This powerful, history-making photo is pure fire, and people can't get enough of it.

The 2019 Congress is being sworn in, with some history-making women leading the way.

American politics has always been dominated by white males. And by dominated, I mean dominated. For the majority of U.S. history, our lawmakers have been almost exclusively white males, with only an occasional woman or person of color filling the highest decision-making roles in the land.

Even as recently as 2015, Congress was 80% white and 80% male. I have nothing against white males (I'm married to one and am raising one), but one specific demographic having that much historical power is an issue. People rail against "identity politics" as if the concept is something women and minorities invented, but no one in America has played the race and gender cards harder and longer than white male politicians; they just always had the power to do so without explicitly admitting it.


However, we are finally seeing significant waves of change to that status quo, and it is so freaking refreshing.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared a photo of the beautifully fierce new face of politics.

Ocasio-Cortez shared a photo taken by Martin Schoeller for Vanity Fair on her Instagram and Twitter accounts, and people can't get enough of it. Six new Congresswomen, each making history in her own way, standing in the Capitol building, ready to take on those hallowed halls with their heads held high.

Ocasio-Cortez takes her place not only as a Latina, but as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Ayanna Pressley is the first Black woman to be elected to Congress from Massachusetts, while Ilhan Omar of Minnesota will be the first Somali-American and first Muslim woman to wear a hijab on the House floor. Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland are the first Native American women elected to Congress, with Davids (far right) also being the first openly LGBTQ+ woman serving from Kansas. Veronica Escobar (fifth from the left) enters as the first Latina Congresswoman from Texas.

These women are making history, and so many of us are 100% here for it.

There's a reason people can't stop staring at and sharing this photo—it's pure fire.

There's something about fire that mesmerizes us—its heat, its power, its beauty, its immense potential. Even though we've seen it a million times, when we're face to face with it, it pulls us in. This photo is fire. It's been liked and shared hundreds of thousands of times for a reason. Can't. Stop. Staring.

This photo says, "Behold, the new face of power." It says, "We have arrived and are not here for your bullshit." It says, "Our foremothers sacrificed everything to make this happen, and we aren't here to play—we're here to stay." It says, "This is what the promise of America is supposed to mean."

This is the poster our daughters need on their walls. This is the image I want my girls to burn in their brains when they think of who is in charge and who is sitting at the decision-making table.  

Welcome to Congress, you fierce and fabulous women. Can't wait to see what outdated norms you burn down to make room for the future.

President Biden/Twitter, Yamiche Alcindor/Twitter

In a year when the U.S. saw the largest protest movement in history in support of Black lives, when people of color have experienced disproportionate outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, and when Black voters showed up in droves to flip two Senate seats in Georgia, Joe Biden entered the White House with a mandate to address the issue of racial equity in a meaningful way.

Not that it took any of those things to make racial issues in America real. White supremacy has undergirded laws, policies, and practices throughout our nation's history, and the ongoing impacts of that history are seen and felt widely by various racial and ethnic groups in America in various ways.

Today, President Biden spoke to these issues in straightforward language before signing four executive actions that aim to:

- promote fair housing policies to redress historical racial discrimination in federal housing and lending

- address criminal justice, starting by ending federal contracts with for-profit prisons

- strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Native American tribes and Alaskan natives

- combat xenophobia against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, which has skyrocketed during the pandemic

Keep Reading Show less
True

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.

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.

Here's a look at the five winners:

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.

Keep Reading Show less
via WFTV

Server Flavaine Carvalho was waiting on her last table of the night at Mrs. Potatohead's, a family restaurant in Orlando, Florida when she noticed something peculiar.

The parents of an 11-year-old boy were ordering food but told her that the child would be having his dinner later that night at home. She glanced at the boy who was wearing a hoodie, glasses, and a face mask and noticed a scratch between his eyes.

A closer look revealed a bruise on his temple.

So Carvalho walked away from the table and wrote a note that said, "Do you need help?" and showed it to the boy from an angle where his parents couldn't see.

Keep Reading Show less
via TikTok

Menstrual taboos are as old as time and found across cultures. They've been used to separate women from men physically — menstrual huts are still a thing — and socially, by creating the perception that a natural bodily function is a sign of weakness.

Even in today's world women are deemed unfit for positions of power because some men actually believe they won't be able to handle stressful situations while mensurating.

"Menstruation is an opening for attack: a mark of shame, a sign of weakness, an argument to keep women out of positions of power,' Colin Schultz writes in Popular Science.

Keep Reading Show less