Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Responded to Criticism Over Her Met Gala Appearance

"I and my body have been so heavily and relentlessly policed from all corners politically."

Just hours after attending her first Met Gala, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is back to work — and responding to critics of her appearance.

On Monday night, the congresswoman made a bold political statement with her sartorial choices at the gala as she opted for a white gown designed by Brother Vellies' Aurora James, which read "TAX THE RICH" in red letters across the back. She also carried a red bag that had the same statement across the front.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Met Gala 2021
Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Met Gala 2021
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/MG21/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Her appearance at the gala drew some criticism from those who felt it was hypocritical for the congresswoman to make a statement about taxing the rich while attending such an exclusive event.

In her Instagram stories, Ocasio-Cortez responded to a question about the criticism over her attendance, writing, "I thought about the criticism I'd get, but honestly I and my body have been so heavily and relentlessly policed from all corners politically since the moment I won my election that it's kind of become expected and normalized to me."


In a tweet last night, she explained, "New York elected officials are routinely invited to and attend the Met due to our responsibilities in overseeing and supporting the city's cultural institutions for the public. I was one of several in attendance in this evening."

Along with Ocasio-Cortez, congresswoman Carolyn Maloney attended, wearing a sash that read "Equal Rights for Women."

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez also shared screenshots of three articles about income taxes for the wealthy on Twitter, writing, "After a year where frontline workers were thrown into harm's way (many w/o hazard pay or adequate healthcare) while billionaires hoarded another $4 TRILLION, members of both parties have tried to halt taxing the wealthiest in our society. It's unacceptable. We must Tax the Rich."

James, who designed the dress, also shared a statement on Instagram, writing, "Fashion at its best is a tool to express ourselves, share our cultural identities and challenge ideas and norms."

"With access comes great opportunity," James said. "We can never get too comfortable in our seats at the table once they've been given. We must always continue to push ourselves, push our colleagues, push the culture and push this Country forward. Even when it's uncomfortable. Fashion is changing, America is changing."

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