Met Gala 2021: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Tax The Rich Dress – Hypocritical Or Iconic? Twitter’s Torn

Met Gala 2021: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Tax The Rich Dress – Hypocritical Or Iconic? Twitter’s Torn
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Met Gala 2021: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Tax The Rich Dress – Hypocritical Or Iconic? Twitter’s Torn

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attended Met Gala 2021 in a white Brother Vellies gown. (AFP Image)

For her first-ever Met Gala appearance, representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez chose a statement-making dress which has drawn mixed reactions on social media. The Democratic congresswoman from New York attended the star-studded event in a white gown by Brother Vellies  with the message “Tax the Rich” splashed across the back in red — an inflammatory statement at an event where tickets cost $35,000 apiece and tables were up to $300,000, reports AFP. It was a polarising choice of outfit from a politician who has repeatedly called for billionaires to pay higher taxes and previously courted controversy by selling sweatshirts with “Tax the Rich” emblazoned on them. 

The Met Gala, held in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, made a return Monday after its cancellation in 2020 due to the pandemic. The theme for this year’s Met Gala was ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’. 

While Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – or AOC, as she is popularly known – raised eyebrows by wearing a couture gown with the words “Tax the Rich” to an event attended by some of Hollywood’s wealthiest stars, she also offered an explanation for doing so. 

“When we talk about supporting working families and when we talk about having a fair tax code, oftentimes this conversation is happening among working and middle class people (on) the senate floor,” she told reporters at the event, according to CNN. “I think it’s time we bring all classes into the conversation,” she said.

On social media, reactions varied from critical to supportive. 

Donald Trump Jr criticised the politician for sending mixed signals with her dress while hanging out with wealthy celebrities.

“‘Tax the rich’ says AOC’s dress … at the Met Gala … where tickets cost $30,000,” a Twitter user said.

Many said it was “hypocritical” of AOC to be wearing the message to an exclusive event for Hollywood’s biggest and richest stars.

Others branded her outfit “iconic”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s decision to wear white may not have been accidental either. It is a colour that many American congresswomen have worn in the past for its association with the suffragette movement.

Meanwhile, AOC was not the only one who chose to make a political statement at the Met Gala 2021. Fellow congresswoman Carolyn B Maloney showed up in a dress adorned with colourful sashes, each with the words “Equal Rights for Women” emblazoned on it. She also carried a purse which said “ERA YES”.

With this choice of outfit, she called for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, a Constitutional amendment that would guarantee legal gender equality for women and men. “Across the country, women’s rights are under attack,” Ms Maloney wrote on Twitter. “I have long used fashion as a force 4 change. As the Met Costume Institute reopens w/ their inaugural exhibit celebrating American designers, I am calling for the certification of the ERA so women can be equal once and for all.”

The Met Gala is usually held in May, but this year it was postponed to September in hopes that Covid-19 restrictions would be lifted. The honorary co-chairs were Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, who has turned the gala into a global event, designer Tom Ford and Adam Mosseri, director of Instagram, which is sponsoring the extravaganza.

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