One of Donald Trump’s many grievances this past week is that leading U.S. fashion magazines haven’t put Melania on any of their covers while she’s been First Lady. Breitbart News pointed this out a twitter post last Friday and Trump re-tweeted it, adding that Melania was the “greatest of all time” First Ladies and the fashion press were “elitist snobs” for snubbing her.
I would like to point out that Melanie did grace one style magazine cover right after her husband was elected — the February 2017 issue of Vanity Fair Mexico (who knew this speciality edition existed!). I will also point out both the cover photo and publication were widely derided for showing Melania, bedecked in silver baubles, posing with a fork and a string of jewels as if she were about to eat them like spaghetti.
The Guardian noted that the cover photo landed on the heels of a contentious 2016 presidential campaign where Trump had referred to Mexicans as “rapists” and insisted Mexico would pay for his imaginary wall (spoiler — they never did). The racist and narcisistic rhetoric then lead to a trade war that helped send Mexico’s economy into a tailspin. The Guardian suggested Melania eating bejeweled spaghetti on the magazine cover added “insult to injury in a country where almost half the population lives in poverty.”
“It’s a lack of sensitivity on the part of the publisher,” Guadalupe Loaeza, a Mexican author and columnist, told The Guardian. “I started reading this and I couldn’t finish. I didn’t want to know anything about the wife of our country’s No 1 enemy.”
So back to Trump’s current grievance that the major glossies have snubbed Melania over the last four years. Fox News couldn’t agree more, and the issue was hotly (not) debated on Monday’s Outnumbered segment hosted by Lisa Kennedy.
Kennedy and her panel agreed the slight was a slap-in-the-face to Melanie and the Trump family writ large and pointed out that former First Lady Michelle Obama was featured on 12 style magazine covers — three on Vogue alone! — while Barack Obama was president. And as if to rub it in, the discussion took place against a giant collage of elegant Michelle Obama magazine covers.
Here is how the Fox banter went:
Kennedy — “she’s lovely, she’s tall …”
Agreed on the tallness, she is 5 feet 11 inches not including her 4-inch spiked heels.
Kennedy — “she’s got great style …”
Yes, who can forget the $39 green denim Zara jacket she wore with the words “I don’t really care. Do U?” to visit kids in cages? This first rollout as presidential envoy was to a detention center in McAllen, Texas in June 2018, where children, who’d been illegally separated from their parents, were being held with no knowledge of when or if they would see their parents again.
To which Melania said on a secretly recorded audio tape, “‘Ooh what about the children that they were separated? ‘ Give me a f***ing break.” This f-bomb and others can be heard on the Melania Tapes, released earlier this year by author of the tell-all book “Melania and Me,” Stephanie Winston Wolkoff.
Kennedy’s banter continued, “…. even if you don’t like the president, don’t you think there are people who are curious — even if they’re not republicans — about her thoughts?”
Yes, perhaps people would like to know Melania’s thoughts on Christmas. Queue the Melania Tapes please … “I’m working … my ass off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a f*** about the Christmas stuff and decorations? But I need to do it, right?”
Commentator Carley Shimkus chimed in, “She’s also an actual model, which is so funny,” Shimkus laughed.
Yes, if by “modeling” you mean the soft porn photo shoots Melania did in her 20s before her transactional marriage to The Donald.
So skin-deep beauty aside, what are the other qualities that make a First Lady appealing, that would make a publisher eager to showcase her loveliness on its cover? Maybe the answer lies in some of Melania’s accomplishments over the last four years:
- Melania’s illiterate and tone-deaf “Be Best” campaign with an overly broad focus on children’s well-being, including cyberbullying (do I have to spell out the hypocrisy?)
- Melania’s widely panned revamp of the White House Rose Garden, which removed and replaced most of the colorful and historic elements that remained from the garden’s creation in 1961 during JFK’s presidency
- Melania’s re-transformation of the White House basketball court, where President Obama hosted and played hoops with the likes of Magic Johnson and college basketball champs, back to its original use as a tennis court but now with an expensive pavilion (paid for with private funds)
Wow, after all this recapping, I am stumped, STUMPED, I tell you, as to why Melania didn’t get any U.S. magazine covers these last four years. I guess beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.