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Image / Editorial

Melania Trump explains the meaning behind her ‘I don’t care’ jacket

by Jennifer McShane
14th Oct 2018

Melania Trump sat down for her first-ever interview in office this weekend, offering a rare insight into her much-discussed life as first lady. Naturally, on the agenda was her trip to the U.S. border over the summer, which caused much controversy.

Trump told ABC News’ Tom Llamas that she had an immediate reaction when seeing media coverage of families being separated at the U.S. border, in line with her previous statement saying that she hated seeing the children forcibly taken from their parents under her husband’s administration. At the time, her words were widely criticised for being too passive and ultimately hollow. Thousands of children and parents are still recovering from its effects, despite the order being scaled back.

Amidst such a traumatic situation, the first lady reacted with apathy, highly problematic in itself, until her insensitive choice of clothing (worn to visit a detention centre where children were being held – some in cages – after being forcibly separated from their parents) caused further outrage. Trump decided she would wear a khaki Zara jacket, emblazoned with a slogan on the back, in graffiti-style writing: “I really don’t care, do u?” and it was, to say the least, baffling and insensitive.

She said in the interview that it was intended as her own message, but didn’t acknowledge that the move was clearly and deeply inappropriate given the circumstances. She said it was “kind of a message, yes.”

“It’s obvious I didn’t wear that jacket for the children, I wore the jacket to go on the plane and off the plane,” she said, before explaining the jacket was her message to the ‘left-wing’ media.

“It was for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticising me. I want to show them that I don’t care. You could criticise whatever you want to say. But it will not stop me to do what feels right.”

“I often asking myself, if I had not worn that jacket, if I will have so much media coverage,” she said, adding, “I would prefer they would focus on what I do and on my initiatives that what I wear.”

Critics have been quick to point out that Melania’s admission has shown that her team were lying when they said there was nothing in the outfit choice – her stylist had dismissed the notion initially – but the response alone shows how detached the first lady is to the gravitas of the situation. Her continued lack of empathy is dangerous; the fact that she’s out of touch is frighteningly clear.

And the interview – and the jacket – have confirmed it all: she truly doesn’t care.