Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has never been afraid to exercise her right to self-expression. She has also been publicly defiant of critics who deem traditionally feminine modes self-expression (like makeup and jewelry) as “unprofessional” or “distracting”. She’s revealed the lipstick brand she used when she rose to fame (Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid in “Beso”), talked about how she wears braids to celebrate her Afro-Latina heritage, and rocks hoop earrings and white pantsuits to Congress. But recently, she outdid herself when she revealed on Instagram that she rocks an $8 press-on manicure for when she’s in a pinch and as a self-care ritual.
During her train ride from New York City to Washington D.C., Ocasio-Cortez shared a picture of how she treats herself to a press-on manicure when she needs a “pick me up”.
CREDIT: ocasio2018 / Instagram
And it’s no wonder Ocasio-Cortez needed the boost–after a weekend break during the 24-day government shutdown, Ocasio-Cortez ended up stuck at LaGuardia Airport for hours due to snow storm delays. After hours she opted to head back to Washington D.C. via train, where she indulged in a glass of wine, some self-care, and some Instagramming.
In her Instagram Stories post, the congresswoman officially made press-on nails cool again by dubbing them “not corny anymore”. She went on to reveal what made her treat herself, saying, “Today was so nuts I am having a glass of wine and giving myself a press-on manicure”. She went into more detail about her beauty routine, saying, “I usually go with plain nails, but when I want a little pick me up or if an event is coming, I’ll grab these at the drugstore. They last a for week.” The press-on set she wore was a rosy matte pink called “So, So Stellar” from imPress.
Ocasio-Cortez has previously been candid about how her own self-expression through clothing and makeup.
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She’s defended politicians’ rights to self-expression before on Twitter when insisted that expressing your individuality in offbeat ways shouldn’t disqualify a person from running for office. “You can pierce your nose, be a bartender, a teacher, a stay at home parent; wear a dress or rip your jeans”, she said. “None of this disqualifies you from advancing the fight for healthcare, education, housing, and justice”.
As for Latina Twitter, they were completely down with Ocasio-Cortez’s beauty tips.
— Vanessa✝???? (@htxnessa_) January 14, 2019
Reactions like this prove that Ocasio-Cortez’s commitment to individual self-expression is important. Women need to be shown that expressing oneself in a traditionally “feminine” way doesn’t make you weak.
Others’ reactions proved that Ocasio-Cortez is further cementing her status as a fashion icon.
@aoc just showed in her IG story that press on nails don’t look tacky anymore and WHY DIDNT ANYONE TELL ME THIS SOONER. They look great.
— Ashley Ortiz (@Amcdoodle715) January 14, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez’s beauty opinions pack enough of a punch to change the way her constituents fashion themselves.
Some Latinas made jokes about how her Insta-Story about nails was a political act:
AOC drinking wine while applying press-on nails is the congressional representation I needed
— Vanessa Nason (@vanessanason) January 14, 2019
This further proves that there are many different types of representation and they’re all incredibly important to marginalized communities.
This woman recognized that a woman can be a powerful politician and still be interestd in so-called “silly” things like caring about how your nails look:
— MC Hammond (@mchammo) January 14, 2019
When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shares part of her life that other politicians don’t usually share, she’s proving to women and girls everywhere that there is no “right” way to be a politician.