The people in charge of dictionaries, too, have opinions, and they made it clear what they think of the first lady's sartorial choice for a visit to the border on Thursday. Shortly after FLOTUS' spokesperson Stephanie Grisham confirmed that Melania Trump wore an eyebrow-raising jacket, Dictionary.com suggested that her fashion pick showed “indifference.”
It was a jacket that had already received significant backlash on social media, where many decried it as inappropriate and insensitive given the event. Retweeting a Daily Mail report that first identified Trump donning the jacket, Dictionary.com added: "Indifference. Lack of interest or care. [For example], the words on Melania Trump's jacket indicate indifference."
In her statement to Bustle, Grisham says that the jacket was simply an innocuous choice with no hidden agenda. "It's a jacket," she says. "There was no hidden message. After today's important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn't going to choose to focus on her wardrobe. (Much like her high heels last year.)"
At first glance, Trump's jacket isn't remarkable; it's an olive green Zara production priced at $39. But on its back, it states, "I Don't Really Care, Do U?" in a large, white font.
It's the timing that struck many as tone deaf, especially considering Trump's destination. The first lady was seen wearing it on her way to a border facility for detained immigrant children in McAllen, Texas. The center, known as Upbring New Hope Children's Shelter, is where dozens of immigrant children, mainly of Guatemalan origin, are detained without their parents.
The thing is, as Erica Gonzales wrote in Harper's Bazaar, the jacket isn't noteworthy but its timing is poorly chosen. This kind of jacket would make sense at a friend's gathering or a more casual event. But to wear it amid a crisis created by the current administration and her husband, Donald Trump, is a kind of move that seems to have left the American public scratching its head but also furious.
On social media, many observers have slammed the first lady's jacket as highly inconsiderate and indifferent, just like Dictionary.com said, to the people around her. In this case, the people who may have seen Trump's jacket might have included children desperately seeking to be with their families.
Still, Grisham seems to be in favor of Trump's sartorial pick. In a tweet shared after she responded to Bustle, accompanied with self-created hashtags like #ItsJustAJacket and #SheCares, Grisham said, "Today’s visit with the children in Texas impacted @flotus greatly. If media would spend their time and energy on her actions and efforts to help kids — rather than speculate and focus on her wardrobe — we could get so much accomplished on behalf of children."
In spite of her spokesperson's defense, social media users have refused to accept the explanation for Trump's jacket. In response to Grisham's tweet, one Twitter user said, "This is not the media’s fault so stop blaming them.
@MELANIATRUMP chose to wear that jacket, this by a woman who carefully chooses her clothes and looks. This is totally on her shoulders and that of her staff. The media [is] reporting what is seen. You don’t get to decide."
In other cases, Twitter users explained why the first lady was being criticized — even if Grisham thought it wasn't an issue. Summarizing the debacle in his opinion, founder of The Left, Adam Best, tweeted, "Here's why the 'I really don't care' jacket worn by Melania Trump matters. Michelle's sleeveless dress caused outrage. Barack caught hell for a tan suit."
"If either Obama went to a humanitarian crisis with messaging like this," Best wrote, "right-wing America would've hammered them forever."