In just a few more hours, the United States will get its new President and Vice President. Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the USA, while Indian-origin politician Kamala Harris will take oath as the 49th Vice President on Wednesday. Kamala will also become the first woman Vice President of the USA.
First time Senator Kamala Devi Harris has scripted history by becoming first woman, Black and Indian-American vice president of the United States.
The 56-year-old California Senator is one of only three Asian Americans in the Senate and she’s the first Indian-American ever to serve in the chamber.
Harris is known for many firsts. She has been a county district attorney; the district attorney for San Francisco – the first woman and first African-American and Indian-origin to be elected to the position.
From correcting those who mispronounced her name to sharing her favourite recipes online, Kamala Harris has ruled the Indian internet in the last few months.
Kamala Harris on her favourite Indian dishes
In November 2020, just before the elections, Harris had opened up about her favourite Indian dishes. In a video that had then gone viral on social media, Harris had said that any type of tikka and idli with good sambar are her favourites from the Indian cuisine.
When Kamala Harris made comfortable shoes look cool again
In 2020, when Harris was campaigning for the US elections, she was frequently spotted in uber cool Converse shoes which soon became viral. Harris’ preference for comfort shoes, over the more conventional stilletos is well-known and has been documented throughout her political career.
There are two things that need to be addressed here. One, of course, Harris’ shoes should ideally not be a point of focus given that she is a politician who just embarked on her first solo round of campaigning. In an ideal world, where female politicians would not be judged on the basis of their clothing and their fashion choices are not dissected, the focus would have been on her actions.
But keeping the obvious patriarchy aside, you cannot turn a blind eye to the silent protest and revolution by women politicians of today against what convention dictates they should be dressed like.
When influential politicians like Harris normalise wearing comfort shoes and sneakers at official events, it echoes what women over the decades have always said – heels, often considered to be a symbol of patriarchal society, are uncomfortable.
Harris’ victory speech and her symbolic outfit
Harris’ outfit – a white suit reportedly by Carolina Herrera – became the talk of the town after she took the stage for her victory speech after being declared the Vice President of the United States.
There was more to it than meets the eye. It was a tribute to the women’s suffragette movement. She also mentioned “her [mother] and about the generations of women, Black women, Asian, White, Latina, Native American women, who throughout our nation’s history, have paved the way for this moment tonight”.
When Harris’ walkout song spoke volumes
After being declared the Vice President-elect of the United States, Kamala Harris chose a walkout song that did the talking for her. Her walkout song, “Work That” by Mary J. Blige, was the same song Kamala Harris walked off the stage of the Democratic National Convention to after becoming the first woman of color to be nominated to a major political party’s presidential ticket in United States history.
“I hear you been running, from the beautiful queen, that you could be becoming,” sings Mary J. Blige in “Work That”. “Just because the length of your hair ain’t long, And they often criticize you for your skin tone, Wanna hold your head high, Cause you’re a pretty woman … Read the book of my life, And see I’ve overcome it.”
A guide to pronouncing her name
What’s in a name, you ask? Everything.
Last month, an US Captioning Company published a list of the most mispronounced words recently and no one was surprised to find Kamala Harris on the list. While her surname is fairly easy to pronounce and familiar to the average American, many found it a tad difficult to pronounce ‘Kamala’ which is a distinctly Indianised name.
She is the next Vice President of the United States. Now would probably be a good time to learn how to pronounce her name properly. As per the US Captioning Company, Kamala is pronounced as ‘KAH-mah-lah’.
When Harris and the ‘Second Gentleman’ broke stereotypes with their relationship
Apart from Harris, her husband Douglas Emhoff, too, has been drawing a lot of attention, especially after the lawyer got his official Twitter handle with the name ‘Second Gentleman.’
The couple appeared for an interview on CBS News Sunday Morning, where they shared several details of their relationships and especially that time when Harris ended up googling her now-husband before their first blind date.
Emhoff, who had been married to Kristin Mackin for 16 years, met Harris in 2013 whom he wed in 2014. The duo were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend. In a rigid political milieu where portraying emotions haven’t always been the strong points of politicians or their spouses, Harris and Emhoff struck a note as the duo have always shown that they are strongly supportive and always in sync with each other.
The Vogue controversy
A few days ago, fashion magazine Vogue landed in controversy for using a photo of Harris where her skin tone appears to be considerably lighter. Kamala Harris’ Vogue cover was supposed to be a landmark moment: breaking glass ceilings, it was supposed to set an example for all women of colour.
In light of the recent backlash it faced for its latest issue’s cover image of the magazine featuring US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Vogue will be releasing a limited print edition of its February issue, it was announced on Tuesday.