Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, ben shapiro

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Shares Her Skincare Regimen & Her Speechwriting Tips Because Women Are Allowed to Be Interested in Both

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Since taking office, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has not stopped her practice of engaging her followers in direct and honest conversation on Instagram. In a recent IG story, Ocasio-Cortez answered questions, including one about her skincare regimen. A congressional campaign (and now a full congressional schedule) is grueling, and, as her follower mentioned, can lead to breakouts from lack of sleep and stress. AOC’s skin, however, always seems to look flawless.

AOC started by addressing the stress issue (“Boil things down to their most important questions: ‘What is this really about?’ ‘Is this truly important in the larger scheme of things?’ ‘Do I have the power to change this…?'”) before doling out some genuinely great makeup and skincare tips. You can read the whole thing in screenshots here, but the big bits of advice come down to 1) Wash your face! and 2) Wear sunscreen! (There’s more, like double cleanse, use alcohol-free products, and pay attention to dietary reactions, but those are the big ones.)

Much has been written (including by us here at this site) about how AOC and many of her fellow freshman colleagues confound the more conservative old guard for, among many other things, refusing to play by their outmoded rules regarding gender–specifically, the idea that femininity is antithetical to leadership or even intelligence.

Ocasio-Cortez is publicly embracing a passion for skincare and makeup, and it in no way negates her seriousness as a politician, something she proved in the same IG story when she went on to talk about her skills as an orator.

Another follower responded by saying “I’m sorry but I don’t care about skincare routines. All I’m wondering is how do you run a successful campaign and how do you right [sic] your speeches?”

Ocasio-Cortez replied beautifully, saying, “That’s okay, we all have different interests.” So often, girls and women are trained to apologize for having an interest in anything deemed too girly. We’re supposed to keep it hidden or write it off as a guilty pleasure at best. I love that AOC doesn’t apologize for sharing a very detailed skincare and makeup regimen, and there’s no judgment for this person saying that bores them either.

She then goes on to write about the importance of listening when running a campaign. “A lot of people just wait for their turn to talk, or want to debate or rebuke. None of that is listening,” she says. “Learn to listen.”

As for her speechwriting, Ocasio-Cortez is unique among politicians in that she doesn’t have speechwriters or even, apparently, write her speeches ahead of time. (There’s an exception when she speaks on the House floor, because she’s supposed to submit those in writing to the clerk.)

“How do you get good at improvised remarks & speeches overall? READ,” she says. “Study orators. My favorites: Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, Lincoln, Dolores Huerta, Angela Davis, Shakespeare. Read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and the Gettysburg Address and the Drum Major Instinct–that’s my 101 right there. It’s not about the words, it’s about the story. But no matter what you choose to say, it will not be impactful unless you are breaking silence on important truths. So READ UP and LEARN w/philosophy and journalism, too.”

This is reminiscent of when Tucker Carlson was unable to comprehend the idea that, as Teen Vogue’s Lauren Duca put it, “A woman can love Ariana Grande and her thigh-high boots and still discuss politics, and those things are not mutually exclusive.” A woman can have an interest in makeup and in improving her leadership skills.

I’m sure there were plenty of people who saw AOC’s discussion of skincare and makeup and scoffed at her for being frivolous. But first of all, what’s wrong with a little frivolity? And second, so long as women are going to be judged for their appearances, we shouldn’t also be forced to feel ashamed of discussing the ways in which we try to look and feel our best.

(image: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.