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Midterm Elections: How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Other Women Made History

Politics

It was a big night in midterm election history! In many cases, it was also a night of firsts. Following President Donald Trump's election, record numbers of women entered Democratic primaries and ran for some form of public office during this midterm. Compared to the last midterm election, Times Up reports there were 235 women candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives than a previous record of 167. Among the many inspirational women elected Tuesday night, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the youngest elected to Congress.


She is not only an educator and political activist, but also one of the many women, whose win is a milestone during this year's election. This amazing Latina, defeated Republican Rep. Anthony Pappas, who was formerly an economics professor at St. John's University in Queens. She won New York's 14th Congressional District, earning support from 78 percent of voters according to NBC News. It was an expected win after Ocasio-Cortez beat out U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley in June.

After her big win, Ocasio-Cortez gave a victory speech last night. “We launched this campaign because in the absence of anyone giving a clear voice on the moral issues of our time, it is up to us to voice them," she proclaims. “We have the duty to stand up for what is right." She concluded her speech with a powerful, inspirational statement. “We cannot stop. Electoral politics is just a tool in a larger tool box of this movement," she says. Ocasio-Cortez also sent a tweet to her followers, grateful for the opportunity of running in this election. “I am so thankful for every single person who contributed, amplified, and worked to establish this movement," she tweeted.

For those who may not know, this 29-year-old was born in the Bronx, and raised by Puerto Rican parents. She got her degree in economics and international relations from Boston University, but also took interest in establishment politics during college while working for Senator Edward. M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, according to The New York Times. Her political involvement didn't end there. After college, she took on new projects in the Bronx that would improve education for children and years later, took part in political activism like the protests at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation, also according to the Times.

“We launched this campaign because in the absence of anyone giving a clear voice on the moral issues of our time, it is up to us to voice them," she proclaims.

Witnessing history in the making...

As of today, 117 women won their midterm elections according to The Washington Post. Women are making historic accomplishments. Tom Perez, Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is proud to have supported so many female candidates across the country in a recent press release. “A record number of Democratic women are headed to Congress, and women made up the overwhelming majority of congressional seats we flipped from red to blue," he states. “Women are leading the resistance, and the Democratic Party will continue to stand in solidarity with women in America and around the world marching for the equality they deserve – from equal pay and paid family leave, to more affordable health care and child care, to better educational opportunities and the right to live and work free from harassment or assault." He went on to congratulate a few of the newly elected Democratic women.

Record numbers of women ran during this midterm election. Photo Courtesy of Timesupnow.com

Along with Ocasio-Cortez, there is a list of remarkable, diverse group of women who have contributed to a night of firsts.

Stacey Abrams, Democrat: Abrams is currently still running for governor in Georgia. If she wins, she will be the first black governor in U.S. history.

Ilhan Omar, Democrat: Omar is serving as the Minnesota State Representative for the 5th district. She is one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

Rashida Tlaib, Democrat: Tlaib is serving as Michigan State Representative for the 13th district. She is also one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

Veronica Escobar, Democrat: Escobar is serving as Texas State Representative for the 16th district. She is one of the first Texas Latina's elected to Congress.

Sylvia Garcia, Democrat: Garcia is serving as Texas State Representative for the 29th district. She is also one of the first Texas Latina's elected to Congress.

Ayanna Pressley, Democrat: Pressley is serving as Massachusetts State Representative for the 7th district. She is Mass. first black congresswoman.

Deb Haaland, Democrat: Haaland is serving as New Mexico State Representative for the 1st district. She is one of the Native American women elected to Congress.

Sharice Davids: Davids is serving as Kansas State Representative for the 3rd district. She is also one of the first Native American women elected to Congress.

Abby Finkenauer, Democrat: Finkenauer is serving as the Iowa State Representative for the 99th district. She is also one of the youngest women elected to Congress.

Young Kim, Republican: Kim is serving as the California State Representative for the 39th district. She is the first Korean American woman in Congress.

“A record number of Democratic women are headed to Congress, and women made up the overwhelming majority of congressional seats we flipped from red to blue," states Tom Perez, Chair of the Democratic National Committee.

