Reba McEntire is your new Colonel Sanders, and maybe 2018 won't be so bad.

Fast food fried chicken juggernaut KFC has cast a new actor to play Colonel Sanders: Reba McEntire.

Yeah, this Reba McEntire.

Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night.


Only for this role, she looks a little more like this.

Image via KFC/YouTube.

McEntire donned the signature white suit and string tie to perform a tongue in cheek song as everyone's second ,favorite fried chicken purveyor. (I'm an Annie from Popeye's stan, now and forever.)

"I’m Colonel Sanders, the same as always,” she sings. "I swear I'm not a famous woman!”

Several male actors have portrayed the Colonel, including Rob Lowe, Norm MacDonald, Ray Liotta, and Jim Gaffigan. But this is the first time the company's founder has been portrayed by a woman or a musician. McEntire was chosen specifically for the role because of her Southern roots (she's from Oklahoma) and legend status in country music. She'll appear in television spots for the chain's Smoky Mountain BBQ chicken through April.

So the internet had absolutely nothing to say about all of this and that's the end of this charming and delightful story, right?

Hold on to your biscuits, folks.

Loyal Colonel Sanders supporters, confused followers, and former fans of KFC voiced their displeasure at the decision on social media.

Who knew people were invested in which actors are selected to portray this Southern icon? But apparently, they are.

Some were turned off by the idea of a woman playing a man.

Others were skeptical, but open to change.

But for the most part, people had some fun with it. After all, we're talking about fast food chicken, here.

For instance: What might a woman playing Colonel Sanders have to put up with?

And then there's this tweet, which is funny (and a little bit sad) because it's true.

Others, particularly fans of McEntire, were pretty pleased with the decision. Who wouldn't want to see one of their faves break the dredged and breaded ceiling?

While this a very small, silly thing to choose to complain or cheer about, it's not completely insignificant.

In 2018, women are still breaking barriers, both large and important and small and crispy. This week alone, Rachel Morrison became the first woman to be nominated for an Academy Award in cinematography. Sen. Tammi Duckworth announced her pregnancy and will be the first senator to give birth in office. And on Sunday at the Grammy's, we may see Cardi B become first woman ever to earn the award for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance.

And yeah, people like Hec have a point.

A female Colonel Sanders probably wasn't the first thing people participating in the Women's March had in mind. Women have made some serious moves, but when it comes to improving representation, earning equal wages, confronting gender based violence, or sexual misconduct, we have a long way to go.

Then again, every first, even a seemingly silly one, is a chicken-fried step in the right direction.

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Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

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Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

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Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

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