Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Explains Why She Wore Red Lipstick and Gold Hoop Earrings to Swearing-In Ceremony

Dancing her way into her new digs on Capitol Hill wasn’t the only way Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) made a splash in Congress this week. The 29-year-old representative from New York attended the January 3 swearing-in ceremony in Washington, D.C. in a white pantsuit, paying homage to the pioneering women who paved the way before her. From the women of the suffrage movement to Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress in 1968 who also wore white to her ceremony, AOC’s historic references run deep.

Iconic white pantsuit aside, it was Ocasio-Cortez’s fierce accessories that arguably stole the show. She rocked a bold red lip and glam gold hoop earrings, which she explained were a tribute to fellow Bronx-born Sonia Sotomayor, who made history in her own right back in 2009 as the first Supreme Court Justice of Latinx descent.

Sotomayor rocked red nails during her confirmation hearings, despite being cautioned by the Obama administration that she should stick to a more neutral color to avoid unnecessary focus on her looks.

As the youngest woman ever elected to Congress — and one of the most scrutinized within the incoming class of reps, for everything from her progressive politics to her outfit choices — Ocasio-Cortez is proving that the best way to disrupt the status quo is by unapologetically and unabashedly staying true to herself. The historic wave of women representatives taking up their posts in the 116th Congress are well aware that the personal is political, especially when it comes to the powerful statements made by their clothing. Alongside Ocasio-Cortez, Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib wore a traditional Palestinian Thobe to the ceremony (sparking the hashtag #TweetYourThobe), while Ilhan Omar, Minnesota’s newest Congresswoman, paired her own white suit with a hijab.

In Ocasio-Cortez’s own words, “Next time someone tells Bronx girls to take off their hoops, they can just say they’re dressing like a Congresswoman.” Serving looks and policy change? We’re here for it.

Shop Ocasio-Cortez’s Congress-winning look below, including her go-to Stila shade.

Shop Now: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso, $22, available at Sephora.

Shop Now: Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color in Uncensored, $24, available at Sephora.


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