ABBY RICHMOND (GRADE 11)
Ivanka Trump’s Instagram consists of neat stacks of professional family photoshoots, inspirational quotes, and glamour shots. Scrolling through her feed is like getting sucked into a bizarre, too-perfect alternate universe. It’s immediately obvious, however, that Ivanka’s page is reeking of something. It’s not Ivanka Trump Eau de Parfum, but rather the sickly aftertaste of false feminism that lingers in every post.
At the top of her page, her bio reads “Entrepreneur + passionate advocate for the education and empowerment of women and girls.” Clicking on just a few of her high-resolution pics reveals that this theme of so-called female empowerment is woven throughout her social media presence.
A cute video of Ivanka and her kids dancing in their penthouse apartment boasts the caption, “Little moments matter, especially for working moms!” A shot of Ivanka and Angela Merkel (the Chancellor of Germany, who has spoken out against Trump many times) is accompanied by a similar feel-good, inspiring message about powerful females. Almost every photo seems to have something to do with the concept of working women—but of course, there are zero mentions of the dirty word (FEMINIST) to be found.
This persona is only intensified by Ivanka’s latest posts—screengrabs of her own quotes from her book, Women Who Work. In these snippets, Ivanka shares tips for how to stay “focused” and land the perfect job.
It’s more than a little hypocritical that Ivanka Trump is acting as a spokeswoman for the women’s rights movement. Misogyny and the objectification of women have been at the center of her father, Donald Trump’s, career and personal life. Whether you’re looking at Trump’s disgusting comments on women’s bodies and looks, the scarcity of women in his cabinet and administration, his infamous “grab ‘em by the pussy” remarks, or the many sexual assault allegations against him, one thing is extremely clear: President Trump does not respect women. He has never made any effort to hide his sexism from the public.
So what’s Ivanka, Trump’s loyal daughter and now official government employee, doing on Instagram with this female empowerment stuff? Her social media persona makes it obvious she’s trying to reverse the impression made on the public by her father’s overt misogyny, or at least dilute it. But the thing is this: Ivanka can’t tone down the severity of her father’s words and actions by curating a pristine, politically-correct page of female CEOs and feel-good captions about equal pay for equal work. If she really wanted to make a difference for women, she would speak out directly against her father’s misogyny and try to use her influence in government to prevent him from making laws that harm women.
In some respects I recognize that it might be unfair to blame Ivanka for her father’s actions, as we can’t be held 100% responsible for what our relatives do. But here’s another important thing about Ivanka: regardless of who her father is, her feminism is still false. The pics she posts are self-promotional, trying to get Americans to buy her clothes, jewelry, and now her new book. Her attempt to appeal to American women and brand herself with “female empowerment” is a pretty obvious scheme not just to try to patch up her father’s image, but also to use as a marketing campaign to make her even wealthier than she already is.
On a recent splashy cover by the tabloid US Weekly, the magazine touted Ivanka as “balancing her personal ideals with love and loyalty to her father…the president’s daughter will always fight for what she believes in.” Headlines like this show the lethality of Ivanka’s fake feminism. She has curated an image as a trailblazing feminist role model, sticking up for American women everywhere. Unfortunately for Ivanka, no amount of Instagram snapshots with female CEOs can hide her real motives or undo the damage Donald Trump has done. And when all is said and done, Ivanka is inherently a Trump too—materialistic, self-serving, and complicit.
Photo credit: Daily Beast