“Our identities, whether we like it or not, are a lens. We can never take that lens off,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a pre-primary June interview with Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept. “My identity is important because the district is about 70 percent people of color. The district is about 40 percent primarily Spanish-speaking. It’s at least half-Latino. … It’s not the fact that I’m a Hispanic woman that allows me to better represent this district. It is the fact that that is a lens that I have to better organize and communicate with the people who live here.”

Six months later, she arrived in Washington a Latina political icon.

Within days of winning a primary that catapulted her overnight to national fame, Ocasio-Cortez prayer candles could be purchased on Etsy. Now they’re a popular Christmas gift in progressive political Washington where Ocasio-Cortez tops the A-List. And last week, Ocasio-Cortez headlined Elle’s photoshoot of the historic female freshman class of the 116th Congress…

Ocasio-Cortez is a first in American politics. No Hispanic candidate has ever risen so far, so fast. No Democrat can match her celebrity. No bartender can deny she earned it.