AOC responds to Met Gala criticism: 'I ... have been so heavily and relentlessly policed'

AOC wore a white gown with the phrase 'Tax the rich' in red letters at the Met Gala

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Tuesday responded to criticism of her appearance at the Met Gala, a costume fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art that attracts some of the world's most elite celebrities.

Ocasio-Cortez was photographed at the gala on Monday evening donning a white gown with the phrase, "Tax the rich," at the event where tickets start at more than $30,000. The congresswoman noted on social media that she and other New York elected officials are invited to the gala every year.

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"I thought about the criticism I'd get, but honestly I and my body have been so heavily and relentlessly policed from all corners politically since the moment I won my election that it's kind of become expected and normalized to me," Ocasio-Cortez said in response to a question on her Instagram story. "The irony is that when women in power take the prospect of criticism to be to be cautious in their actions, they are then criticized for being ‘inauthentic’ and ‘too calculated.'"

Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala - Met Gala - In America: A Lexicon of Fashion - Arrivals - New York City, U.S. - September 13, 2021. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) wears a "Tax The Rich" dress. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala - Met Gala - In America: A Lexicon of Fashion - Arrivals - New York City, U.S. - September 13, 2021. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) wears a "Tax The Rich" dress. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

She added that the sustainable gown created by Aurora James, whom Ocasio-Cortez described as a "Black woman immigrant designer" in a separate Instagram post, sparked a conversation about taxing the rich, which was her ultimate goal in wearing the design. 

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"Honestly our culture is deeply disdainful and unsupportive of women, especially women of color, and working class women (and LGBTQ/ immigrant/ etc) from the bottom up — whether it's lack of childcare support of especially reserving pillory for elected women and femme people," she continued. "The more intersections one has, the deeper the disdain."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez's response to criticism of her Met Gala appareance (Fox News)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez's response to criticism of her Met Gala appareance (Fox News)

A self-described Democratic socialist, Ocasio-Cortez is one of the most prominent progressive voices in support of President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package. Democrats on Tuesday proposed a 39.6% tax hike for the wealthiest individuals and families in the country as part of the $3.5 trillion family and climate plan. 

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The New York lawmaker has repeatedly called for increased taxes on the wealthiest Americans to pay for progressive policy initiatives, such as climate-friendly infrastructure and expanded access to free health care.

Ocasio-Cortez said in a Monday Instagram post that "NYC elected officials are regularly invited to and attend the Met due to [their] responsibilities in overseeing our city’s cultural institutions that serve the public."

Fox News' Megan Henney and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.