Lady Trump chose to wear a $39 Zara khaki coat with the message “I Really Don’t Care. Do U?” on its back, on her way to the migrant child detention facility in Texas. But in the current scenario, would the FLOTUS care to explain her choice?
Melania Trump wore this jacket as she boarded a plane to go visit kids ripped away from their parents.
Even *if* this was by mistake, why did NO ONE from the WH notice this and advise her to change her coat?🤬 pic.twitter.com/Bivnfm90Bj
— Dena Grayson, MD, PhD (@DrDenaGrayson) June 21, 2018
Had the First Lady not come forward earlier this week and expressed distress over the separation of illegal immigrant parents and their children, one would have interpreted this message very differently. Mrs Trump is naturally facing a lot of criticism for what seems like a precarious choice of clothes.
Melania Trump’s team insisted after the backlash that people are reading between the lines.
“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.”
Twitter didn’t take much time to remind Lady Trump that she must be more careful while picking out her clothes. It was also evident from the buzz it generated, that people were interpreting the quote on the coat in more ways than one.
I honestly cannot believe this… at a loss for words, which is shocking given the current shitshow. Our country is currently on life support.https://t.co/5SR7TJkEIP
— William LeGate 🇺🇸 (@williamlegate) June 21, 2018
When I saw coat @FLOTUS wore on her journey to witness heart-wrenching situation w #BorderChildren my 1st thought (after wtf) was: Doesn't she have a staff? How could any high-functioning aide allow his/her boss to undermine the essential goodness of her deed so grotesquely?
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) June 21, 2018
She wore a $1,400 flannel shirt for a gardening photo op at the WH, a $10,000 coat sightseeing at the G20 summit and now she wears a $39 “I Don’t Care” Zara coat to tour detention facilities and we’re supposed to believe it was an accident?
— Stay home! 🇺🇸 (@kschase13) June 21, 2018
However, her husband had a very different opinion:
What strikes as more bizarre is that no one from the First Lady’s staff tried to discourage Trump for wearing that coat.
That it would whip up strong criticism should have been evident the minute Melania must have fetched the mass manufactured coat, from her pile of expensive and exclusive apparel. Or maybe Trump refused to be discouraged. Maybe this message was as much for her own team as it was for the rest of the world.
Political or not, intentional or unintentional, a cry to be left alone or a sigh of being fed up with constant policing…whatever may be the reason, it is clear that whatever Trump wears can never go unnoticed. Her dresses for every occasion, her accessories on every foreign travel are all subjected to deep scrutiny. So while Melania Trump may not really care, others actually do.
Which is why she cannot ask people to not read into her clothes all the time. It is inevitable for that to happen. Thus, instead of relying on people to be lenient towards her, why not be more careful while picking out clothes? If at all, Trump does want to send messages through her clothes, then she must not let her team cover them up.
All the efforts the billionaire wife must have put into choosing a $39 coat went for a toss, when her team said we were reading too much into that olive-green khaki coat.
Melania cannot shake off the responsibility and public scrutiny which accompanies the position she holds. People cannot ignore what President Trump is putting those children through. It is a sensitive issue which has summoned strong reaction from every corner of the world. They all care about what Melania is saying, doing or wearing. And she cannot hide under a coat to escape this scrutiny.
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.