The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan is a liberal hack posing as a fashion writer, so it should come to no surprise that she completely trashed Ivanka Trump’s photoshoot for an upcoming issue of Harper’s Bazaar.
This is the same Givhan who oozed nothing but flattery and admiration for Michelle Obama’s fashion sense in a 2014 article titled, “Michelle Obama lifts up U.S. designers, elegantly around her shoulders” – never once mentioning the cost of these designer dresses, yet had the audacity to throw shade at Ann Romney’s fashion sense during the 2012 election – oftentimes mocking the price tag. Givhan also dissed Americans in another article which kowtowed to Obama, “Americans in Their Sloppy Vacation Wear Should Learn from Chic Mrs. Obama.” There are other gushy articles over Obama’s fashion style by Givhan – you can see them here, here, and here. If there’s one thing we can say about Givhan, it’s that she has certainly found her beat.
The headline was "Reintroducing Ivanka: The privilege is still all hers." Right off the bat, Givhan talks the cost of Trump’s dress and shoes:
She is wearing a strawberry-colored, $6,990 Carolina Herrera gown with a portrait neckline and a pair of barely visible, but clearly glorious, $725 Manolo Blahnik shoes that do not receive nearly enough love from the photographer.
The headline, “Growing up Trump: Ivanka Trump tells all,” promises that the story will give readers something — if not authenticity, then at least some tidbit that will allow people to know her better, to know her as more than the titles that are applied to her. Daughter, mother, business woman, sister. Writer Lisa DePaulo questions Trump on her friendship with Chelsea Clinton, her father’s unorthodox presidential campaign and her self-declared women’s advocacy. She answers; she doesn’t answer. It’s a familiar, coy dance.
Givhan then really makes a stretch in the next paragraph – basically stating that the photos we see of Trump mean she is “above” us “common folk” – because, you know…she’s standing on a ladder in a beautiful dress and shoes and that means she’s better than everyone else:
The pictures, however, are a blatant study in avoidance. In both images, by photographer Mark Seliger, viewers see Trump in profile. She never looks her audience in the eye. Her gaze is focused off into the distance. The viewer is kept more than an arm’s length away. As she stands perched on the ladder, we look up at her. She is elevated. The positioning suggests that she is, in some way, above politics and above the fray.
But also, in her rather regal gown set against a grimy landscape, her privileged life and position are underscored. She makes it very clear in the accompanying article that her wealth has afforded her a host of advantages. In the story, she comes across as self-aware. And in the imagery, she is comfortably advantaged.
Givhan writes that “fashion photos are not the truth” (well, duh):
They are fiction, hyperbole and sleight-of-hand. But they also tell a story in a single perfectly lit, costumed and choreographed frame. They are a controlled environment in which a new view of a familiar figure can be unveiled…The pictures of Trump are on message. But they don’t expand the story. They offer an airbrushed version of the airbrushed Ivanka Trump that the public has already seen but still doesn’t really know.