The congresswoman from the Bronx used the opportunity to show just how she applies her daily products such as sunscreen, color corrector and a tinted moisturizer before heading out the door to meet with fellow representatives or her community. While doing so, she shared important insight about what wearing makeup means to her and even how it helps her feel seen in a place of politics.
“Femininity has power,” the 30-year-old, known by her initials, A.O.C. told viewers. “And in politics, there is so much criticism and nitpicking about how women and femme people present ourselves. Just being a woman is quite politicized here in Washington. There’s this really false idea that if you care about makeup or if you care ... if your interests are in beauty and fashion that that’s somehow frivolous. But I actually think these are some of the most substantive decisions that we make and we make them every morning.”
In fact, Ocasio-Cortez explained that her love for makeup, and her signature red lip, in particular, was developed when she began getting into politics and conducting a door-to-door campaign. “Sometimes the best way to really look put together is a bold lip. And of course, being Latina, this is like very much our culture, where we come from. I will wear a red lip when I want confidence, when I need a boost of confidence.”
As she’s become well-known for being the youngest woman in Congress, where she says she struggles to feel heard or be taken seriously, her makeup routine has become a secret weapon.
“Our culture is so predicated on diminishing women and kind of preying on our self-esteem, so it’s kind of a radical, in my opinion, it’s quite a radical act and it’s almost like a mini-protest to love yourself,” she said. “If I’m going to spend an hour in the morning doing my glam, it’s not going to be because I’m afraid of what some Republican photo is going to look like. If I’m gonna do an hour doing my glam, it’s because I feel like it. And that’s really the difference. My body, my choice.”
When it comes to getting glam, Ocasio-Cortez explained that she even started wearing shimmery eyeshadow to work after thinking that it might help others to “diminish” her. “I tried the shimmer and it looks fire, it looks good, it helps me feel better and I feel like it helps my eye pop a little bit,” she said. “So you know what, I was totally wrong.”
Comments on the video praise the representative for speaking to both beauty and politics throughout the 18 minutes. “This was a Ted Talk and a makeup routine all in one! AOC is a master at multi-tasking,” one person wrote. Another commented, “This shows that [you] can be feminine and girly and still be such a smart, educated, and well spoken woman. The level of respect I have for this woman is astronomical.”
“The key to beauty is the inside job,” Ocasio-Cortez said before signing off. “Let’s go seize the day and fight the power.”
Related: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks at 2020 DNC
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