Are reports of the demise of Michelle Obama’s bangs premature?

Sweep them far enough to the side, and bangs can seem virtually invisible in a certain light — and when the first lady worked that trick at her Bowie State University commencement speech Friday, she prompted a whole new wave of speculation that they were gone for good.

Obama at Bowie State on Friday. (James Crisp / AP)

But it really depends what angle you were looking at. Left side? Bangs-less. Right side? Bangs still hanging in there.

Another angle, same day and time. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

In fact, her current bang situation looks a lot like it did in early April, when we were just minutes away from declaring her bangs defunct — before she ran out and got another trim.

A previous in-between stage, April 2. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)

And as recently as a week ago, she was a proud and defiant bangs-wearer.

With Prince Harry on May 10. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

We don’t mean to make light of these circumstances. Clearly the first lady’s bangs are in flux at the current time and could still go either way. That’s why it’s important — as with a Beyonce belly watch — to consider the views from all sides and over an extended period of time, not rely on a single angle from a single day’s evidence. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you up to date.

Update, 3 p.m.: The first lady’s bangs status appeared largely unchanged today in Nashville, where she delivered the commencement address at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet High School.

(Mark Humphrey / AP)
(Mark Humphrey / AP)

In the meantime, please consult our last graphic research project on the first lady and her bangs in various stages of growth: Michelle Obama’s bangs: Are their days numbered? See how they grow (photos), 4/9/13

Related: Michelle Obama at Bowie State: Too many fantasize about being ‘a baller or a rapper’, 5/17/13

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