It began on Instagram — of course.
The four congresswomen-elect, in Washington for the November 2018 new-member orientation, had gathered for an interview about the history they had made. There simply had not been people like them in Congress before: no one younger than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; no Muslim women before Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib; no black woman representing Massachusetts before Ayanna Pressley.
Afterward, someone snapped a photo of them smiling broadly, and then came a crucial question: how to caption it for the ’gram. As they would later tell CBS’s Gayle King, Ocasio-Cortez had an idea: How about something like “#squadgoals?”
So Ocasio-Cortez slapped “Squad” on a post, uploaded it and tagged her colleagues, who followed with similar posts. It was a spontaneous, perfectly natural thing for a millennial woman to do and, as it turns out, a moment of serendipitous branding.