Children across the world watched the historical moment virtually, forming a new understanding of what's possible.
On Wednesday, Kamala Harris became the 49th vice president of the United States, the first woman, first Black and first South Asian person to hold that office. Children across the world watched the historical moment virtually, forming a new understanding of what's possible. Among them was 1-year-old Regan Kennedy Adams who watched from home with her parents and three older siblings as Harris — the daughter of first generation immigrants — took the oath of office alongside President Joe Biden. According to Good Morning America, while Regan herself is too young to grasp the significance of Harris' inauguration, her siblings took it upon themselves to help her understand why it was a big deal.
Thinking about all the brown & black girls who will see themselves in @KamalaHarris and will grow up knowing that they can be anything. #MadamVicePresident pic.twitter.com/XZqBlKv4nY— Opal Vadhan (@OpalVadhan) January 20, 2021
"They were trying to explain to her, ‘Your name is so presidential. You see Kamala Harris. We can be anything that we want,'" said Regan's mom, Kendall Maloney. "It was really special for all of us to watch it." Aside from her supremely presidential name, Regan already has had some experience with the dealings of the White House as last month — ahead of the inauguration and her first birthday — Maloney arranged a photoshoot that featured Regan standing behind a presidential lectern while wearing a power suit and pearls like Harris.
Maloney explained that she set up the photoshoot to show Regan and all kids that "representation matters." "I wanted her to always be able to look back at these pictures and know that we as her parents are setting her up to let her know that she can be anything she wants in life," Maloney — a teacher — said of herself and Regan's dad, Christopher Thomas Adams. "That as a woman and as a young Black woman, she can be anything she puts her mind to."
This overwhelming sense of joy of their children finally getting to see themselves reflected in someone like Harris was evident across social media on Inauguration Day. Parents flooded the internet with photos of their young kids celebrating Harris' historic achievement. Actress Mindy Kaling shared a photograph of her daughter watching the inauguration on TV and shared a heartwarming conversation the young girl had. "I was at work, but apparently she said: 'Is that mommy? It looks like mommy.' Best compliment I ever got! It matters. Happy Inauguration everyone," Kaling captioned the image on Instagram.
TV producer Shonda Rhimes also shared a photo of her daughters watching Harris make history as vice president, writing: "Brown girls no longer just dreaming." Former Baltimore Ravens receiver Torrey Smith shared similar sentiments in a post featuring his daughter, writing: "Congratulations to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris! I'm so excited for my daughter! Anything is possible but it's different when you see it!" Meanwhile, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D.-Mass., took to Twitter to thank Vice President Harris in a wholesome tweet that reads: "Thank you, for our Cora, Godkids & future generations. By taking your seat, you've planted seeds, shattered ceilings & blown open doors. We feel collective pride & promise."
Brown girls no longer just dreaming. #bidenharris2020 https://t.co/r6XmZuk2ti pic.twitter.com/AEtelwoHb3— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) January 20, 2021
Madame @VP thank you, for our Cora, Godkids & future generations. By taking your seat, you've planted seeds, shattered ceilings & blown open doors. We feel collective pride & promise. Shout out to @vplikeme the mbe I purchased these sweatshirts from for these two. pic.twitter.com/cxjoOOj0iJ— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) January 20, 2021
One of the most notable social media tributes came from Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who shared a photograph of Harris along with her grand-nieces, and wrote: "It delights me to think that what feels historical and amazing to us today—a woman sworn in to the vice presidency—will seem normal, obvious, "of course" to Kamala's grand-nieces as they grow up. And they will be right."