“When is a shoe not just a shoe?” asks New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman at the start of a multi-hundred word piece on First Lady Melania Trump’s kicks.
The premise? While Melania boarded Air Force One with President Trump as the pair headed to assess the damage in Hurricane Harvey-torn Texas, she was pictured wearing – gasp – stilettos.
This was nothing short of a crime to progressives who, despite their self-proclaimed forward-thinking feminism, seem more concerned about what Melania was wearing than what she was actually doing in Texas.
The New York Times’ Friedman falls into that same trap, arguing that “to dismiss all this as merely much ado about heels, or an example of the pettiness of our divided electorate, is to ignore the reality of the current conversation about the President – to pretend not to notice how sensitized everyone has become to his unpredictable reactions to major events, and to deny the power of the telling detail to invite applause, condemnation or misinterpretation.”
No, Friedman, it’s quite obviously all about shoes – especially considering the fact that progressives in an uproar about Melania’s stilettos appear to have missed the part where she changed into tennis shoes by the time she got off Air Force One.
Update for everyone who is obsessed with this: Melania Trump is now in tennis shoes. pic.twitter.com/6nwboiEZfk
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) August 29, 2017
“Women in the capital are generally more associated with sensible pumps than teetering patent leather numbers,” Friedman’s unnecessarily complex piece in The Times continues.
“The problem is that, as First Lady, in an environment as fraught as the current one, there is no such thing as offstage. Even boarding a plane becomes a quasi-official moment in which all messaging, spoken or assumed, is mined for meaning.”
Friedman – in what has to be one of the most rushed endings published by any major media outlet today – concludes by calling for more hyper-analysis of Melania Trump’s attire.
“The sharp point of the stilettos,” she writes, “is that this kind of proactive analysis needs to be applied as consistently as possible across all public appearances (which, when you are in the White House, is all appearances).”
“In Mrs. Trump’s job, as in her husband’s, details matter. Even shoes. Put your best foot forward, and all that.”
It’s hard to understand what the point of all this was. Many people responding to The New York Times’ piece appear to agree.
Really, an article about Melania's shoes when people are suffering in Texas? New low, even from you.
— Incognito (@IncognitoMeems) August 30, 2017
I can't stand them but this is just stupid. The woman can wear whatever she wants.
— Angel Ford (@sun_conure) August 30, 2017
Was a shoe just a shoe when Mrs. O wore $540 sneakers to a soup kitchen? Just stop.
— lkp (@HCLphy) August 30, 2017
Failing NY Times. I can see why.
— Brock Monroe (@rbmonroe75) August 30, 2017
Seriously disappointed in this news. So she had sneakers in the plane. Wore heels out the door, big deal! I can't stand Trump but come on
— Terri C (@CGrahamr8) August 30, 2017
What shoes did Michelle wear when she toured the aftermath of Sandy. Oh my bad, she was never there.
Pick your battles. This is a waste.
— CWest631 (@Cwest631) August 30, 2017
Seriously @nytimes No.
— Bryan Smith (@bryrsmith) August 30, 2017
Can we focus on the needs of the people in TX instead of shoes please?! Who cares what shoes she is wearing.
— SharonTheriault (@cargirlz) August 30, 2017
Who gives a shit? Women wear heels all the time – criticizing Melania for wearing them going to a disaster area is nitpicking and petty.
— Nedster (@BAG66U) August 30, 2017
Please provide photos of what Michelle wore to survey Sandy and Laura Bush to Katrina. I'll wait…
— BackUpYouCreep (@RightGirlNYC) August 30, 2017
I really don't give two shits what kind of shoes she wears. And REALLY !?! twine when the shoes the FLOTUS wears a national issue ?
— Jacqueline Hamon (@jujubean911) August 30, 2017
Why this important journal don't shows critical aspects of this strong huracan instead of Melania Trump's stilettos? Are you HOLA MAGAZINE?
— Magaly Patiño (@MagalyPatio3) August 30, 2017
If you care about what shoes she wears, please rethink your priorities.
— avond (@avond90) August 30, 2017
The Pulitzer for biggest non-story goes to…And I don't even like Trump. Good grief.
— Jerome B (@JeromeOBA) August 30, 2017
In actual news related to Hurricane Harvey, the city of Houston has imposed a curfew in an effort to clamp down on looting and other opportunistic crimes.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the fear of looting is particularly high thanks to the presence of thousands of abandoned and partially submerged homes in Houston.
Houston continues to receive an abominable amount of rain, with some areas getting hit with more than 50 inches worth – more than what they typically receive in a full year.