One guess – it’s not Melania’s perspective. That’s right, the only people quoted in the New York Post article associated with the photos is Donald Trump and the photographer, Alé de Basseville. Every news source covering the story has only asked about Trump and the state of the campaign.
Honestly, I’m not even surprised. Not about Melania – she was a model, this was twenty years ago, and it was a job. For a French men’s magazine, yes, but a job nonetheless. What I’m not surprised by is Trump’s never-ending marketing strategy as a reality TV star. I’m not saying Trump is a reality TV star, just that he rose to power like one – he’s the one that everyone loves to hate.
And now the “sex scandal” has arrived, and Trump’s taking full advantage. As he says in the article: “Melania was one of the most successful models and she did many photo shoots, including for covers and major magazines. This was a picture taken for a European magazine prior to my knowing Melania. In Europe, pictures like this are very fashionable and common.”
Now, I don’t think Trump had anything to do with bringing these photos to light, but as CNN Money points out, the New York Post endorsed Trump. So, they wouldn’t publish anything that could potentially damage the campaign, right? Of course, that’s assuming that the New York Post values loyalty over popularity.
One blogger, Femina Fera, has already shared strong suspicions that this was Donald’s strategy: “It is no coincidence that this story dropped so quickly after Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for the Presidency and Trump invited Russian hackers to sabotage her and our election. If we take this bait, we are playing into Donald Trump’s ham-fisted and crude attempt to plant a red herring into our political news cycle.” While this conspiracy theory feels a little farfetched to me, I’m a little disturbed that Melania hasn’t come forward herself. No one has even thought to ask for her opinion – everyone jumps straight to how Trump feels. Yes, it is his campaign at stake, but this is Melania’s life.
Of course, there’s a very good chance Melania didn’t want to come forward. Maybe she felt like her husband would have a better chance smoothing things over. But how has no one wondered about her experience? We’ve always been too obsessed with female politician’s appearances, and for half a second it actually looked like we were about to move forward. There have even been parody pieces about Secretary Clinton’s husband’s outfit, but in Melania’s case we’ve taken several steps backwards. She’s not just arm candy – she’s tabloid bait.
And now, as I write this piece, the New York Post has released more pictures from the photo shoot in question – this time “girl-on-girl” images, of course further sensationalizing Melania’s body and sexuality (not her own sexuality, but the sexual aura she has for others to enjoy). It’s just more “negative” attention for the Trump campaign, and Melania doesn’t even get to share her thoughts.