The contrast from years gone by is stark. Pre First Lady status, the former model, Melania graced the covers of mags from Vogue to Vanity Fair. She was feted with flattering features and praised for her beauty and poise. With her striking Slovenian looks and beautiful, made-for-designer-clothing body, the fashion glitterati embraced her. And then she committed the unpardonable sin: She became First Lady. The Donald outrageously outsmarted a still raging, still explaining, Hillary.
The glitterati flipped. And strangely, the very same media who once tripped over their Doc Martins to interview Melania or her famous husband, now bandied together in a collective holier than thou huddle. Their bitter hatred for her husband leaked pure poison into their pens. Even designers turned nasty. Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Christian Siriano and Sophie Theallet waspishly refused to dress her. The loss was all theirs.
Former First Ladies have had a smooth ride. Huffing Hillary, for example, can rant and rave and emulate the mad hatter yet all remains fine in mainstream media world. Even the Clinton Foundation (don’t mention Haiti) scandal slid off like water off a platypus’s arse, I mean back. So too did those infamous Presidential indiscretions. Nothing seemed to stick. Fashion-wise Hillary escaped rather lightly also. Her preference for primary power suits and sensible granny courts were heartily embraced. Even the Alice band phase, (a girlie juxtaposition if there ever was one), wafted by with barely a mention. At enormous odds, I always thought, with the “I am woman, hear me roar” staple suit of impenetrable armour.
Michelle also continues to bounce along on the media joyride. She could have attended the auspicious New York annual Met Gala in a crumpled paper bag, and the syrupy Press would have praised her courageous edginess. Throughout her time as First Lady and beyond, there remained a gaggle of talk show hosts following her every move. She opened her mouth, and the doting masses hung onto the apparent nuggets of pure gold flowing forth from her perfectly lined lips. She lifted her arm to wave at her Adoring Ones, and her toned biceps generated their own hashtag. I’m sure she’s lovely, it’s just that I’m not a big fan of effusive fawning.
The lost irony is that Melania could have trumped them all if she wasn’t up against an army of embittered and somewhat jaded media moguls. It didn’t help when the hallowed ice queen of fashion, ‘Whippet’ Wintour listed Trump as forever on the banned guest list for the above- mentioned Met Ball. Melania’s chances of gracing the auspicious red carpet were slimmer still. Given a chance, she would far outstrip crass wannabe singers, starlets or supine sirens on any plush Persian.
Oh, how I would have loved to see her towering over a posse of poison dwarf critics. But of course, that’s not going to happen. It’s like, ‘let’s not invite the hottest girl at school to our party.’
Given the constant copping Melania has received, I remain in awe of her unwavering poise. In spite of the bullying, mocking of her accent (you try speaking five languages), the Stormy saga to name but a few acid arrows aimed in her direction, she exudes true dignity and self-control. These are attributes her whining, and wild-eyed adversaries would do well to emulate.
I can only think she has a fierce army of cheerleaders watching her back. Or maybe she smashes a few plates when safely ensconced in The White House or throttles Donald. Perhaps too, she understands that most hacks have the attention span of a flea and sometime in the not too distant future, her newsworthiness will grow stale, and new media interest will evoke their wrath.
She can further take courage from the enduring quote by English poet, Wystan Hugh Auden who once had the inciteful foresight to proclaim:
“What the mass media offer is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish.”
And if it’s any consolation, Melania, most of them know absolutely nothing about fine dining.