December 19, 2018 16:05:32
First it was her clothing. Then it was her lack of money.
Now America’s youngest-elected member of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is copping criticism for announcing she’s taking a few days off for “self-care” before entering Congress next year.
While getting “raw and honest” on Instagram this week, the 29-year-old confessed she’d been so busy campaigning for the midterms that she’d neglected herself.
“Before the campaign I used to practice yoga three to four times a week, eat nutritiously, read and write for leisure,” she said.
“As soon as everything kicked up, that all went out the window. I went from doing yoga and making wild rice and salmon dinners to eating fast food for dinner and falling asleep in my jeans and make-up.”
So before being sworn in in January, the congresswoman-elect said she’d be taking some time off to relax and focus on herself.
“I believe public servants do a disservice to our communities by pretending to be perfect,” she said.
But critics have labelled her ‘lazy’ and ‘entitled’
Since making the announcement, some US media networks and politicians have questioned how Ms Ocasio-Cortez could “already” need time off if she hasn’t officially started the job.
“She’s not even in office yet, but Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez already needs a break,” a Fox and Friends news report began.
The former governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, tweeted this:
Others said she was a “typical millennial”: lazy, entitled and arrogant.
“Unemployed bartender living off donor money needs a vacation before living off taxpayers,” media personality John Cardillo said.
“Plenty of people living in socialist countries wish they had a job from which they could take a break. The arrogance and ignorance of this Congresswoman-elect is stunning,” blogger Matt Rooney tweeted.
Ocasio-Cortez wants to challenge the ‘superhuman’ standard
Ms Ocasio-Cortez said self-care was a political issue for many people in America, who are criticised for spending money on themselves while struggling to make ends meet.
“For working people, immigrants, and the poor, self-care is political. Not because we want it to be, but because of the inevitable shaming of someone doing a face mask while financially stressed,” she said.
But she said she also wanted to challenge the expectation that workers need to be “superhuman”.
“No-one in Congress is superhuman — I’ve seen it myself,” she said.
In Australia, a recent women’s health survey found one in three women felt they didn’t get enough time for themselves on a weekly basis.
Janet Michelmore, the executive director at Jean Hailes, said it was something that needed to change.
“Self-care is not selfish. Our aim is for everybody to be aware that looking after yourself is important,” she said.