I thought it was a joke, a spoof from the Onion or a photo-shopped Facebook meme. It was inconceivable that Melania Trump would begin a trip to meet migrant children jailed by her husband in that jacket.
But the photo was legit. The First Lady showed up at Joint Base Andrews in a green jacket tagged with the phrase, “I REALLY DON’T CARE DO U?” She was embarking on a surprise visit to a children’s prison in McAllen, Texas. During the hour-long photo-op, she asked inmates, “Are you all friends?” and urged them “to be kind and nice to each other.”
When leaving Melania said, “Bye. Good luck.”
Back to the jacket. While Twitter went thermonuclear, Melania’s spokeswoman said she was mystified by the blowback.
“It’s a jacket,” she said. “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.”
Hidden message? It was IN CAPITAL LETTERS ON HER JACKET. And the media was simply supposed to ignore it? If Michelle Obama wore that jacket to weed the White House garden, Fox “News” would rage 24/7: “MICHELLE OBAMA WEARS COMMUNIST ARMY COAT, PROVES SHE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT AMERICA!!!”
Melania is white, Republican and married to Donald Trump, so its much ado about nothing on Republican State TV. I honestly don’t know what to make of Melania’s choice to wear that jacket. She was a professional model, which suggests some knowledge of messaging. If she was trying to project a soft, caring, motherly image, she couldn’t have made a more self-defeating choice.
There are few women on the planet whose wardrobe is more closely scrutinized or tightly managed than that of the First Lady. Who let Melania out of the Residence wearing a message that completely contradicts the message her trip was supposed to send?
Maybe it was an honest mistake. Maybe it was it was a deliberate middle finger to the press. Either way, it was a fascist fashion faux pas that will be remembered in November.