Inspiration to all

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez proves to be a strong example for young women

Perris Larson, Staff Writer

Illustration by Gabrialla Cockerell

People need role models to look up to; now more than ever. This past year has been a roller coaster ride, but it has not stopped a certain congresswoman to fight for her beliefs and represent America.

“I don’t want to be a savior, I want to be a mirror,” said US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Vanity Fair.

Despite receiving death threats, being harassed and criticized multiple times, AOC never lets it get her down. She has made herself known as an advocate for minorities, women, and climate change. People have tried to shut her down because she is an outspoken woman, but she refuses to be silenced. She was put on the cover of Vanity Fair in October, and it was a strong and independent statement of what women can strive to be.

Being the youngest woman in Congress, political life for AOC hasn’t been smooth sailing. During the summer she was called a “fucking bitch” by Representative Ted Yoho.

“This is not new, and that is the problem,” Ocasio-Cortez pointed out a few days after Representative Ted Yoho made nasty and unprofessional remarks.

48 hours later she spoke in front of Congress to respond to Yoho’s comments and so-called apology. She stressed the issue of being a woman in a white man’s world, and how no father would want their daughter to experience what she did. “I am someone’s daughter too,” Ocasio-Cortez famously said. She is a neo- political icon, who has the power to move people with her charisma and confidence.

Being a woman in politics, surrounded by men, isn’t an easy path to walk through. Men weren’t used to seeing a woman of color hold office; it’s a sign that times are changing. And some were probably not ready for that.

Older politicians seem to have drawn an invisible wall, where a woman in politics can’t cross; women who dress boldly and have bold personalities are looked down upon by politicians, regardless of party. Ocasio-Cortez emphasizes the importance of these issues in the recent publication of Vanity Fair.

After the publication of AOC in Vanity Fair, she received backlash for wearing outfits worth a total of $14,000. An ivory silk wool suit from the New York-based brand Aliétte, which she wore on the cover, was worth $1,000 alone. Some critics believed that a champion of the Green New Deal and socialism wearing a very expensive outfit, to be hypocritical. But in response to the criticism, AOC pointed out that when it comes to professional photoshoots, you don’t keep the clothes.

“Republicans are Very Mad (again) about my appearance,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. “This time they’re mad that I look good in borrowed clothes (again).”

Representative Ocasio-Cortez is a representative of the people in this country, she has to dress professionally; she can’t face the nation wearing sweatpants.

Besides, if Trump can spend hundreds of dollars on his hair, a woman in congress can borrow a 14,000 dollar wardrobe for a photoshoot.

Being in the political limelight, one has to look presentable, and it’s a shame that women like AOC receive criticism for dressing professionally to lead an example to younger generations. In most photos of AOC, she wears bright red lipstick as a symbol of strength. When she responded to Ted Yoho’s attacks, she showed up to the House of Representatives with her famous red lipstick signature to show off her confidence.

“I had a little war paint on that day, for sure,” said Ocasio-Cortez.

And the presidential election of 2020 has everyone on the edge of their seats; the outcome is stressful and life-changing for many. But AOC just won her second term; she’s not done helping people. AOC is a force to be reckoned with, and that’s why men are intimidated by her. In Congress, there are many men on both sides that see a young Latino woman bringing in new ideas to the table as a threat to their way of life.

What I love about AOC overall is her compassion toward helping minorities and women have a voice during hard times, especially in a year like 2020. She is passionate about what she does and that’s why she hasn’t backed down. Not everyone can stand the pressure of politics, but she can. She came in with strong and different opinions that a lot of people disagreed with, but she stood her ground and didn’t change her mind.

AOC will forever be an icon of strength, youth and perseverance.