First Lady Dr. Jill Biden added a thoughtful touch to her wardrobe on Monday — one that honors the people of Ukraine. Biden wore a white mask with a sunflower embroidered on the side, which is the national flower of the country, to show support for Ukrainian citizens whose homeland is being invaded by Russia.
This small gesture had Twitter comparing the current First Lady’s fashion choices to that of former First Lady Melania Trump, who received criticism for wearing a green Zara jacket that had a pointed message on the back, “I really don’t care. Do u?” She wore it while on a visit to the Texas border in June 2018. While the Trump administration tried to spin it as a dig at the media, the public perception was that it was a careless jab at the border crisis. And that’s where Twitter jumped in to compare the two situations.
“Our first lady wears her sunflower mask in support of Ukraine. It doesn’t get better than this. This is the America I love,” one user explained. “See the difference between class like Jill Biden and trash like Melania when she donned her “I don’t care, do U?” jacket?” Another account recalled their anger at the 2018 event, “That jacket still makes me scream inside too!!!! I don’t care do you…how dare she! I refuse to believe that was a mistake…. First ladies, real ones, don’t make “mistakes” like that.” And one user cut right to the chase about their feelings, “The sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine. Today, Jill Biden was seen wearing a sunflower mask to honor the country & show her support. Really puts Melania Trump’s arrogant “I Really Don’t Care” jacket to complete & utter shame.”
While both political sides will argue about which woman wore their fashion choices best, it’s a reminder that wardrobe can be a powerful way to send a message. First Ladies throughout U.S. history have used their closets to do the talking for them — and many times, it’s controversial. From Mary Todd Lincoln’s expensive ball gown purchases while the Civil War was going on to Patricia Nixon purposely wearing a red coat to draw attention to herself during her husband’s 1972 trip to China — these moments are not just random, they are planned for publicity. And as the stakes get higher in between the Democrats and the Republicans, so do the fashion choices.
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