UPDATE: While Melania Trump's spokesperson asserted "[t]here was no hidden message" behind her controversial jacket, President Donald Trump suggested the opposite in a tweet released Thursday afternoon.
“'I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?' written on the back of Melania’s jacket, refers to the Fake News Media," Trump said on the social media platform. "Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!"
“I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” written on the back of Melania’s jacket, refers to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2018
Trump's history of attacking news organizations (besides his cherished outlet, Fox News) has long been documented. He takes great pride in rejecting critical news, a characteristic unbecoming for leaders and a strong signal of authoritarianism. And it appears now he is trying to pass on this behavior to his wife, or at least present her actions as such.
Melania Trump was lambasted on social media for wearing the dismissive Zara jacket during a trip to visit migrant children. While her spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, declared "it's just a jacket" in a hashtag, one would assume the first lady would have better fashion sense and sensitivity than that.
Melania Trump made an unannounced trip to the nation's southern border on Thursday to meet with children who had been separated as a result of her husband President Donald Trump’s policies.
Much has been reported about Melania Trump’s opposition to her husband’s policies, and many people are saying the first lady was instrumental in convincing the president to reverse his policy of separating families through an executive order earlier this week.
With that backdrop in mind, it seemed her visit to shelter facilities housing immigrant children would be a commendable one. That is until news outlets observed the jacket she was wearing. Trump wore a green jacket that had white lettering on the back of it that read, “I really don't care, do u?”
FLOTUS spox confirms Mrs. Trump wore a jacket to visit border kids that reads: "I really don't care. Do you?" Spox says: "It's a jacket. There was no hidden message. After today's important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn't going to choose to focus on her wardrobe." pic.twitter.com/Bp4Z8n455G— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 21, 2018
That is a questionable choice in wardrobe, to say the least. While many Americans looking to make a good impression might tear through their wardrobe and avoid inappropriate clothing that might give the wrong impression, the first lady made little effort, it seems, in choosing to wear this jacket with big, bold lettering.
There’s little doubt that Trump was sincere in her visit Thursday to meet with children and facility leaders. Yet she should have thought twice about the clothes she chose to wear.
Apparel that suggests she “doesn’t care” sends the message to these children and their parents that the entire trip was more about optics than a legitimate mission to do better for these families.
We should focus more on what she does than on what she wears. But the first lady should also have known better — she should have chosen a different jacket, not one that puts into question her true commitment to these children.
Thumbnail/Banner Credit: Reuters