To kick off the New Year and a new House of Congress, Vanity Fair included the “New Wave” of freshmen congresspeople in their rundown of political movers and shakers. The magazine featured a handful of the young, POC, LGBTQ females who represent a new era in U.S. politics and representation, including:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest congresswoman in history, who unseated long-time Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley
Veronica Escobar, one of the first Latinas to ever represent Texas in Congress, whose district in El Paso had previously been represented by Beto O’Rourke
Ayanna Pressley, who unseated fellow Democrat Mike Capuano in the 2018 primaries and is the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress
Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American and one of the first Muslim women to ever take congressional office, who is replacing fellow Muslim Keith Ellison in Minnesota
Deb Haaland, a Laguna Pueblo tribal member whose parents both served in the U.S. military
Sharice Davids, openly gay and a member of the Ho-Chunk nation, who unseated Republican Kevin Yoder in the conservative state of Kansas
Together Haaland and Davids are the first Native American congresswomen in U.S. history.
Dressed Up for the Historic Occasion
For the swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, some of these congresswomen chose to honor their personal victories, history, and heritage through their choice in attire. Tlaib donned a Palestinian gown, while Haaland wore a traditional Pueblo dress, silver, turquoise, and moccasins. Omar was sworn-in proudly wearing the first hijab ever worn in Congress. Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez wore an all-white pantsuit, explaining on her Instagram story: “I wore white today in honor of the women who came before me (suffragettes, Shirley Chisholm) and the women yet to come. White is the color of women’s movements.”
Decade-Old Footage of Awesomeness
Only a day after getting sworn into office, critics of Ocasio-Cortez shared decade-old footage of the young congresswoman dancing on a rooftop. Unlike the decade-old recording of President Trump boasting about pussy-grabbing, this footage won’t make your skin crawl.
At the time the video was shot, Ocasio-Cortez was an undergrad at Boston University. The footage of her choreographed dance sequence, an homage to a scene in The Breakfast Club, was meant to humiliate her. Instead, the video of Ocasio-Cortez dancing simply further endeared her to the public and has already inspired remixes and memes. “I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response to the video. “Wait till they find out Congresswomen dance, too!”