On June 21st, 2018, Melania Trump visited a Texas detention center where unaccompanied children are being held. The event occurred in the midst of an ongoing, volatile immigration debate surrounding the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents while trying to cross into the United States. But the visits themselves weren’t really covered, were they? In fact, most of us didn’t even get back the Air Force One flight. Because Meliania did something horrible and stupid and now we’re all talking about it: She wore a $39 Zara jacket the had, “I really don’t care, do u?” emblazoned on the back.
The statement has spawned more think pieces than I can count. More conservative writers are saying, no, it’s just a jacket, relax. Liberal, white feminists are discussing how it was planted by the First Lady’s director of communications, who, immediately after the proliferation of the image, blamed the media for its poor coverage of the event. She even went as far as to start a hashtag #ItsJustAJacket—suspiciously quickly, I might add. However, this is likely the work of a skilled PR professional, not a government conspiracy.
I could talk about how tone deaf this jacket is. I could try to write about how it might be Melania’s attempt to show contempt for her husband. I could even go on a long tangent about the company who made the jacket, Zara, who is famous for its poor labor practices. (That is actually pretty messed up, though. Unpaid laborers slipped tags and notes into Zara clothing asking for help. It just happened last year. Look it up.)
But no, I’m not going to use this space for that. Instead, I’m going to get angry, sigh, and move on. We all knew Melania was trash; the fact that she is a woman in a loveless marriage does not make her less complicit. She just told the world who she is, and the world is trying to look around her in search of some glimmer of humanity. It’s not there.