Michelle Obama Dresses as Beyoncé for Birthday Photo Tribute

The former first lady joined 17 other women in a tribute to the singer on her birthday that also aims to raise money for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

REUTERS

Michelle Obama has left the internet buzzing after her participation in a photo tribute to Beyoncé Knowles in light of the singer's birthday.


These are only a few of the photos we took for B's birthday❤️

A post shared by Tina Knowles (@mstinalawson) on

Obama and 17 other women dressed in black hats, wore their hair in two braids and donned large necklaces for the black and white photos in order to recreate Beyoncé's style in her critically acclaimed "Formation" video. The photo was posted to Beyoncé's website on honor of her 36th birthday, which was on Sept. 4.

Serena Williams and Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, Beyoncé's former Destiny's Child band mates, also joined in the photo, as well as Beyoncé's mother; her daughter, Blue Ivy; and her mother-in-law.

Obama fans took to Twitter to express their excitement over the first lady's return to the spotlight.

Beyoncé's "Formation" video garnered widespread attention for its powerful cultural and racial themes. It makes references to Hurricane Katrina as well as police violence in the United States. NPR called the video a "visual anthem," and Business Insider described it as "the most political message [Beyoncé's] ever shared, evoking powerful images of black cultural pride, oppression, wealth, tragedy, and resilience."

In 2016 Beyoncé performed the song during the Super Bowl halftime show and included themes that seemed to allude to the Black Panthers and Malcolm X.

Critics called the "Formation" video anti-police. However, in an interview with ELLE magazine the singer insisted this is not the case:

"I mean, I'm an artist and I think the most powerful art is usually misunderstood. But anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken. I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of officers who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe. But let's be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things. If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me. I'm proud of what we created and I'm proud to be a part of a conversation that is pushing things forward in a positive way."

Meanwhile, regarding the former first lady, Obama has kept a relatively low profile since leaving the White House in January. She has made occasional appearances, including at the ESPY Awards in July, at which time she honored Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics. Shriver, who passed away in 2009, posthumously received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award from Obama.

In June Obama presented a heartfelt video message to Chance the Rapper at the annual BET Awards, at which time Chance received the network's 2017 Humanitarian Award. Chance has a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering impoverished youth in his hometown of Chicago, where he has also donated money to the public schools.

Beyoncé and Obama have been longtime friends and supported one another. Earlier this year Beyoncé created the "Formation Scholars" awards. For the 2017-2018 academic year, four scholarships will be awarded, one per college, to female incoming, current or graduate students pursuing studies in literature, music, creative arts or African American studies. Colleges chosen to participate in the program are Howard University, Spelman College, Berklee College of Music and Parsons School of Design. Both Howard and Spelman are historically Black institutions.

At the time, Obama took to Twitter to applaud her friend's efforts.

Obama and her daughters, Malia and Sasha, celebrated Beyoncé's birthday with her in 2016.

While the photo has received widespread media attention, it also serves a philanthropic purpose. The page featuring the portraits contains a link where people can donate to support relief efforts in Houston, Beyoncé's home town, after the devastation from Hurricane Harvey. It also contains the hashtag #BeyGOODHouston.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

Racist Tweet Against Michelle Obama, Vile Facebook Posts Get Cop Fired

We have never heard of a law enforcement officer post such an extreme level of racist remarks against African Americans, Muslims, Jews and women," wrote intelligence director Everett Stern.

Photo of Palm Beach County, Fla., Sheriff's Deputy Jason Van Dusen

When Michelle Obama was in the White House as the first Black first lady of the United States, Palm Beach County, Fla., Sheriff's Deputy Jason Van Dusen used social media to compare her to an ape. In a tweet the following year, Van Dusen posted a meme of a white man smiling with the caption: "Laughs in White Privilege."

Read More Show Less

Michelle Obama: 'I Wish that Girls Could Fail as Bad as Men Do and Be OK'

The former first lady says women execs need to "really shake it up" when they get a seat at the table.

At the United State of Women Summit in Los Angeles on Saturday, former First Lady Michelle Obama talked with actor and activist Tracee Ellis Ross, star of "Black-ish," about gender equality.

Read More Show Less

Unarmed Black Man With Pants Around His Ankles Fatally Shot by Deputy: Video

"You could have clearly Tased him. He wasn't trying to hit you. He wasn't trying to shoot you. He wasn't trying to do anything," said the victim's sister.

HOUSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT

The moments leading up to the fatal shooting of an unarmed Black man were captured on video by a witness to the tragedy.

Danny Ray Thomas, 34, was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy in Houston, Texas, with his pants around his ankles.

Read More Show Less

Obamas Handwritten Note: Parkland Survivors Have 'Helped Awaken the Conscience of the Nation'

"We wanted to let you know how inspired we have been by the resilience, resolve and solidarity that you have all shown in the wake of unspeakable tragedy," the Obamas wrote.

REUTERS

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama expressed their support for the survivors-turned-activists hailing from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

Read More Show Less

Michelle Obama Reveals Release Date of 'Deeply Personal' Memoir

"I can't wait to share my story," Obama said.

On Sunday, former First Lady Michelle Obama took to social media to share a glimpse of what her first memoir, "Becoming," will entail, and announce its release date in November.

Read More Show Less

Michelle Obama on 'Black Panther': 'Young People Will Finally See Superheroes that Look Like Them'

The former first lady took to Twitter to rave about the record-breaking movie.

REUTERS

UPDATE: Feb. 20, 2018 at 3:59 p.m. ET

Read More Show Less