After first lady Melania Trump’s shoe choice fell under scrutiny, some people have noticed a marked difference between her kicks and those that her predecessor, former first lady Michelle Obama, wore in a similar situation.
Mrs. Trump caught flack after a photo of her arriving in south Texas on Aug. 29 wearing stiletto heels circulated around the internet.
Many people criticized her for being woefully out of touch wearing the impractical, formal pumps in a flood zone, but as it turns out, that story is fake news.
The first lady did indeed leave Washington wearing the high heels, but when she and her husband, President Donald Trump, arrived to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, she wore a pair of $60 white Adidas sneakers and not the pumps, reports the Independent Journal Review.
In the area devastated by the flooding, Mrs. Trump was pictured wearing black capri pants, a white button-up a black “FLOTUS” baseball cap and the economical tennis shoes:
But the pumps were what made headlines.
“When is a shoe not just a shoe?” The New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman wrote of the first lady’s outfit. “When it is a pair of very high, needle-thin heels worn by the first lady of the United States on her way to the site of a natural disaster. Then it becomes a symbol for what many see as the disconnect between the Trump administration and reality; another example of the way in which this president and his family continue to define ‘appropriate’ their own way; and an excuse for partisan name-calling.”
This is far from the first time that a first lady has been criticized for her choice of footwear, however. In 2009, Mrs. Obama caught unwanted media attention when she donned $540 Lanvin sneakers while volunteering to feed the poor at a Washington, D.C., food bank, notes CBS News.
“She used them to walk the dog,” explained “Early Show” co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez at the time, according to CBS. “I think she’s worn them — she says she wakes up at 5:00 in the morning to walk her dog. And her response to all this was, ‘They’re just shoes,’ but they’re expensive shoes.”
In a White House-issued statement, Mrs. Trump said that she wanted to provide “help and support in the most productive way possible” through “action” and not “just words” when she visited Texas amid rising water that forced an estimated 1.7 million people to evacuate, reports USA Today.
“What I found to be the most profound during the visit was not only the strength and resilience of the people of Texas, but the compassion and sense of community that has taken over the state,” Mrs. Trump added. “My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of Texas and Louisiana.”
Sources: Independent Journal Review (2), The New York Times, USA Today, CBS News / Featured Image: Obama White House/Flickr / Embedded Images: Twitter via Independent Journal Review, John Binder/Twitter