Meghan Markle has once again found an ally in New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said in an interview published Wednesday that she empathizes with the former American actress amid her sudden rise to prominence.
Wednesday wasn’t the first time that the 30-year-old congresswoman had empathized with the mother to Archie. Last week, Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to share an emotional clip from an interview with Markle, in which the former Suits star answers questions about her own physical and mental health following the intense scrutiny she has been under since becoming a member of the British royal family.
In the tweet, Ocasio-Cortez said that a sudden rise to prominence could be “dehumanizing” and that there is a point when an individual realizes they will never get their sense of privacy back. Ocasio-Cortez echoed the sentiments in the interview Wednesday, explaining that although others might not empathize with Markle, that she understands what she’s been going through.
“I feel an enormous amount of empathy for her, because it requires an enormous amount of tools to be resilient ― and also to stay human in that,” Ocasio-Cortez told HuffPost.
Ocasio-Cortez also said that the decisions she makes for herself, like getting a haircut, are no longer just about her and are now open to public opinion and scrutiny. The haircut comment is a likely reference to a haircut she received earlier this month in Washington, D.C., which allegedly cost some $300. The legislator received backlash for spending that much on a hair service, though many pointed out that the high price tag was common in cities the size of Washington.
“Thank you for asking, bc not many people have asked if I’m ok.”— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 18, 2019
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. https://t.co/w0XUI4O3bD
In the same interview with HuffPost, the progressive lawmaker, who recently announced her support for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, also talked about the loss of privacy she has faced since she has become a well-known member of Congress. The New Yorker, who notably ousted longtime Rep. Joe Crowley in a heated Democratic primary race in 2018, compared the stress and burden of her sudden rise to fame to the feelings she felt when she was 18 years old and her family faced foreclosure on their home following the death of her father.
“You kind of grieve for that. It has its highs and it has its lows,” Ocasio-Cortez 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.”
Still, the representative, who earlier this year was targeted by President Donald Trump in a tweet that urged her and other progressive lawmakers known as “the squad” to “go back” to their ancestral nations despite their status as U.S. citizens, said she believed that it was her duty to remain in the pubic eye in order to best represent the needs of her New York constituents.
Ocasio-Cortez told HuffPost that she stays grounded amid her fame by staying connected to friends, family, and other individuals who she knew before her highly publicized 2018 run for Congress and her subsequent time in office.