Roberts appears in several scenes in the new Netflix documentary Knock Down the House, which followed Ocasio-Cortez and three other women running for Congress as they hit the campaign trail last year. The redheaded Roberts comes across as the ultimate supportive partner in the documentary, dispensing hugs and “I love yous” as the election results roll in, or wiping away tears while his newly elected girlfriend stands before her new workplace, the U.S. Capitol.
But some viewers were more fixated on Roberts’ physical appearance than his pep talks.
“Apologies for the blatantly mean tweet but THIS is what AOC's boyfriend looks like? Incredible scenes, truly representing all the ambitious and stunning millennial women shackled to boyfriends who look like bin raccoons out there,” tweeted political journalist Marie Le Conte, who has since deleted the message and explained that she was calling Roberts “scruffy” and not “ugly.”
The term “bin raccoon” soon took a life of its own.
apologies for the blatantly mean tweet but THIS is what her boyfriend looks like? incredible scenes, truly representing all the ambitious and stunning millenial women shackled to boyfriends who look like bin raccoons out there pic.twitter.com/k7yjrQRtpB— yc (@yc) May 6, 2019
apologies for the blatantly mean tweet but THIS is what AOC's boyfriend looks like? incredible scenes, truly representing all the ambitious and stunning millenial women shackled to boyfriends who look like bin raccoons out there pic.twitter.com/F33OFRCidB— Escaped Zoo Animal (@ebarcuzzi) May 3, 2019
While the looks-shaming term inspired a slew of memes, others lashed out at the criticism of Roberts’ appearance. Nylon magazine called it “hateful and pretty low,” and many pointed out the backlash that would no doubt ensue if a politician’s female partner had her looks picked apart.
But Roberts and Ocasio-Cortez seem to be laughing the matter off — after a trip to the barber’s, anyway. On Saturday the freshman congresswoman posted an Instagram Story revealing that the “bin raccoon” jab had prompted her live-in boyfriend to get a haircut.
“The internet roasted Riley into getting a haircut/glow-up after Knock Down the House,” Ocasio-Cortez captioned the footage of Roberts showing off his trimmed ‘do — though his long beard is still intact. She can also be overheard telling him that he looks “good.”
According to a tweet Ocasio-Cortez posted last week, there’s a reason why Roberts had what she calls a “castaway beard” — they’d both been working so hard on her campaign that neither had “gotten a haircut in months.”
We were so ready for lumberjack life after months of 18 hour days that neither one of us had gotten a haircut in months 😂 it’s also one reason why my hair was always in a bun— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 3, 2019
(It was very nice to see him again after we took a weed wacker to his castaway beard post-election ☺️) https://t.co/Ze5wc5HJ2K
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