I am all for ignoring a woman politician’s fashion in favor of focusing on her politics, good works, and, you know, her overall character. And that is especially true of First Lady Melania Trump, whose style can best be described as uninspiring.
There are exceptions to this rule though, and Melania Trump’s decision to wear a hooded green army jacket with white lettering on the back that reads “I REALLY DON’T CARE DO U?” (from Zara, no less) on a trip to visit with imprisoned children ripped from their parents by her husband demands a brief interlude to talk about her fashion.
Fashion bloggers love that Zara jacket Melania wore. pic.twitter.com/4C8H8lj6Rs
— Kim Bhasin (@KimBhasin) June 21, 2018
First: why, on the first day of summer, in 85 degree weather, while already wearing long-sleeve top, would someone wear a green utility jacket en route to Texas?
Stipulating that fashion is a form of expression, and someone like the First Lady has an entire sartorial team at her disposal (to say nothing of her fashion designer step-daughter), the answer, of course, is that her $39 fuckboi-in-the-suburbs jacket was a deliberate move.
The easy, knee-jerk interpretation is that she doesn’t care in the slightest about the kidnapped children she’s on her way to meet with. She doesn’t care about their plight, or that her contemptible spouse is responsible for their misery, because if she did, she would have worn something more conservative like a simple trench coat–we know she has one.
A far more intriguing interpretation is that she’s sending a passive-aggressive message to her aforementioned husband: “I don’t really care, do u?” Rumors have swirled from the moment he descended that escalator that Melania does not share her husband’s thirst for attention, and has exhibited the kind of icy demeanor around him one might expect of a wife who has endured story after story of her spouse’s infidelity and fascistic tendencies.
Though, if I’m being honest, I don’t think it’s that either.
She’s talking to us.
She knows very well what we think of her. She knows that we are judging this public relations trip of hers. She knows some of us think she died some time ago and was replaced by a body double. She knows we think she doesn’t care.
She knows that after a year and a half of complicity, plagiarism, stepping-out-of-helicopters-wearing-stilettos, anti-bullying nonsense, that we have zero faith in the validity of her concern. Not even a little bit. This is a stunt — at the expense of children.
And you know what, she doesn’t really care, do you?
UPDATE: Melania was photographed returning from her trip, once again wearing the jacket.
Melania Trump is still wearing the "I Really Don't Care" jacket after returning from her trip to the border | 📷: Getty Images pic.twitter.com/xASoOlsgtc
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) June 21, 2018
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
And her spokesperson maintains the jacket contained “no hidden message.”