Thanks for stopping by for Day 27 of Upworthy's 31 Days of Happiness Countdown! If this is your first visit, here's the gist: Each day between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, we're sharing stories we hope will bring joy, smiles, and laughter into our lives and yours. It's been a challenging year for a lot of us, so why not end it on a high note with a bit of happiness? Check back tomorrow (or click the links at the bottom) for another installment!
From the moment Fiona the hippo was born at the Cincinnati Zoo, she was a social media star.
The tiniest, newest, cutest little hippo had arrived at a cosmically necessary time in January 2017, three days after Donald Trump's inauguration but six weeks before her due date. There was Fiona merch. A reality show. A lavish New York Times profile that wordplays off "hippo" with "Hooray." An impressive-sounding book deal was practically an inevitability.
If you're anything like me, though, you spent much of the year resisting Fiona's charms.
Then, one night, just after Danica Roem defeated Virginia's "chief homophobe," I found myself feeling dangerously hopeful. So when a video of Fiona floating away like a queen with more pressing obligations popped up in my Instagram feed, I watched to the very end.
Then I let myself watch one more. And another.
(I think we all know what happened next.)
What did I learn from my first Fiona binge-watch sesh?
It's totally fine to indulge our most basic obsessions sometimes. Even pumpkin spice lattes can come in a sorta, kinda radical package.
If you've somehow managed to make it this far into 2017 without falling head over heels for the baby hippo in Ohio — or if you're already converted and are just desperate for a fix — I've got seven reasons to let go already and love Fiona.
(I swear, none of them have to do with how gosh-darn cute she is.)
1. Fiona isn't easily delighted by anything. Not even bubbles.
2. Baby hippos grow up to become surprisingly fierce beasts.
Fiona started perfecting her "don't bother me, I'm reading" grunt early.
3. Fiona's got family #dramz like the rest of us.
Her dad, Bibi, hadn't been feeling too hot, so he was kept away from Fiona for a long time. But their epic nuzzle-fest of a reunion might inspire you to ring up anyone who's ever ghosted you to make sure they're OK.
4. Fiona carries on the tradition of hippo women of yore, who were also fabulous.
The ancient Egyptian goddess Tawaret was, as BuzzFeed News so aptly put it, "a gloriously topless part-hippo, part-human, part-crocodile protectress of pregnant women and unborn children." Fiona obviously knows what she's working with.
Turn your sound on for the Fiona ballet. Keep in mind that with the cooler temperatures upon us that the hippos can only go outside if it's 50 degrees or above. It's always a good idea to the check the Zoo Today page on our website before visiting to see all zoo updates for the day. http://cincinnatizoo.org/zoo-today/Posted by Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on Thursday, October 26, 2017
5. Her stance on bubbles is unrelenting.
6. As Fiona grows, she's being cheered on for getting stronger and healthier.
We're told that she's well on her way to being as tough as her mama — and not a focus on being as sweet or pretty. This can only be a good thing for human girls (not to mention the rest of us) to hear more about.
7. But only one thing finally made me succumb to Fionamania...
I'm betting it'll wear you down too. And it has nothing to do with how rapidly she became a beacon of hope to millions of people, photo-bombing their engagement photos, waving at them, or blessing them with "kisses."
The truth is that Fiona's just living her best life, and she'll keep doing it with or without us.
Happy 6 Month Birthday Fiona! You’ve come a long way!!! Now get ready to have this song by Chris Rowlands get stuck in your head for the rest of the day! #hippo #fionafix #teamfiona #closeenoughtocare #cincinnati #cincinnatizoo #cincyzoopic #potd #love #birthday #happybirthday
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