Amid the numerous revelations from The New York Times’s reporting on President Trump’s tax returns is the fact that he spent around $70,000 on hair styling appointments, writing those costs off as business expenses for his work on “The Apprentice.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) took special note of those expenditures, reminding Republicans that in 2019 she was widely criticized for treating herself to one hair styling appointment that cost $250.
“Last year Republicans blasted a firehose of hatred + vitriol my way because I treated myself to a $250 cut & lowlights on my birthday,” she wrote in a tweet on Sunday night.
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Ocasio-Cortez then directed this rhetorical question toward those who begrudged her a single $250 hair appointment but were not critical of the president’s hairstyling expenses. “Where’s the criticism of their idol spending $70k on hairstyling?” the congresswoman wrote. “Oh, it’s nowhere because they’re spineless, misogynistic hypocrites? Got it.”
Criticism of Ocasio-Cortez’s birthday hairstyling appointment poured down in response to an article in the right-leaning Washington Times. Republicans and other conservative media pounced on the reporting, using it as a means to suggest she was out of touch with regular Americans.
As it turns out, however, the amount that Ocasio-Cortez spent on her birthday cut was within the range that many women — not just the very rich — typically pay for the same services. As Rhonda Garelick, dean of art and design history and theory at Parsons School of Design, noted at the time, such comments made toward Ocasio-Cortez put on display misogynistic attitudes that many women in the U.S. have to deal with when it comes to their appearance and how much money they spend on it.
“While it is a societal convention that women maintain this complex level of grooming and self-adornment, they are sort of expected to make it seem ‘effortless,’ to draw no attention to the fact of this effort and expense,” Garelick said. “And there is real sexism in that — it’s additional labor. If women seem to ‘own’ this aspect of their social presentation, they are often punished.”
In addition to skewering Trump over his hairstyling costs, Ocasio-Cortez also pointed out that despite being a billionaire, Trump paid much less in taxes during the year he campaigned for president and his first year in office than she did while working as a bartender during those same years.
“In 2016 and ‘17, I paid thousands of dollars a year in taxes as a bartender. Trump paid $750” in both years, Ocasio-Cortez said.
Trump’s tactics for not paying taxes at all or paying far less than other Americans was disgraceful, she added.
“He contributed less to funding our communities than waitresses and undocumented immigrants,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote, describing the president as “a walking scam.”