by Shelton Bumgarner
Editor’s Note: Apparently I have a “sad” life for asking this question. Maybe? I just think if she’s going to be a viable political figure going forward the question of her romantic status will grow in importance. Yes, it would be under a significantly different context for a man, but modern politics fucking sucks, especially for a woman. Apparently, this particular aspect of her life is going to be taboo or something until something happens.
Let’s be honest — no one can look and act like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez without the public knowing in excruciating detail her exact relationship status. I mean, fuck, people, I’m surprised I don’t know when she’s ovulating given how quickly she’s beginning to permeate pop culture.
Add to that that we’ve not seen what surely is out there — more than a few sizzling pictures of her in a bikini — and it all seems rather odd. Is she dating someone? Who was the last guy / girl she dated? Why did they break up if they’re not dating now? And it is dubious at best to think a woman like her living in the NYC area working as a bartender hasn’t had her fair share of boyfriends over the course of the recent past.
I say this knowing damn well these questions wouldn’t be asked of a man — or if they were, they would be asked much later in his career — but she’s young, affable, smart and demonstrably gorgeous. Add to the mix her political trajectory looks like it’s going to be about as high as you can get, and you’d think in this surreal nexus of politics and celebrity that we now live in that TMZ, People or BuzzFeed wouldn’t have a least poked around in that part of her life so people like me would know off the top of my head what her romantic status is.
Again, this is not so much what I want as the cold, cruel world of life in the spotlight. AOC is a babe — and smart — so while incels are busy ranting about her dance movies, I’ve simply noticed the absence of what is basic information that the average high information voter such as myself would know without thinking about.
Going forward, this is probably going to grow in importance. The longer she stays in the public eye, the sooner we’re going to see a bikini picture of her and there will be a great hue and cry about What Does It All Mean. I, for once, believe as women grow in political power, we’re all just going to have to deal with the fact that young, attractive women, like, huh, like to be in bikinis?
It’s not like she’s done porn, though, honestly, that, too is a dumb taboo going forward. In about 20 years, a lot of those young women in YouPorn videos are going to start thinking about going into politics and we’re all just going to have to accept that Porn Exists.
I have to note that really the interesting thing about AOC and other liberal women in office is that they really go against the script when it comes to powerful female pols. Usually, to be successful, a woman has to be physically unattractive and extremely conservative.
But times and expectations are changing, so buckle up, folks. AOC in 20 years is probably going to run for president and the way things are going — win.
Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He is writing his first novel. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.