As part of the New York Times’s blockbuster investigation that revealed Trump paid just $750 in taxes the year he was elected president of the United States, it was also divulged that he spent $70,000 on personal hairstyling “for television” and wrote it off as a business expense. There are many reasons this number is astounding, but among them is the abominable double standard that female politicians face when they dare to spend money on their appearance.
“Last year Republicans blasted a firehose of hatred + vitriol my way because I treated myself to a $250 cut & lowlights on my birthday,” wrote congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter in reference to the conservative outrage around the hair salon bill she paid for herself (an $80 cut, $180 for lowlights, and an an estimated $52 tip) last fall. “Where’s the criticism of their idol spending $70k on hairstyling? Oh, it’s nowhere because they’re spineless, misogynistic hypocrites? Got it.”
Yes, Ocasio-Cortez’s characteristically perfect clap back at the constant right-wing attacks on her appearance is gratifying as per usual. But it still remains difficult to stomach that she was under fire for a personal expense, while Trump can nonchalantly write off his exorbitant hairstyling bill without consequence—at least not until now.
Thankfully, as female politicians continue to be held to different, entirely sexist standards, Ocasio-Cortez is reframing the narratives around women investing in and taking pride in their appearance—while simultaneously exposing this kind of hypocrisy.