On September 13, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), strolled through the Met Gala 2021 in a white dress that read “tax the rich.” AOC’s outfit generated many reactions on social networks and some media outlets such as USA Today reviewed that the congresswoman took advantage of the event to “share a polarizing political message.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s political move had some positive reactions among her supporters, but was also strongly criticized by Democratic or liberal users via social networks.
“One of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen. While constituents she failed are being evicted or wondering how they’re gonna eat tonight, @AOC out here living large at the #MetGala. Wearing a dress that says #TaxTheRich but will do nothing to make it a reality. #FraudSquad,” a self-described queer activist user wrote on Twitter.
“Partying with celebrities at an elitist event makes us Dems look awful,” wrote user @UncvrngTheTruth. “Especially in the middle of a voting rights crisis and women’s rights in TX hanging by a thread. Do better, AOC.”
The representative commented to Reuters that, for her, wearing the tax the rich dress is “incredibly important, because when we talk about supporting working families and when we talk about having a fair tax code, often those conversations are happening among middle and working class people (…) I think it’s time we include all classes in the conversation about having a fair country.”
Similarly, AOC’s argument did not convince all liberals, who branded her a hypocrite for going to an expensive and elitist event. According to Gateway Pundit, admission to the Met Gala is $30,000 and a table at the event is priced at $275,000.
AOC says designer is an ‘immigrant,’ but doesn’t say she’s from Toronto
The tax the rich message wasn’t the only message AOC sent regarding her Met Gala gown. A few hours after the event, the congresswoman said she was “proud” that her dress was designed by an “immigrant.” The message was understood as if the designer was Latina or, perhaps, from some more impoverished country, however, it was quickly discovered that the same was born in Toronto, Canada, which sparked criticism in networks.
“Proud to work with @aurorajames as a sustainably focused, Black woman immigrant designer who went from starting her dream @brothervellies at a flea market in Brooklyn to winning the @cfda against all odds – and then work together to kick open the doors at the Met,” she wrote on her Instagram account AOC.
According to the website of Brother Vellies, the firm that designed the dress for AOC, “Toronto-born, New York-migrated creative director and founder Aurora James amassed an impressive resume of fashion industry experience before founding Brother Vellies.”
One of the first people to spot this detail was Twitter user @graceisforyou, who quoted a tweet from AOC and wrote: “AOC: “My fashion designer is an immigrant” (…) She immigrated from Toronto.”
“She assumes (rightly) most of her fans won’t read for themselves, so she can get away with bragging about her immigrant designer,” the user criticized in another tweet.
“From AOC bragging about her “immigrant” designer (from Toronto…) to Sadiq Khan’s bad taste tweets almost exclusively about Raducanu’s ethnicity after her grand slam, I do hope people are beginning to see how dehumanising it is to reduce people to their ethnicity or skin colour.” said user @lukerobertblack. “She’s so desperate to brag about her designer’s background, rather than her talent, or the message she’s trying to convey in her couture.”