First Lady Melania Trump's recent outfit choice, a jacket decorated with “I really don’t care. Do U?” faux graffiti, is causing a media frenzy. She donned the controversial piece ahead of her visit to the US-Mexico border. The media has been quick to speculate whom the not-so-subtle message was directed toward; frequent guesses have included undocumented immigrant children, the president, and the media itself. While Melania’s team has insisted that the jacket was merely an inadvertent choice, the First Lady is well aware that her wardrobe faces intense scrutiny.
Arizona Daily Wildcat: Claudia Drace challenges American society’s tendency to dissect female political figures’ outfits.
• The American public’s “obsession with women’s fashion, even in the political sphere shows the correlation between women and fashion in politics. The clothes that a woman wears, it seems, are taken more seriously than the words that come out of her mouth.”
• “When you are a woman in politics, there is a fine line between what an acceptable wardrobe is and what is not. They are expected to dress presentably, and act the part of the celebrity that they've become, but only to a certain extent.”
JMU Breeze: Hannah Robinson views “unfair attacks” on Melania’s appearance as “women shaming.”
• “I believe that the first lady has an obligation to represent herself and her family in a way that reflects positively back on our nation.”
• However, “it saddens me that those who identify themselves as feminists and work to empower women, are often the main ones perpetuating women shaming.”
• “We can’t work to demolish shaming and rape culture, yet bash a woman’s choice of dress based on our opinion of her husband.”
San Diego State Daily Aztec: Talia Raoufpur believes that “mockery of Melania Trump [is] an example of hypocritical ‘feminist’ liberals.”
• “In a time when feminism is at the forefront of political debate, women have vowed to stand together, unite and support one another.”
• “Unfair criticism of Melania Trump echoes unfair criticism of Hillary Clinton. Neither of their husbands are perfect nor hold a clean record in reference to their treatment of women. A woman is a separate entity from her husband and should be treated as such.”
The Bottom Line:
President Trump’s response to this fashion incident asserts that the jacket “refers to the Fake News Media” because “Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares.” Like most of the president’s tweets, we must take this one with a grain of salt. However, despite her preference to remain largely out of the public eye, Melania has consistently shown that she is not afraid to make bold statements through her presentation.