Why are so many defending Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s flaunting of wealth?
By Luana Ross, Contributor
Recently Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was criticized for wearing a $580 dress. In response, AOC said “Yep! I rent, borrow, and thrift my clothes.” “(It’s also environmentally sustainable!) The Post is just mad that you can look good fighting for working families. Sequins are a great accessory to universal healthcare, don’t you agree?”
AOC has been criticized for being rich and pretending to be poor before. She wore a green suit, valued at $3000 dollars, for a photoshoot with construction workers. That time around, she similarly stated that the clothes were lent to her—this time for the express purpose of taking photos.
In both events, she—a self-proclaimed “democratic socialist”—failed to address the heart of the issue. Even if she or her team is renting, borrowing, or thrifting these extravagant clothes, she is still well above the means of how she is representing herself in the media.
She’s previously claimed that she wouldn’t be able to afford a place in Washington, DC because she wouldn’t be paid until she started working in Congress. Her communications director claimed that she had less than $7,000 in savings. Yet, in a financial record of hers, she reported having $15,000 to $50,000 in her savings account during that period. (Before her now-yearly income of $174,000 as a member of Congress.) Her team predictably backpedaled on that one hard.
There are clear contradictions in her personal wealth and what she claims her means are at. It is despicable that she attempts to tailor her image to make it look like she is experiencing “the struggle” when the facts clearly disagree with that.
To clarify, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with a politician using their hard-earned wealth to clean-up their image. It is important to present well and there is nothing inherently wrong with her buying expensive clothes to uphold a certain level of professionalism. There is nothing wrong with her wearing dresses or nice clothes.
The issue lies in the contradiction of preaching that she experiences the common struggle and wants to enact socialism so she, along with everyone else who has money struggles, can have a better life. She sells herself as a common person who would benefit from her proposed policy changes, yet she’s clearly a part of the elite. Why would an elite lie about being an elite? Why is she attempting to hide her access to wealth?
It’s hard to take her seriously knowing that she’s making attempts to be relatable through a contrived financial situation. Her critics take these fancy outfits of hers as an opportunity to point out the hypocrisy, yet her response is to claim that she is renting, borrowing, or thrifting. Does she really have friends that are willing to lend her a $3000 outfit for dirt cheap? Did she really find a $580 retail value dress at a thrift store?
one is going to campaign on the fact that they know the struggle of the
low-income and middle-income classes, then it is insulting to see them
constantly flaunting their wealth. It
seems clear that she isn’t a part of the class she’s attempting to win-over
through a claimed “shared struggle.” Yet it is also clear that the same system
she insists she has suffered in has afforded her luxuries most haven’t
attained. That’s obviously not good for her anti-rich, wealth-for-all image
she’s built. But it’s certainly in line with other Democrats strategies (Bernie
Sanders and Hillary Clinton having three houses each).
needs to admit that she doesn’t have the lived experience to talk for those who
are low and middle income. She should represent herself honestly as the very
well-off politician she is. She’s not relatable. Be suspicious when rich people
tell you that they’re just like you; no politician is poor.