By Adam Shaw
Published December 29, 2018
Media outlets this week, having first fawned over former first lady Michelle Obama’s choice of glitzy boots, quickly offered a different take when it came to current first lady Melania Trump’s fashion choices -- going from fan boy to "Mean Girl."
Earlier this month, while promoting her new book “Becoming,” Mrs. Obama stepped out on stage in sparkly thigh-high boots from designer Balenciaga. Mainstream media outlets, who have frequently struggled to keep their composure when it comes to the Obamas, lost it.
“It wasn’t just an eye-catching ensemble. It was fashion. Fashion. Faaaashion!” , The Washington Post wrote.
“Say it with me: NOTHING BUT RESPECT FOR MY FIRST LADY!”, said the Cosmo article headlined: "Michelle Obama Just Stepped Out in $4,000 Gold Thigh-High Boots and I've Never Loved Her More."
But even in the breathless coverage, liberal writers found time to pour some scorn on Mrs. Trump, herself a former model. Vox, calling Obama a “style influencer”, then immediately knocked Trump for having “repeatedly made headlines for fashion gaffes.”
But when Mrs. Trump accompanied her husband to visit the troops in Iraq on Christmas Day, the media -- in the style of the 2004 movie “Mean Girls" -- went from “that is so fetch” to “you can’t sit with us!”
Since a first lady might look somewhat out of place wearing thigh-high glitter boots to Al Asad Air Base, she wore a simple shirt, pants and Timberland boots. But this raised some eyebrows in the media, including Yahoo News, where an article appeared: "Melania Trump gets mocked for wearing Timberland boots while visiting the troops.”
The mocking in this instance came from a handful of Twitter users, with Yahoo noting that “one person even suggested that putting on Timberlands was a last-ditch effort by FLOTUS after getting critiqued for her other shoe choices -- including the infamous “storm stilettos.”
“However, it wouldn’t be the first time that Melania wore a pair of the brand’s boots, and similarly got mocked for them,” the article said, linking to an article in 2017 when Yahoo last reported on Melania being mocked for wearing Timberlands.
In Town Hall, Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell criticized the article and compared it to a positive article Yahoo published about the Obama boots. Bozell said that in their eyes, Obama “can do no wrong.”
“One would think feminist women in the media could come up with better articles to write than catty Twitter roundups of liberals sneering about Melania Trump's boots -- especially when it has nothing to do with boots,” he wrote.
But the media voices weren’t done. On returning from her trip to Iraq, the first lady made her way across the South Lawn wearing some tan leather pants.
Mercury News called it her “latest head-scratching ensemble” and declared 2016 to be a “‘wild’ year of curious, controversial first lady fashion.”
The Cut called it a “confusing pair of pants.” Vanity Fair launched what it called “an investigation” into the leather pants, which it called an “Internet-baiting fit.” It includes this rather snarky paragraph:
“At first glance, it does appear that FLOTUS rolled out of bed, threw on a coat, and headed to Air Force One. But as she starts moving, one can see the fabric rolls on her knees -- if one is watching very, very closely. Those would appear to be tan leather pants."
This is the same Vanity Fair that in November, covered Michelle Obama’s book with an article headlined: “In the Best Moments of Becoming, the Miracle of Michelle Obama Arises.”
Mrs. Trump addressed the negative media coverage in an interview this month with Fox News' Sean Hannity, where she said she does "what is right" despite the negative coverage.
“I do what I think is right. I know I will get the criticism – from the public or from the media – but I will do what is right and what I feel is right for the country and for the people,” Trump replied. “That’s why I say I want to stay true to myself and listen to myself and what to do and what is right, what is wrong and live a meaningful life every day.”
Fox News' Elizabeth Zwirz contributed to this report.