Congratulations, internet – you’ve finally forced me to defend Melania Trump.
This week the internet mercilessly mocked Trump for wearing a hot pink dress with billowy sleeves, and it had nothing to do with whether it was a Wednesday or not. Apparently, this was a ri-pink-culous outfit to wear to the very serious United Nations, when talking about the very serious issue of cyberbullying (ironic, considering the backlash).
It was certainly not simply a dress.
Sure, there are a great many grosser injustices in the world than a stylish and wealthy woman being torn to shreds for simply being stylish and wealthy. But that doesn’t mean I think it’s OK for Trump to be repeatedly mocked for doing something we all do: wear clothes.
Ever since Trump became FLOTUS, she’s had every item of clothing scrutinised by the media, and on social media. How much it cost, and if it was appropriate given the occasion, the weather, and the degree to which it looked way cooler than any of Michelle Obama’s outfits.
As a feminist, I’ve had enough.
Yes – this is a goddamn feminist issue because for too long women have been defined by their appearance and the clothes they wear and isn’t this 2017 and haven’t we evolved beyond that and why can’t we just be bloody nicer to each other??!!
Let me be clear – I am not a fan of any of the Trumps – I don’t agree with their politics. So by all means, critique what this FLOTUS says in her speeches. Laugh at her obvious revulsion when she’s near her husband. Call her a hypocrite if you feel she espouses one thing but does something else.
But if your only premise for mocking and disrespecting her is based on her appearance, especially her attire, not because of the insane amount it costs but because what she’s wearing doesn’t adhere to your personal aesthetic standards, and if you don’t think she has a right to enjoy fashion as billions of women do the world over; well, then I will defend her exquisitely OTT $70,000 Dolce and Gabanna coat as if it were my own.
Sure, as FLOTUS, Trump has a responsibility to spend tax payer money wisely. And sure, it would probably be advisable to occasionally throw in a dress from Zara, as Kate Middleton does, to #keepitreal, or appear as though her life is remotely relatable.
But at some point we just need to accept the woman is interested in fashion – she was a model after all - and the woman has money that predates her husband’s Presidency. And she enjoys it all.
We should also remember that despite how far feminism has come, Trump undoubtedly is under a lot of pressure in her position. It’s very much a case of damned if you do, damned even more if you don’t, because as FLOTUS, the public expects her to look good.
Just imagine the mockery if she solely wore sensible pants suits and velvet headbands like my beloved Hilary Clinton!
Would you pay $60,000 to look like Melania? (Post continues below.)
Trump is not the first FLOTUS to love fashion, either. Michelle Obama’s style evolved significantly over the course of eight years as she experimented with different looks. And I wonder how the wardrobe of White House royalty Jacqueline Kennedy would have held up under similar scrutiny? Kennedy also had a penchant for designer clothes, and was immaculately kitted out at any given moment, but rather than criticised, she was exalted to fashion icon status.
Which of course will never happen to Trump, mostly because she is a Trump, and any (potential on her part, certified on his) crimes against fashion will go down in history as the least of this Presidency’s concerns.