I’ve been wanting to write about Ivanka Trump for a couple of years now. Not because I love her, nor loathe her, but because I didn’t think what she was posting on social media was of any help to women. Ok, let me retract that, real women.
You see reading about Ivanka made me feel bad about myself. It was only for a minute or two, but when I scrolled through her Instagram pages I found myself feeling a little bit like a failure.
I guess I kind of compared myself to her as we both had our third child at a similar time. Like any new mum, it was a struggle and it was a juggle. I thought that I was winning for the day if I got in a shower. When I flicked over to Instagram there was Ivanka, seemingly handling it much better and with so much more glamour than I could imagine. The flawless makeup, the designer outfits, the model like figure, the Met Galas, the apparently incredibly successful business. This chick was doing it all. And it appeared with such ease and grace. She hadn’t missed a beat and was full steam ahead. I was ahead if I didn’t walk out of the house with someone else’s food on my clothes.
But what made me cranky was that Ivanka whose modus operandi is to support and empower women wasn’t making me feel empowered or good about myself.
I know that social media showcases the best part of our lives and I assume that behind those brilliant family photos is a team of makeup artists, stylists and a couple of nannies to take charge of the kids as soon as the camera has stopped clicking.
So I watched for a while and then I lost interest. Yes, she was beautiful. Yes, she had a hot husband and yes she seemed to have it all sorted.
And then the Presidential race came and Ivanka was once again front and centre, supporting daddy all the way. According to media reports in the lead up to the US Federal election, Ivanka was one of her dad’s greatest assets.
In fact, after her father was elected she was listed as Number 19 on Forbes ‘100 Most Powerful Women 2017’.
Yet according to recent media reports, her popularity is now sliding.
She has made some controversial, and dare I say, wrong political decisions of late. When asked by a reporter to comment on the allegations of over a dozen women accusing her father of sexual misconduct she refused to answer and said the question was ‘inappropriate’. For someone who has aligned themselves wholly as a voice on women’s issues in the current Administration, her response I believe, was limited at best.
Similarly, her visit to Israel to open an embassy was met with severe criticism as just nearby, protestors of the very same embassy were, according to reports, being fired upon and wounded by the Israeli army. The apparent images that came out of Gaza depicting the atrocities were in direct contrast to the woman in the designer suit holding a microphone. Indeed the New York Daily News ran a front page picture of Ivanka at the time with the words ‘Daddy’s Little Ghoul’.
The picture she posted holding her privileged son while Trump initiated a policy to separate children from their undocumented migrant parents also garnished heavy criticism and for good reason.
Since taking on a full-time role at the White House (I’d love to see her qualifications for the role - can anyone scream NEPOTISM) she has shut down her fashion label which was itself not immune from controversy. Her now stance on ‘promote America, hire America’ seems to be in direct opposition to her clothing line which had apparently been produced in Vietnam, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Bangladesh.
Just recently, the Washington Post has found that she has been using her private email account to conduct government business. Can anyone say ‘Hillary’? Trump has relentlessly been pursuing ‘Crooked Hillary’ as he calls her for the exact same thing, but here is his own daughter engaging in similar conduct. Ivanka’s response: she ‘was not familiar with some of the details of the rules’. Really Ivanka? Your dad’s vicious campaign to smear Hillary Clinton for the very same reason didn’t ring a bell at any time?
So I guess for the same reason I couldn’t fathom the Instagram pages is the same reason I am still not sold. If you want to empower women, make them feel good about themselves, then be real. If you say you are a voice for women on women’s issues, then be a voice at all times, not when it suits you. If you say you don’t know the rules, when I assume you should, take responsibility for your actions and do a crash course in the roles and responsibilities of your job. Trust me there are a thousand people out there who are probably just as, or more qualified, who would love your job- their dad just doesn’t happen to be the President.
So let me finish with this. Ivanka may have made some regrettable decisions, but haven’t we all. None of us