Way back on Aug. 29, Melania Trump boarded a flight to storm-ravaged Houston, Texas wearing a pair of black stilettos. Twitter quickly lit up with confusion, anger and smatterings of amusement that the first lady opted to head to a flood zone wearing a pair of supremely spikey heels. Well, undeterred by the haters, Melania Trump wore heels to Texas for the second time in a row on Sept. 2, providing another opportunity for social media to butt heads over what I’ll call #heelgate2017.
On Saturday, the Trumps touched town in Houston to meet with Hurricane Harvey victims and sit down with members of the Texas congressional delegation. Trump immediately drew criticism – again – for boarding a flight wearing pair of ultra-high heels, en route to an area that had just been hit by a historically large flood. Each time, people took to social media to complain that it was an inappropriate occasion to wear heels, and that it made zero sense to wear stilettos on your way to a recent hurricane zone.
It should be noted that in both cases, the first lady changed into sneakers later that in the day. But, perhaps it’s more the fact that Trump felt the need to make a (probably expensive) fashion statement en route to an area that had been hit with such tragedy and had experienced such loss, that had people up in arms. You can almost picture the calculations that went into her plane outfit, which makes the whole thing kind of icky. The heels are showy, and there’s a self-conscious, self-centered feeling around playing dress up before heading to a hurricane zone.
But the first lady also had her defenders. Trump supporters shot back at criticisms, using the opportunity to applaud Trump for not letting the allegedly footwear-obsessed Mainstream Media cramp her style.
Which isn’t to say that those cheering were the only voice.
The FLOTUS’ supporters were up against a slew of people who were both baffled and irked that the first lady’s fashion choice.
And there were also those who were more concerned by the man the stilettos.
In the scheme of things, the whole heels thing isn’t that important. But perhaps it’s a larger issue of the tone-deafness of the administration (*cough* “what a crowd, what a turnout” *cough*), that causes many to associate the first lady heading to a flood zone in stilettos with something much bigger and more infuriating.
Because, I promise you, given any other circumstance, major snaps for some cute, snakeskin heels.