A.O.C. faces backlash for “Tax the Rich” Met Gala dress


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Congressional Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Olivia Aberegg, Staff Reporter

Cameras. Costumes. Celebrities. Charity. The Met Gala is a popular fundraising event where celebrities and influential people dress in costumes correlating to a certain theme to raise money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. One of the influential people present at  the 2021 Met Gala was politician and US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). With the theme of this year’s gala being, “American Independence,” A.O.C. wore a dress that said “Tax the Rich.” 

Ocasio-Cortez received much criticism for the message. Many people believed that it was hypocritical, since she is a wealthy woman demanding tax on the rich. However, others have said that the political view present on her dress was different from her own personal and political views. Though she has received complaints because she was wearing a dress saying to tax the rich while she was participating in an event with the rich and wealthy, some people believed that the message was not relevant in this situation, because the people present at the event would ignore the message since it was targeting them. There were various people who had opinions on her outfit, including Donald Trump Jr. and activist Danny Haiphong.

Donald Trump Jr. described A.O.C. as a fraud and that she had worn it while “hanging out with a bunch of wealthy leftwing elites, ” according to the New York Times

Danny Haiphong, a known activist, also had negative comments regarding her dress. 

“A.O.C. and the Squad are not leveraging their enormous base of support to demand the very thing she put on her dress,” Haiphong said. 

Although there were many negative responses to her Met Gala outfit, A.O.C. also received support for her statement. Some people admire her for taking a stance on powerful topics such as taxes. The media described her as an inspiration for standing up for what she believes in and taking action when others do not. Former New York City mayoral candidate Maya Wiley described A.O.C.’s actions as the right thing in pushing for the change in society at such an important event.

“We turn everything into a purity contest. Politics shouldn’t be about purity. She did the right thing by not avoiding it, by saying this is part of who we are, and let’s have a conversation that includes the Met Gala. To walk into a space that’s about art, fashion, luxury and wealth and say, ‘Here is the conversation we have to confront, but I’m going to confront it in the vernacular of the event,’ is brilliant,” Wiley  said. 

A.O.C.  was an important attendant of the 2021 Met Gala with her unforgettable dress. She faced much criticism and backlash for her outfit choice which included the statement “Tax the Rich.” This has since raised many opinions and questions, both at the Met Gala and across the internet, following the event.