If you've spent even a moment on social media today, you must be aware of #jacketgate. This morning it was announced that First Lady Melania Trump would be making a surprise visit to a child detention center in Texas to see, firsthand, the conditions in which Central American children who have crossed the border into America were being detained. She chose to wear this jacket:
All the nope. No. Cue the outrage. Cue my outrage.
This is not just a jacket FLOTUS decided to wear on an 85 degree day in Washington, DC., with temperatures even hotter in Texas. No. This is trolling. Of the highest order. Her behavior is shameful, but completely representative of America in 2018.
Melania Trump is a former fashion model. She is a beautiful woman who dresses and grooms herself with exacting precision. Any soul who has watched even a single episode of America's Next Top Model knows that it is drilled into those who pose for a living that what they wear and how they wear it matters. I posit that our FLOTUS knew exactly, with calculation and forethought, what she was doing.
Let's start with some facts. FACT: A woman who lives in a literal gilded tower does not shop at a store like Zara, where $39 statement jackets are sold to the masses. FACT: This jacket is from last season, so it's been around the block. FACT: The jacket was worn onto the plane in DC and again off of the plane in DC. It did not see the light of day in Texas. FACT: The trip was announced this morning and, like any good model, FLOTUS knew there would be photographers there.
Instinct tells me this was trolling behavior on Melania's part, something she has occasionally engaged in, despite her "Be Best" mantra. Initially I thought she was trolling Americans who do not align with her husband's politics. POTUS tweeted out that his wife was trolling the press, or "fake news" as he prefers to call them. Others online have suggested that she was trolling her husband.
Listen up, ladies, as it makes not a damn bit of difference who Melania was trolling. Whether it was her husband, the press, or Americans, in the bright light of day, the First Lady of America thought it appropriate to wear a jacket emblazoned with the words, "I REALLY DON'T CARE. DO U?" while she was flying to visit a detention center filled with traumatized children.
She decided that trolling was appropriate behavior on the backs of these terrified kids. That right there is vile and shameful and yes, I am happy to go there, deplorable.
I happened to be on Twitter when the news broke this morning and I thought it was a joke. How could it be possible that the First Lady could be so heartless as to be using her visit with traumatized children to broadcast her displeasure with either the press or her fellow Americans or her disgrace of a husband?
But, no, it wasn't a joke. It was verified by outlet after outlet within minutes. Twitter was on fire this morning.
Here are a few hot takes of mine:
- Men don't get it. They don't get fashion. They don't understand that women can use fashion as a means of expression. They don't get the mechanics of a $39 message jacket from a fast fashion outlet is something being extremely out of character and declasse for a wealthy Manhattan wife of a billionaire, let alone the President of the United States. Many have fully underestimated the hateful intention behind this fashion choice.
- White women are the first to suggest that Melania was sending a message to her husband, her own personal form of resistance. Some have characterized the jacket as a sign of strength, a signal of sorts, that she sees him for what he is, mainly a horrible human being. Nope. Do not give this woman a pass here, sisters. Be best! Know that a moment in the company of traumatized children, when all eyes are on you, is not the moment to troll, regardless of who your target may be. Show some respect and awareness and sensitivity.
- Some have suggested that the jacket was used as bait for the media, an attempt to create the latest outrage du jour for the liberal Democrats that are infesting America. This, of course, is entirely possible, but inexcusable. Again, I can't believe I have to say it, but a First Lady is in no position to be trolling anyone. It is not part of the job description and cheapens all of us. If Michelle Obama who was consistently referred to as a monkey, a gorilla, a man, obese, and on and on and on could abstain from lashing out, Melania can, too.
- There is no compare and contrast between the outrage people have felt over this jacket today and the outrage expressed by the Fox News crowd over Obama's tan suit or Michelle's bare arms or shorts on vacation. There is no comparison, period. FLOTUS' spokeswoman says there were no hidden messages with the jacket, and I fully agree. Melania's message was clear AF, worn on her back, graffiti style, for all the world to see. She makes her lack of caring obvious on a regular basis.
Part of me cannot believe I am writing about this. Am I taking the bait? Fulfilling every stereotype of who Democrats are in 2018 America? Falling for the superficial outrage while this administration is systematically tearing our democracy to shreds? Possibly . . . probably, on all counts. The truth is that I am outraged. Every day. All day.
Make no mistake about it. You've been trolled today. By the First Lady of America. The outrage is merited. Regardless of what your politics are, regardless of whether or not you support she and her husband. Regardless of how you vote. Because today, the First Lady of America thought it was a good idea to express her disdain for all of us by broadcasting how very little she cares about any of it, most especially migrant children far away from home, terrified and traumatized and warehoused, in no small part under order of her husband.
God bless America.