Melania Trump’s Problem Is Not Her Coat

Robin Givhan, the Washington Post’s fashion critic, has some harsh words for Melania Trump’s outerware:

First lady Melania Trump unveiled this year’s White House Christmas decorations in a gauzy video in which she strolls through the public rooms marveling at their holiday luster….For her tour, Mrs. Trump wears all white: a dress with a simple jewel neckline, white stiletto-heeled pumps and a white coat. The coat is draped over her shoulders as she strolls through the White House.

The coat looks ridiculous. But more than a silly fashion folly, the coat is a distraction….As Trump gazes pleasantly at all that her staff and a host of volunteers have accomplished, her attire suggests that she’s casually passing through and has little affinity for the occasion. She’s not getting comfortable, so why should you?

I would never argue with Givhan over fashion, about which I know nothing unless my sister educates me, but can I suggest that this isn’t really a fashion question to begin with? Take a look at the video:

The reason it looks like Melania is casually passing through and has little affinity for the occasion is because Melania is casually passing through and has little affinity for the occasion. She could be wearing bib overalls and a MAGA hat and she’d look the same way. During the entire video, she displays virtually no enthusiasm for anything other than periodically straightening something that the lazy servants apparently didn’t get quite right. I’m not sure whose idea it was for that to be the theme of the video, but it does her no favors.

And one more thing: what cowards the Trumps are! Nowhere in the video does it say Merry Christmas. It simply says nothing at all.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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