Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Statement Dress at the Met Gala

“Tax the Rich”


American Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned heads at the Met Gala 2021 red carpet on Monday as she donned a white gown emblazoned with the words “Tax the Rich”.


The white off the shoulder gown was designed by Brooklyn-based founder of Brother Vellies, Aurora James. The look was accompanied by simple gold hoops, the politician’s signature, as well as a pink flower pinned to her bun.


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Ocasio-Cortez’s statement was met with criticism as she chose to make it at one of the most prestigious, and expensive, events where tickets cost $35,000. Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, political commentator, suggested that AOC’s dress was “only a stunt to justify her presence at a fancy shin dig that doesn’t match her political persona”.

Designer Aurora James responded to criticism in an interview with CNN saying, “I think ultimately a lot of these conversations that we have about economic justice usually happen in spaces with working class people...and (the congresswoman) wanted to make sure that this message was brought into that room and into a group of people who ultimately have to be more willing to be more liberal with their economic values as well.”

In addition, AOC herself later hosted a Q&A via her Instagram story in which someone asked, “What do you say to people who argue that you’re also rich”? To this she responded, “This is the trick that people use all the time, right? They want you to think that when we talk about ‘rich’ we’re talking about a doctor or a lawyer instead of someone with hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars. That’s what we mean by rich.” She also shared resources to spread awareness about how the wealthiest avoid taxes such as an investigation by ProPublica which reveals how the top 25 richest people in the world pay little to no taxes.

Despite receiving criticism for making a statement about taxing the rich at an event with only high-profile, wealthy guests, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did indeed get her point across. It can be deemed that her statement gown was a success as it started a conversation and brought awareness to the unfair tax evasion of the richest 0.001% of the population such as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Warren Buffet.   

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