Shakespeare’s famous quote “To be or not to be, that is the question” seems to be the motto of designers lately, when it comes to America’s next First Lady, Melania Trump: to design dresses or not design, that is the question.
Sophie Theallet, the fashion designer who asked her fellow designers to protest Melania as First Lady with her, has designed dresses for Michelle Obama, so I can only think she feels a sense of loyalty; when other designers decide whether they should join her, they can remember, it may not apply to their career the way it does Sophie’s. Unless a designer has endorsed Michelle Obama at some point, they need not follow the trend, just to suddenly “fit in”. Until Mrs. Obama makes a public statement protesting Mrs. Trump herself, telling loyalists to do the same, even designers who are Democrat can keep their integrity, continue forward with stride, and be willing to design for Melania Trump.
I will admit I’m an artist who promoted Mr. Trump as POTUS. Readers are right to argue “You’re Republican, so of course you’d say that.” But let me ask. What has Melania done to deserve discrimination? Democrats were the first to defend the LGBTQ community against discrimination when Christians were desperate to keep their rights to deny services (i.e. they argued that when gays come and ask a bakery for a wedding cake, Christian owners should not have the right to say no), so I would think they’d be the ones not to discriminate. It makes no sense if they want to ban together and deny Melania their services.
Perhaps the reason why it’s okay to deny her is because she’s the wife of Donald Trump. That’s a very judgmental reason. Melania is her own person. She does not make her husband’s choices. She’s said more than once he’s a grown man, she’s an independent woman, and he has his own agenda.
Maybe it’s okay because she posed lewdly when she was a model, but I do not believe that is a wise reason. Fashion design and models are similar industries. Designers need models and models need designers. Sympathy should be extended for her choices as a model, and besides, it’s not very feminist to be against a woman’s right to show her body.
It could be that designers are hurt because Melania robbed Bill Clinton the chance to be our very 1st First Gentleman. But the Democratic stance rejects sexism. Saying it’s time a man got the role of First Gentleman for a change is sexist (aka gender discrimination). A person is discriminating to say “Not another First Lady!” And if it’s about Hillary Clinton being the first woman President (how Donald Trump robbed her), it goes back to what I said earlier: it’s not honoring individual freedom to judge Melania for Donald’s actions.
Maybe Melania being from a “white” part of Europe has some kind of derogative feeling. Need I explain what’s wrong with this argument? It’s racist not to like her because she’s white, and it’s confusing, because the Clintons are also white, and First Lady Michelle Obama was not going to stay FLOTUS forever (American government doesn’t allow it), so that’s no reason to deny Melania service.
Designers may desire to reject nationalism and support globalism. Well, Melania should be no problem, then: she is an immigrant from Slovenia; she’s the 1st First Lady who did not have English as her native language; she knows 5 languages. That makes her a part of the world, or is globalism something different than that?
Ultimately, Melania is a strong and confident woman. Her origin is not the United States. She’s a fashion model, a mom, and a designer. Why not celebrate her, appreciate her, praise her, and display her as a role model for young girls; it is the very ones who reject her who should love her, yet it’s the stiff Republicans, accused of being judgmental and close-mined, like myself – accused of being racist, sexist, and xenophobic – who get to appreciate and embrace her as First Lady. How twisted is that, my dear Shakespeare; what would you have to say?
Fear reeks liberal society, because no one knows what a Trump administration will bring, but I say, don’t be afraid. When we were called xenophobic for our fears, when we were given no sympathy, I ask now, how is it acceptable to fear at all with a standard like that?
In conclusion, I can see no reason why a designer should deny making dresses for Melania Trump, except one: peer pressure. If the future of society is against individual freedom and peers will pressure each other to join in on a protest, no matter what side is protesting, honestly, as for me, I’m so glad Mrs. Trump is FLOTUS, because she promised to contribute to society by stopping cyber-bullies.
Finally, if Melania Trump came and asked me to make a line of Autumn Angel Art paperdolls, of herself and all the other First Lady’s, whether it be Martha Washington or Mary Todd Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt or Michelle Obama, I would do it in a heartbeat. It’s not about the money; it’s about being proud of the 45th First Lady and what she has accomplished as a woman. It’s about being proud of my heritage, my government, history, how far we’ve come and where we’re going in America and in the world. So, maybe I’m the only one, but Shakespeare, to answer the question, I have chosen to design.