Slut-shaming Melania doesn’t make you anti-Trump – it makes you a misogynist

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Slut-shaming Melania doesn’t make you anti-Trump – it makes you a misogynist

Why must we splash her naked body across covers of magazines to prove her unfit for anything?

Monday was the second day in a row the New York Post ran a nude photo spread slut-shaming Melania Trump on its cover.

The photo features a nude Melania being embraced by another nude woman as she lies in bed.

The headline: “Menage a Trump”

Just one day earlier, the Post plastered yet another nude image on its cover. This time with blue stars censoring Melania’s breasts under the title: “The Ogle Office.”

Both sets of photographs were reportedly taken in 1995, when Melania was 25 and working as a model. In other words, long before she was Mrs. Trump and even longer before she was the potential First Lady of the United States.

Though the New York Post endorsed Donald Trump for president back in April and has long held conservative views, one is left to wonder about the motivations surrounding the back-to-back covers.

Printing the photos in that manner appeared as a cheap attempt to diminish both Melania and her husband. Yet, when these photos were taken for the purpose of a model’s portfolio, a woman who has no doubt worked her near-pristine ass off to achieve that appearance and has every right to show it off, that effort falls flat.

By feeling bad for Melania you’re not supporting Trump or his politics, but standing up against the apparent misogyny women are constantly subjected to – celebrity or not.

Reactions to Melania’s shoot have varied from accusations of misogyny on the part of both parties to slut-shaming.

“Future First Lady?” begged users on Twitter. “Better her than Hillary,” declared others.

Instead of slut-shaming Melania or questioning her potential, we should instead be turning our unflinching attention to the New York Post.

But that’s not what we’re doing.

https://twitter.com/hendrix697/status/760428804569522177

Instances like this have become commonplace since Trump began his campaign. Both liberals and conservatives have dragged Melania’s past into debate, be it her immigration or her modeling career, and used it against her husband.

People who describe themselves as liberals often compare her to our current First Lady, Michelle Obama. One is “classy,” or “well-spoken,” and praised for her health advocacy. The other is a “trophy wife.”

Despite its unfairness, we are accustomed to this level of scrutiny in regards to the First Lady. Before she was slaying speeches, Michelle Obama was criticized for showing her arms too frequently. Hillary Clinton has been poked and prodded at for anything from her choice of pantsuit to her hairstyle. Rosalynn Carter was ripped to shreds for repeat-wearing a gown during her husband’s presidency.

Yet there they stood – exactly where Melania stands now. Dutifully, dolefully beside her husband as the public gleefully dissects anything they’re able to get their hands on.

Even when Donald Trump is quite literally handing them the bullets on the hour via Twitter, people are still in search of more – even when that means resulting to his wife’s objectification. Why must we splash her naked body across covers of magazines to prove her unfit for anything but doing just that?

“Exposing,” Trump’s wife is not only a cheap shot, it’s fundamentally wrong. In 2016, when perhaps one of the most famous women in the world has built an entire career upon a sex-tape and celebrities are posting their own risque photos every day on social media, one thing has been made clear: an image, especially one taken at the height of a woman’s modeling career, is irrelevant to her capabilities elsewhere.

Melania is more than a “former model,” or the prize-winning pony her husband parades her around as. She is a daughter, mother, friend and wife who just so happens to have publicly posed nude once upon a time.

Before these women were (maybe) First-Ladies, they had lives and careers and pasts of their own. And if that just so happened to include a nude photograph, the past is precisely where it should remain. Not splashed on a magazine cover.

Criticizing Melania for her beliefs is valid. Criticizing her for lying about finishing college is valid. Criticizing her for say, plagiarizing a speech, is valid. But arguing that nude photo-shoots from years past have any reflection on her potential as First Lady is not.

@audraheinrichs

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