Price of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's hair salon visit sparks cutting remarks

Kate Lyons
Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

There is a lot that offends about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: her Green New Deal, her socialism, her dancing, her previous employment as a bar-tender, and now, apparently, her hair.

The Democrat congresswoman was the subject of an exclusive news story from the Washington Times on Wednesday, in which the newspaper reported she had spent nearly $300 on having her hair cut and coloured.

“The self-declared socialist, who regularly rails against the rich and complains about the cost of living inside the Beltway, spent nearly $300 on her hairdo at a pricey salon she frequents in downtown Washington, The Washington Times has learned,” the article began.

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The newspaper said that Last Tangle Salon charges $80 for a haircut and $180 for lowlights “according to sources familiar with the salon”. The paper also factored in a 20% tip of $52, bringing the total of the entire hair maintenance experience to $312.

The paper quoted Richard Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, who described Ocasio-Cortez as “the Eva Peron of American politics. She preaches socialism while living the life of the privileged.”

But women on Twitter defended the Congresswoman, saying the ones who should be checking their privilege in the haircare wars were men, who clearly had no idea how much women were routinely charged for haircuts and colour treatments.

“Sorry, you don’t get to create beauty standards that require women to spend hundreds or thousands a year to be considered presentable and then hate us for it,” tweeted the writer Jessica Valenti.

Others drew attention to the article’s assertion that Ocasio-Cortez “could have saved roughly $100 for the same hairstyle at the government-subsidized Capitol Hill barbershop”.

“Her high-dollar hairdo stands in stark contrast to that of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former senator from Alabama who is a regular customer at Senate Hair Care Services,” the article said.

“At that place, open to members of Congress and the public, a men’s cut runs about $20, though men’s haircuts there and everywhere else are cheaper than women’s,” the article acknowledges.

Many questioned the choice of Jeff Sessions as a model. “Damn, why didn’t AOC ask for a rec[ommendation] from hair icon *checks notes* Jeff Sessions?” wrote one person.

Defence reporter Katie Bo Williams pointed out the irony that the paper was incensed that Ocasio-Cortez, whom the article calls a “self-declared socialist” had paid a business for a haircut, rather than get a government-subsidised one at the salon recommended by the article.