait

The 58-year-old former first lady looked stunning at the event as she wore a sheer pink and red ombre dress with a cinched-in waist and pleated skirt

'Traditions like this matter': Michelle Obama stuns in ombre outfit as she unveils her official White House portrait
The portrait (R) showed Michelle Obama wearing a stunning off-the-shoulder powder blue dress with a ruched, low-cut neckline and long flowy skirt (White House Historical Association/Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
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WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON, DC: On Wednesday, September 7, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama visited the White House once again to unveil their official portraits. The 58-year-old former first lady looked stunning as she attended the event wearing a sheer pink and red ombre dress with a cinched-in waist and pleated skirt. Michelle wore an ankle-length dress that was fully sheer on the bodice, showing a sweetheart neckline beneath, and flowing and pleated on the bottom half. She added sparkling, dangling diamond earrings and a pair of burnt red, pointed-toe shoes to her ensemble.

Barack Obama joined Michelle and looked sharp in a tailored suit, blue and white striped button-down shirt, and blue tie tucked beneath his blazer. First Lady Jill Biden also looked ravishing in a white pantsuit, while President Joe Biden wore a navy blue suit with a white shirt and a light blue tie. The portraits, that were revealed, showed Michelle wearing a stunning off-the-shoulder powder blue dress with a ruched, low-cut neckline and long flowy skirt. As for Barack, he stood in a black suit with a white shirt and gray tie. 

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The unveiling also marked the first time that the Obamas together returned to the White House since 2017. This latest event appears to be special as it represented the return to what has been a long tradition between presidents. The unveiling was also the first since 2012 when the Obamas hosted George W Bush and Laura Bush. Notably, Donald Trump broke the tradition by refusing to welcome the Obamas while he was president.

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Michelle Obama made a subtle reference to Trump in her speech, adding, “Traditions like this matter, not just for those of us who hold these positions, but for everyone participating in and watching our democracy.”

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She noted that the tradition has been for presidents to depart the White House in a peaceful transition of power and “once our time is up, we move on, and all that remains in this hallowed place are our good efforts and these portraits.” She continued by describing how difficult it was for her and her husband to hold the position of President considering their former lives.

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Former U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama participate in a ceremony to unveil their official White House portraits at the White House on September 7, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Obama’s portraits will be the first official portraits added to the White House Collection since President Obama held an unveiling ceremony for George W. Bush and Laura Bush in 2012.
Former US President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama participate in a ceremony to unveil their official White House portraits (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The former first lady said, “What we are seeing is a reminder that there is a place for everyone in this country. Because as Barack said, if the two of us can end up on the walls of the most famous address in the world, then … it is so important for every young kid who is doubting themselves to believe that they can too. That is what this country is about. It’s not about blood or pedigree or wealth.” 

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Meanwhile, at a ceremony in the East Room, President Joe Biden declared that Obama will be "one of the most consequential presidents in history". “Jill and I have been waiting to host events at the White House for a long time coming out of the pandemic, and it’s fitting, fitting that we can do that now by unveiling the portraits of two dear friends and two great Americans who are still held very tightly in the hearts of the American people, portraits that are going to hang in the walls of this sacred place, the people’s house, forever, and a reminder of all here and now for those to come to power that hope and change matters,” Biden remarked. 

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According to CBS News, the official names of the artists were also revealed during the event -- Robert McCurdy, who painted President Obama’s portrait, and Sharon Sprung, the artist behind Michelle Obama’s portrait. The portraits are funded by the White House Historical Association, which oversees the process with input from the subjects. The portraits will hang in the White House as part of the collection.

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