“If the Trumps were Democrats,” conservative actor James Woods tweeted earlier this month, “Melania would be on every cover of every chic women’s magazine in the world every month.”
If the Trumps were Democrats, Melania would be on every cover of every chic women’s magazine in the world every month. pic.twitter.com/yLDSkfKufT
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) April 7, 2018
Woods may be exaggerating a little bit — only Oprah can put herself on the cover of a magazine every month, and it’s her own magazine — but he does make an interesting point. First Lady Melania Trump has not graced the cover of a single magazine in the United States since her husband took office over a year ago. Michelle Obama, on the other hand, was featured on at least thirty magazine covers during her husband’s eight years in office. What gives?
“Michelle Obama: The First Lady The World’s Been Waiting For,” reads the March 2009 cover of Vogue. “Michelle Obama Looks Back On Her Big Year — And Answers Your Questions,” proclaims the December 2009 cover of Glamour. “Michelle Obama, How The First Lady And The President Are Inspiring America,” Vogue again, April 2013. But Melania Trump? Crickets.
So here’s my question: where are all the feminists? It seems to me that the reason Melania hasn’t been on any magazine covers isn’t just that her husband is a Republican. Laura Bush was on plenty of magazine covers while her husband was president, as was Nancy Reagan. No, Melania hasn’t been on any magazine covers because people think she’s not worth covering. That she’s just Trump’s ex-model trophy wife — not really first lady material. But shouldn’t that be the cue for some screaming harpy to descend and explain, in Screaming Harpese, how sexist that is?
Just a model?! this screaming harpy should be screeching. Melania was the chairwoman for The American Heart Association! She’s an American Red Cross goodwill ambassador! She’s an entrepreneur! She’s fluent in five languages, for goodness’ sake! Just a model?! Pfft. You men are all the same! But, when it comes to Melania Trump, there seems to be a distinct lack of screaming harpies. Which is much easier on the eardrums, perhaps, but totally hypocritical.
Melania is a lot of things that leftists claim to be in favor of. She’s a woman. (Yeah, but she took nude pictures when she was a model, and that’s cheap. Yay sex workers, by the way!) She’s an immigrant. (Yeah, but she talks in a funny accent and we can’t understand her so she’s probably stupid.) She’s a female entrepreneur. (Yeah, but it’s just a jewelry line. Ooh! Did you know Cindy Crawford has a jewelry line? Love her!) She’s all these things the left ought to love, but she did one other thing that they just cannot abide: she married Donald Trump.
Because to the left (and some on the right), Donald Trump is not presidential, so Melania doesn’t stand a chance. Trump is boorish, so Melania must be cheap. Trump is inarticulate so Melania must be dumb. Trump is ostentatiously rich, Melania’s just playing at entrepreneurship. But isn’t that the biggest hypocrisy of all? Defining a woman by her husband? Making assumptions about her because of what you believe to be true about him? Isn’t that one of feminism’s biggest no-nos? Answer: yes, yes it is.
If Melania seems inaccessible, closed off, or detached — if it seems like we don’t know as much about her as we did about other first ladies who came before — perhaps the lack of coverage (not Melania) is to blame. Not a single magazine cover? Not a single feature about who she is and what’s important to her? No wonder we don’t know who she is. No wonder she seems aloof.
Hey, lefty magazine editors, looking for an immigrant, philanthropic, female entrepreneur to profile? Sounds great, doesn’t it? Don’t worry. I’ve got just the gal for you.