Melania Trump wants people to stop focusing on her colonist fashion choices

10 October, 2018, 10:01 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • First lady Melania Trump looks out over Nairobi National Park in Nairobi Kenya

The US first lady has been criticised for choosing to wear a pith hat while on safari in Kenya, after its connections to colonialism. Photos of the unexpected moment were popular on social media.

In rare comments to the press, Trump said her trip - which also took in Ghana, Malawi and Kenya - was created to "show the world that we care".

Of course, it wasn't just the hat.

Trump told reporters that the central message of her trip was to "show the world we care".

She also denied January reports that he referred to Haiti and African nations as "s**thole countries".

However, the Trump administration has proposed a raft of austerity measures to curtail U.S. funding of various programmes aimed at helping poor countries across the world.

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Herve Pierre, who designed Melania's inaugural gown, is thought to have helped put together the first lady's Africa wardrobe.

In June this year, Melania stepped out in a jacket emblazoned with the slogan "I really don't care, do u?" in the heat of Trump's family separation policy, whereby the children of immigrants were being taken away from their families at the USA border.

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Washington has long maintained a strong relationship with Cairo, which was briefly soured by the ouster of president Mohamed Mursi in 2013 and the temporary suspension of $1.3bn in military aid under US President Barack Obama.

And those clothes have power. "Why didn't she go to a tech hub?" "We went to Ghana, we went to Malawi, Kenya, here we are in Egypt".

"She made something of an art out of pairing designers with countries during state dinners or trips", The New York Times wrote a year ago. "Everybody has a different reaction to what she's wearing".

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Laura Seay, an assistant professor at Colby College who studies African politics, conflict and development, tells NPR the pith helmet, a thick form of head protection, also came about because of unscientific - and later debunked - theories colonialists had about risky radiation in the tropics.

Mrs. Trump arrived at The Nest orphanage on Friday after helping feed baby elephants, still clad in the riding trousers and tall brown boots she had worn on a safari. The same aesthetic could have been provided by a number of designers from Kenya's growing fashion scene.

The first lady faced a lot of backlash over this pith helmet.

The US first lady's tour in Africa has been part of her BE BEST initiative, which focuses on improving the lives of children.

With a child's hand clasped in each of hers, Mrs. Trump led the group up a walkway toward the home for orphaned infants, sashaying to the music as she approached a bank of waiting news cameras. This recent trip to Africa was supposedly to promote it. It was at Greater Accra Regional Hospital that she plucked a chubby baby boy from the arms of the woman holding him. She's hardly dancing on Ellen about it. She has received much criticism for the "hypocritical" endeavor.

She demonstrated her independence from her husband in ways large and small - like talking up USA foreign aid that he's tried to slash and ignoring the Fox-only edict that the president imposes on TV screens when he's aboard Air Force One.

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Brigety, a former USA ambassador to the African Union and now dean of George Washington University's school of worldwide affairs. Egypt will be her final stop on her tour of the continent focused on child welfare, education, tourism and conservation.

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