Today in, “inappropriate things Melania Trump wears,” is the choice of accessory she opted for while in Africa. On October 5, Melania visited an animal sanctuary in Nairobi, Kenya wearing a white blouse, khaki pants and a white pith helmet.
The helmet, which has become a symbol for 19th century colonialism, has quickly become a popular topic of discussion on social media. People are comparing it to costume, deeming it inappropriate and distasteful.
Melania Trump went on a safari in Kenya wearing a pith helmet – a symbol of European colonial rule across Africa 🤦🏿♂️ pic.twitter.com/JSvNghTs3p
— Hamza Mohamed (@Hamza_Africa) October 6, 2018
Others claim that she could use a lesson in American history.
(For those who don’t know – including many Nigerians ignorant of their history), there is no better known symbol of colonial rule in Africa than the pith helmet.
For the U.S. First Lady to wear one in 2018, is a horrible faux pas. She should fire her stylist. pic.twitter.com/a4OXg6gy7P
— Onye Nkuzi (@cchukudebelu) October 6, 2018
Most users straight-up criticized her inappropriate and tone-deaf fashion choice.
1) what does she do, other than pose in utterly inappropriate clothing 2) the choice of a pith helmet as costume in Africa is just as tone deaf, if not more, than the “I don’t really care” jacket. pic.twitter.com/YByS1w7e1Q
— lAW9M (@SusanLeeLaw) October 7, 2018
Melania Trump travelling through Africa in a pith helment, the hat colonials wore. Do these people have advisers?
— Jonathan Jansen (@JJ_Stellies) October 6, 2018
— guybo (@hotmess_DC) October 6, 2018
Since the backlash, Melania has made a statement regarding this outfit. If you were expecting an apology, or at least her admitting to wearing an inappropriate piece of clothing, you are sorely mistaken. Instead, according to WWD, she merely said, “I wish people would focus on what I do, not what I wear.”
This isn’t the first time, and most likely will not be the last time, that people have focused on what Melania is wearing. Just a few months ago, she made a major fashion faux pas by wearing a jacket that read, “I really don’t care, do u?,” as she boarded a flight to visit a detention centre at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Or what about the time that she wore heels to a disaster zone? People were not happy about her choice in footwear — stilettos — that she sported en route to Texas to visit the locals after Hurricane Harvey.
It’s only a matter of time until Melania commits her next fashion offence, but until then, we hope that she does a little bit of homework before stepping out again.