Former first lady Michelle Obama has gotten in formation, joining tennis star Serena Williams and a number of other high-profile women in a Beyoncé-lookalike photo shoot to help the singer celebrate her 36th birthday Monday.
In a tribute to the singer’s 2016 “Formation” music video, all the women and girls were featured in black and white photos wearing braids, large hats covering half of their faces, and large, ornate jewelry.
Others featured in the photos included Beyoncé’s daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, her mother Tina Knowles Lawson, mother-in-law Gloria Carter, and her husband’s grandmother, Hattie White.
Beyoncé posted the photos on her website with the caption: “Happy Birthday, Beyoncé, from your family and friends.”
The “Formation” music video, from the singer’s “Lemonade” album, features Beyoncé sitting on top of a New Orleans police car sinking in floodwaters, and includes lewd scenes and obscene language, intertwined with scenes of little girls imitating some of the scenes. Each time the police car is shown, it is sinking deeper and deeper into the water until it is completely submerged. Another scene shows a row of police officers with their hands all raised in surrender.
Beyoncé also performed the “Formation” anti-police song at the NFL Super Bowl, in a tribute to the Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter. The following week, a total of six police officers were killed in the line of duty nationwide.
In another music video, “Hold Up,” also from the “Lemonade” album, Beyoncé walks down the street smashing cars and business windows with a baseball bat, as admiring children fall in line behind her.
At a fundraiser for his re-election campaign in 2012, hosted by Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z, Barack Obama thanked them for their friendship, saying, “Beyoncé could not be a better role model for my girls because she carries herself with such class and poise and has so much talent.”
Michelle Obama showing love to Beyoncé for her birthday is my new favorite thing pic.twitter.com/Jj9uGmkx6Z
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 4, 2017
— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@Bey_Legion) September 4, 2017
Michelle Obama as Beyoncé in Formation extended my life expectancy and paid off my credit card bills 😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/cKjVy7TwIw
— Alp Ozcelik (@alplicable) September 4, 2017
In April, Michelle Obama posted a message on Twitter, saying, “Always inspired by your powerful contributions @Beyonce. You are a role model for us all. Thank you for investing in our girls.”
The message included an announcement from Beyoncé about a “Formation Scholars” awards program established for the 2017-2018 academic year, which will award four scholarships for females studying creative arts, music, literature or African-American studies at four specific colleges.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) April 26, 2017
Beyoncé and Jay-Z were guests of the Obama’s at their White House farewell party in January.
In a commencement address at the historically-black Howard University in May 2016, then-president Barack Obama told the graduates: “When I was graduating, the main black hero on TV was Mr. T. Rap and hip hop were counterculture, underground. Now, Shonda Rhimes owns Thursday night, and Beyoncé runs the world.”
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) September 4, 2017
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