Pressley’s victory speech asked if a congresswoman can wear red lipstick. She can.
It was a historic night for women in politics. Women won more seats in Congress than at any point in history — 92 in the House and 10 in the Senate — including the first Native American and first Muslim women ever elected to Congress and the two youngest Congress members ever to serve.
Among the latter was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York’s 14th Congressional District, a Latina 29-year-old democratic socialist who defeated the Democratic incumbent during the primaries in June in a major upset, then went on to easily beat her Republican opponent in the general election.
And then there was Ayanna Pressley, the first black woman Massachusetts has ever elected to Congress. She, too, was almost guaranteed to win after defeating the Democratic incumbent in the primaries, and last night she ran unopposed.
But besides this, and besides both women being symbols of change and progress in their respective districts, one thing Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley share is their choice of standout red lipstick.
And for women of color running against powerful male incumbents, the choice to wear lipstick, or which shade to choose, is not a trivial one. During Pressley’s victory speech, she talked about the questions that are uniquely posed to women of color in politics: questions like, “Is your appeal broad enough?” or, “Are you playing identity politics?” READ MORE