Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is on the cover of Vanity Fair‘s November issue clad in all white with her now-iconic bold red lip and the accompanying interview is a BTS look at the powerhouse’s life. The double-breasted suit by NY-based label Aliétte is a nod to the color often tied to the resistance that’s also symbolic of hope. Shot by Tyler Mitchell — the first Black photographer to shoot the cover of Vogue featuring Beyoncé — the photos have made a splash on social media. However, the quotable interview by journalist Michelle Ruiz gave readers a glimpse into the private life of AOC.
AOC, affectionately called ‘Sandy’ by her loved ones, opens up about the now-famous interaction with Representative Ted Yoho who called her a “f**king b*tch.” Ruiz reveals that what wasn’t reported was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s response the next day: “You do that to me again, I won’t be so nice next time.” Having to defend herself against the white, geriatric politicos in Congress (including President Trump) is nothing new yet the interview reveals the constant death threats she’s faced with her rising popularity.
“I used to wake up in the morning and literally get a stack of pictures that were forwarded by Capitol police or FBI. Like, ‘These are the people who want to kill you today,’ ” she says, sharing the threats also spread to her family.
The Puerto Rican congresswoman became the youngest U.S. congresswoman in history at 29 but as a Democratic Socialist, it’s her politics that has garnered both praise and criticism. “These are the same people saying that we can’t have tuition-free public colleges because there’s no money,” she says, “when these motherf**kers are only paying $750 a year in taxes,” she said in reference to a recent report revealing at one point Trump only paid $750 in taxes.
But there’s also plenty of love and camaraderie within Congress for AOC, courtesy of The Squad that includes congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley.
“There have been many times, especially in the first six months, where I felt like I couldn’t do this, like I didn’t know if I was going to be able to run for reelection,” she said. “There was a time where the volume of threats had gotten so high that I didn’t even know if I was going to live to my next term. Their sisterhood and their friendship, it’s not some political alliance. It’s a very deep, unconditional human bond.”
With the upcoming critical election between two white men reinforcing how white Congress is, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the millennial Latina that many see as part of the next generation of powerful politicians. At 31 she has four more years until she can run for president. But her devoted followers (even Cardi B endorsed her) are counting down the days. Still, she was apprehensive to comment on the possibility.
“I think it’s part of our cultural understanding of politics, where—if you think someone is great, you automatically think they should be president,” she said. “I joke. I’m like, ‘Is Congress not good enough?’ ” adding, “I don’t want to be a savior, I want to be a mirror.”