Empowerment

TikTokers' Makeup Videos Feature AOC’s Powerful Response To Rep. YoHo's Sexist Attack

The videos celebrate AOC’s iconic July 2020 speech, in which she addressed the toxic consequences for others of Yoho’s actions and the sexism women regularly face.

From left: TikTok TikTok users melaniepcruzz, hijabi.smiles, and lauriehernandez_posted creative tribute videos to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's powerful speech about sexism on the House floor this year. | TikTok
From left: TikTok TikTok users melaniepcruzz, hijabi.smiles, and lauriehernandez_posted creative tribute videos to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's powerful speech about sexism on the House floor this year. | TikTok

TikTokers are celebrating Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) by posting makeup videos over audio of her powerful response to a verbal attack by a colleague earlier this year.

@lauriehernandez_

I had to do it. I wonder how AOC feels knowing most of gen z thinks she’s iconic? (disclaimer to the parents: foul language.)

♬ REGISTER TO VOTE aoc x humble - i cant bodyroll

In honor of Ocasio-Cortez’s birthday on Tuesday, TikTokers filmed themselves putting on fierce makeup looks over a mash-up of audio of AOC’s July speech about Rep. Ted Yoho’s aggression and Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble.” In the speech on the House floor, Yoho’s aggression and subsequent non-apology, and addressed the sexism women face at work and in their everyday lives.

The makeup videos were an apt tribute for the congressional member, who has spoken about her own femininity and appearance while working as a lawmaker.

“Femininity has power, and in politics there is so much criticism and nitpicking about how women and femme people present ourselves,” she explained in an August Vogue feature. “Just being a woman is quite politicized here in Washington…. There’s this really false idea that if you care about makeup or if your interests are in beauty and fashion, that that’s somehow frivolous. But I actually think these are some of the most substantive decisions that we make—and we make them every morning.”

AOC, who is no stranger to sexism and racist attacks from Republican men, including the president himself, was berated by Yoho earlier this year on the Capitol steps, according to a report by The Hill. Yoho called AOC “disgusting” and a “"f*cking b*tch,” which she also later confirmed.

The following day, Yoho delivered a sort-of apology for the confrontation — though many analysts and writers pointed out it wasn’t exactly a heartfelt expression of regret.

Several days later, AOC delivered an impactful speech, addressing the toxic consequences of Yoho’s actions and the sexism women regularly face. 

“In using that language in front of the press, he gave permission to use that language against his wife, his daughters, women in his community, and I am here to stand up to say that is not acceptable,” she said.

AOC’s impactful speech was widely shared online, with other women commending her for standing up against Yoho’s aggression and recognizing the sexism and misogyny that women face while dealing with men’s aggression. Ever since becoming the youngest woman ever elected to Congress in 2018, she has been dynamic and outspoken in her advocacy and policy agenda, which has rattled both her GOP colleagues and the conservative press.