5 Min Read
Self

The Psychological Power Of Clothes

She walks into a room ready for her presentation. She wants to land this new client and has worked weeks on it. She heads to the 35th floor of the tallest building on the block knowing she has documentation that is sure to impress. The conference room has a 20-foot long table surrounded by executives in blue suits, button-down shirts, pencil skirts, and blazers.

At this point, she realizes she didn't take into consideration the other important component of her presentation... she is not dressed appropriately.

Is it true that there is power in clothing? Can an incredible outfit increase your confidence and add validity to your brand? Will you perform your job better or feel more empowered? Will first impressions of you be more positive?

For me, the answer is a resounding yes. I believe that clothing can greatly impact first impressions and make a lasting impact on anyone you interact with. Like it or not, people will judge you on how you look and they will make both conscious and subconscious decisions about you based on what you're wearing… Is she trustworthy? Is she the expert we need? Will she fit in our corporate culture?

Can an incredible outfit increase your confidence and add validity to your brand? Will you perform your job better or feel more empowered? Will first impressions of you be more positive? For me, the answer is a resounding yes.

After all, if you were hiring a financial advisor, and one walked in with a pair of jeans and the other in a pair of trousers and blazer, who would you trust with your money? Even if you don't realize what you're doing when you interact with people, there may be more going on beneath the surface. It's something to think about for sure.

Here's another example, let's say you want to hire a party planner for an event. You meet with the first candidate, and she is wearing a wrinkled shirt and her fingernails are chipping and half-painted. Whereas candidate number two walks in and has on a pencil skirt, pumps, and silk blouse. Who do you think would pay more attention to the details associated with your party?

In 2019, WWD wrote about the psychological effects clothing has on a person:

It is said that clothing is what makes and defines a person. What you wear tells others what you are and makes a statement about your taste, character and individuality. It gives an insight into your nature, whether you are casual or formal, playful or serious, cool or just composed. Whether you are attending a job interview, out on a date or just strutting by the beach, your apparel tells us so much about you at a simple glance.

We know that it takes 5-7 seconds for a person to subconsciously form an opinion about you. Our eyes take in how you look; after all, what you're wearing will influence how you are perceived. How do you want to be perceived to your audience, your clients, and in your working industry?

How do you want to be perceived to your audience, your clients, and in your working industry?

And it goes way beyond the external. There is scientific data that shows how an individual feels differently when dressed in a variety of styles. In an article from Research Gate, they found that, "Fashion choices can affect both self-image, the impression that you convey to others and in turn, the way in which people behave towards you."

Have you ever heard of the term "enclothed cognition"? It refers to the phenomenon in which people tend to adopt the traits and properties they associate with the clothes they wear. In a study on the psychology of clothing, that same article as above reports that, "Participants judged women to be more forceful in job interviews and were more likely to recommend them for hiring when they were dressed in a more masculine style compared with a more feminine style," and that "Both men and women are attracted to stylish clothing that fits them well, makes them feel well-dressed and looks current."

On some level, we may all agree with that statement.

Naturally, as a personal stylist, I am a true believer in the power of clothes. I have seen my clients' exhilaration as they take in their transformation, brought about by an outfit, a new style, and clothes that look incredible on them. I have also witnessed physical changes like their facial expressions, huge smiles, laughter, sparkling eyes, and even a change in the way they walk. It's almost like there has been a shift in attitude toward their inner beauty, which has increased because they feel and look amazing and confident.

Although most of us are no longer strutting our way to the boardroom, the psycholigcal power of clothing is still necessary and relevant, especially now that we're confined to our home offices. Most of us are on virtual calls or live streaming from our computer, and it's easy to not prep as much for your "waist-up" meetings. But, like it or not, you should look on-brand, and put together clothes that are relevant for your industry. Not only will your peers perceieve you as more professional and more put-together, but I am sure you will also feel better, be more alert, and have more energy.

Most of us are on virtual calls or live streaming from our computer, and it's easy to not prep as much for your "waist-up" meetings. But, like it or not, you should look on-brand, and put together clothes that are relevant for your industry.

I'm not saying you need to look like a superstar every second of every day. However, I want you to think about the positive impact well-fitting, stylish clothes can have on both others' perceptions of you as well as your inner-confidence and intrinsic behavior.