To all the people who loved WAP, who have found photos of a scantily-clad Lizzo empowering, or who believe it is sexist to judge women on their bodies...

There’s never a time where it's OK to shame Melania Trump for her past or make fun of her accent.

Never. Understood?

After her speech at the RNC on Tuesday night, people on social media poured out to criticise the first lady on past nude photo shoots. Some even called her a “slut”, saying they don't want a first lady "who didn't pose naked for porno magazines" and comparing her to the “classy Jackie Kennedy.”

Even Cardi B posted a naked photo of Melania after DeAnna Lorraine said people should aspire to be less like the rapper and more like the first lady.

Melania Trump is not a “usual” first lady and is a generally enigmatic character. Born and raised in Slovenia, she became a model at a young age. In the past, she has done multiple nude photo shoots, like for GQ in 2000 and Max Magazine in 1997 (The New York Postre-published the photos in 2016).

The photographs are now once again making the rounds on the Internet with the intention of shaming Melania and as a way of criticising her character.

Others were happy to make fun of her accent and mock her English-speaking abilities.

Melania’s place in the Trump-verse has been long-debated, with hashtags like #FreeMelania in an effort to “save” Trump’s wife after people thought she was trying hard not to hold his hand or that she looked on angrily at him.

She hardly ever makes public appearances and when she does they have seemed out-of-touch: going to a disaster zone in heels, or wearing an “I really don’t care do u?” jacket to visit children separated from their families.

But Melania does not need “saving” from this administration.

She has supported Trump in some of his wort moments: stepping up to defend his after the release of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape and furthering Obama birtherism.

“While it’s cathartic to believe that Melania loathes Trump as much as the rest of us do, how she feels about her husband doesn’t matter. What matters is her actions. She has repeatedly excused and enabled Trump’s most vile instincts,” Arwa Mahdawi wrote in The Guardian.

In recent book called 'The Art of Her Deal', Washington Post journalist Mary Jordan concludes, “Melania has struck a complicated deal with a complicated man and taken on a complicated job… No, she doesn’t want to be “free.” In other words, Melania knows what she’s doing and that is what is worthy of criticism.

After the huge outpouring of shaming Melania for decades-old photo-shoots last night, Wagatwe Wanjuki reminds us:

Remember: slut-shaming Melania means you find women's nudity more offensive than white supremacy!

All of the so-called progressives calling the first lady a “bimbo” and picking on her accent, her looks or her body, are not only hypocritical, but are also delegitimising the actual harm Melania has caused by propping up her husband’s policies.

So by all means criticise Melania's politics, but not her looks, her accent or her past.

Please, please do better.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)