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Why AOC’s Met Gala Dress is Extremely Irrelevant

It’s not a secret that this year’s Met Gala was somewhat of a let down and was nowhere near as decadent and glamorous as it has been in the past. But one thing that stood out to me and to many others was U.S. Representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s outfit of choice that has inevitably been meme-ified by the internet. The New York Politician’s ensemble of choice consisted of a white gown with the words “Tax the Rich” slapped on the back in giant red letters. 

Pretty much everyone imaginable has had some sort of opinion on the dress but where a lot of conflicting opinions clashed was mainly within her “fanbase”. Those on the left side of the political spectrum were torn about whether or not this was a good statement. On one hand, it’s great that she’s using her appearance at such a prestigious event to amplify an important message and make a statement. On the other hand, she’s wearing a “tax the rich” dress in a setting where she’s going to party with millionaires instead of passing actual reform and taking political action. Personally, I couldn’t care less about her dress or whether or not it was a good statement because just outside the gala, abolitionists were protesting and being arrested.

As protesters gathered outside calling for accountability from police and demanding to defund them, Cortez was inside trying to make her “statement”. If she really wanted to make a statement, she would have stood outside protesting with her constituents actually fighting for things for which she claims to stand. The discourse surrounding the aesthetic battles she tends to fight are so overwhelming that people often forget to criticize her for legitimate material mistakes and errors she makes as a politician. As a result, Cortez has mastered the art of getting people to criticize her for the wrong reasons because then it is so easy to defend and victimize herself when it comes to controversies that are inherently meaningless – such as the dress. Had Cortez worn an outfit that is less controversial and more bland, there would be much more room available to criticize her for being at the Met Gala while violent protests were taking place. 

Now, because she did wear a controversial dress, it’s currently occupying the media and everyone’s conversations as she gets to defend herself against relatively easy allegations. Due to the PR stunt, we can assume that the dress was intentional and carefully planned in correlation to the Black Lives Matter protests which should be the real deciding factor in whether or not you think the dress was a good idea.

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