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Melania Trump’s pictures, especially those of her in revealing outfits started doing the rounds as soon as Donald Trump won the US elections. Why are women always the easiest targets?
I am not a meticulous follower of American politics. I passively followed the American elections. And hence, to be very fair, I am neither a fan nor a hater of the newly elected US President, Donald Trump. Moreover, until and unless I have a thorough understanding of the American socio-political history and demographics, I choose to neither form instant opinions based on half-baked knowledge nor pass loose statements.
So while the Indian media and self-proclaimed wizards simply went berserk or rather got Trumped, I was particularly impacted by the coverage on Mr. President’s wife, Melania Trump. It is a fact that the day Trump was elected, social media was flooded with pictures of Melania from her modelling days. The news pieces and articles doing the rounds specifically chose to exhibit the most revealing pictures to introduce Melania.
Now while I have no objection to the fact that these pictures are nothing but exquisite works of art, that these pictures were in any case available in the public domain beforehand and that Melania was a subject of these pictures at her own free will, I do have a serious objection to the timing at which these pictures flooded the Internet.
It is simply amazing and rather pitiable how quickly the First Lady of the United States, a ‘winner’ in her own right, was simply reduced to being a heady sex symbol, and nothing more. This is the new low that society can drop down to. We have seen this in the case of Indian sportswomen too. Whenever a woman player rises high, the society gets uncomfortable and hence finds the most convenient route of beating down her achievements by focusing on the physical attributes – nipples and thighs being the favourite target spots for photographers and news reporters. It is such a pity.
For a person like me, and I am sure majority of others, who do not have in depth knowledge of American politics, isn’t it pathetic that the only piece of information that has been graphically delivered to us is how Melania Trump verges on being ‘the hottest’ first lady of the US? Is this all we can think or teach or profess about her? How intellectually depleted and immensely cheap can the society possibly be?
Once again, such behaviour reflects the primitive psychology of a sexist society’s relentless attempt at belittling a potentially powerful woman by ‘exposing’ a woman’s images completely out of context.
I must affirm that the above view stands irrespective of whether in the future Melania Trump turns out to be nothing more than eye candy. It is beside the point that she is ‘hot’, dresses up in a fiery red gown or that she looks superbly attractive.
The point is that why is it so okay to portray a woman in a particular myopic way? Why is it so easy to simply judge a woman even before she has set her foot in the White House? Why is it so tempting to share sensuous images at the drop of the hat…without an ounce of consideration towards the occasion, context and need?
In fact, please criticize Melania. Let the critique be ruthless and honest. But of course, such critique does not have anything to do with her body! Can we not rise above this?
I am not a promoter of Melania Trump. However, I am a promoter of every woman on this planet who does well for herself in life, who seems larger than life, who is in the spotlight and who exudes confidence. And with respect to such women, society has no business but to view her objectively just as it would view a popular and/or successful man.
Anusha Singh is a writer, public speaker and lawyer. Master of Laws from Delhi University
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