Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in a new interview that her quick rise to political fame hasn’t all been easy and sometimes she just wants to be treated like a normal human being.
The 28-year-old Democratic socialist, who went from being a bartender in the Bronx to becoming the new face of the ultra-left wing of the Democratic Party, told HuffPost that she feels a great deal of empathy for people like Meghan Markle who are thrust into the media spotlight and ruthlessly scrutinized.
“Sometimes I just want to be a human being. And you don’t get to be a human anymore,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday. “Everything you do from wearing sweatpants to the bodega to getting a haircut ― every personal decision you make for yourself is never going to be yours anymore.
“You kind of grieve for that. It has its highs and it has its lows,” she said. “A lot of people look at the highs, but sometimes it feels like you got a tattoo on your face that you didn’t ask for. It’s hard. It’s very hard. Sometimes you just want to get a drink or eat a hamburger.”
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted about dealing with fame on Friday in response to comments made by Ms. Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, about how everyday life had been extremely difficult for her because of the media attention.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Sudden prominence is a very dehumanizing experience. There’s a part of your life that you lose, & it later dawns on you that you’ll never get it back. The people who treat you like a human make all the difference.”
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez told HuffPost that she feels “an enormous amount of empathy” for Ms. Markle because “it requires an enormous amount of tools to be resilient” in her situation.
“There’s a lot of people that are going to say ‘oh, boo-hoo,’ but I feel for her,” she said. “I really feel for her.”
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