With all eyes on Texas as the flooding continued on Tuesday, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made the trip from D.C. to Houston. The trip gave way to a number of confounding instances, from the president seeming to give himself a pat on the shoulder for purportedly drawing a big “turnout” of Hurricane Harvey victims, to his wife Melania showing up in 5-inch stiletto heels.
The latter has drawn a bizarre and — dare I say — extra debate. Understandably enough, the sight of the former model/First Lady strutting to a broken city wearing the footwear you’d see at a fashion show drew merciless teasing on Twitter. And criticism of the footwear as an obvious and insensitive ploy is certainly valid.
We can all of us — even staunch Melania fans who love and respect her for whatever it is that she does — admit that it was a humorous image. But nonetheless, the teasing, just like the rigorous, outraged defenses of Melania, is all sadly misplaced at a time of so much suffering, loss and grief.
Environmental abuses and insufficient funding to prepare for natural disasters have resulted in death, loss of property, displacement, and tragedy in the city, and attention paid to the first lady’s fashion choices is attention that would have been better spent directed at how we as a nation can help the people of Houston who need us. And in that same vein, as ironic and funny as the choice in footwear might have been, insulting women for how they dress will never really be in good taste, and that goes for both sides of the aisle.
If you want to insult Melania, there’s no shortage of constructive criticisms to be made. The fact that she plagiarized former First Lady Michelle Obama, has attacked the women accusing Trump of assault as liars, and continues to stand by a man whose rhetoric and policies have irreparably divided America are all good places to start.
In either case, conservatives who criticize the left for joking about Melania’s shoes on Tuesday are operating on short-term memory. The past is colored with members of their wing making far more harmful, racist comments about Michelle Obama’s fashion and appearance, as well as commentary slut-shaming Sasha and Malia for their fashion.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.