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AOC's Dress Controversy

Britt Trachtenberg

Posted on September 16, 2021 14:31

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On September 13, the 2021 Met Gala was held at the Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan at which Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — also known as AOC — wore a dress that said “Tax the Rich” across the back.

On September 13, an estimated 550 celebrities attended this year’s Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. Because of last year’s cancellation due to COVID-19, the Costume Institute announced that the 2021 Gala would be separated into two parts, with the second commencing in 2022. The event is said to raise millions for the Metropolitan Museum. A ticket for the Met Gala was an estimated $35,000.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a congresswoman for New York, was among other distinguished guests in attendance. She wore a white dress with the words “Tax the Rich” written across the back in red. The dress was designed by Canadian fashion designer, activist and creative director Aurora James. The bold dress — and Ocasio-Cortez herself wearing it — was met with both positive feedback and harsh critique. While CNN Style noticed the historical ties between wearing white and women’s suffrage, the news source also addressed the backlash that the dress made in the media.


Ultimately, wearing a dress with “Tax the Rich” written on the back is not subtle, especially in a room full of the country’s 1%. This is what both people with a positive and those with a negative opinion agree on. In fact, some feel that the choice of setting may make the statement less plausible and more mocking of those who say the phrase. While Ocasio-Cortez is showing the public that she is aware of the causes that members of the middle and lower classes care about, she is still making this statement at a gala that costs $35,000 per person to see the inside of the venue. Others feel that it is just the opposite.


People from all sides of the political spectrum took to the internet to voice their thoughts. One Twitter user wrote, “Now she’s wearing a designer ‘Tax the Rich’ dress at the Met while everyone there fawns over her. [She’s] just doing celeb cultism now.” In the comments of that tweet, another Twitter user wrote, “It’s almost as if politics is about theater and aesthetics.” Other Twitter users wrote about the hypocrisy of the dress while others yet said the criticism is, perhaps, unfair.


Others praised Ocasio-Cortez for using the Met Gala as the place to make a “Tax the Rich” statement. One Twitter user wrote, “AOC turned up to the Met Gala and said EAT THE RICH.” Another wrote, in all caps, “AOC having Tax the Rich on her dress is so iconic for the Met Gala.”


Ocasio-Cortez herself responded to the dress’s critique. In talking with Ilana Glazer of Vogue, she said that she and James had the idea to design this dress after “having a conversation about what it means to be a working-class woman of color at the Met.”

Britt Trachtenberg

Posted on September 16, 2021 14:31

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Source: Forbes

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sparked a controversy over her Met Gala fashion choice.

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