Well, as you can expect, Melania Trump has recently graced the cover of her first glossy magazine as First Lady of the United States. In this month’s issue of Vanity Fair Mexico, the First Lady is pictured twirling diamond necklaces around a fork as if they were spaghetti. It’s an apt representation for a woman with her fortune, fame, beauty and power. Effortlessly sending the message that some women can have their diamonds and eat them too. However, as much buzz as there has been over this recent cover, it’s not a recent story. The photos and interview are actually a recycled story that was published in GQ last April.
Aside from the fact that this story is not necessarily a new one, the choice to re-publish it in Vanity Fair Mexico is a curious one, whilst her husband suggests raising import taxes on all Mexican goods. This tax is of course, intended to pay for the proposed border wall that Donald Trump and his fanbase have been championing for the past year. Nevertheless, in the current political climate, you will find fans and critics of the Trump family on either side of the border, and the role of the media has never been quite so meaningless as it is in the post truth era. So, with that said, what’s the real meaning and significance of Melania Trump slurping up hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of crystallized carbon? The answer is that the meaning of the image is now truly in the eye of the beholder, but no matter what you make of the meaning, the significance is relatively banal at the end of the day.
The truth of the matter is that whether you’re flipping through the pages of GQ or Vanity Fair, you’re not looking for any kind of real-world knowledge or deeper understandings. You’re looking for entertainment; a diversion from the everyday politics that inject themselves into every other aspect of life. We study fashion and pop culture as a way to engage with our innermost fantasies in life, and for many of us, having so many diamonds that you could slurp them up like spaghetti sounds pretty awesome. When you look at it that way, the only thing that really matters is the aesthetic quality of the images.
I’d like to go back to that fantasy, the one where you could essentially have as many diamonds as your heart desires. It’s not an unfamiliar one. Add that to the idea that diamonds could have a flavor and comestible quality that parallels their ability to sparkle and awe, and you have the perfect indulgence. So, why does everything about the scene look so quotidien? It’s as though the fantasy for Melania Trump hits so close to her reality that the emotional response is equal to that of an Apple genius who just updated your operating software for you. Congratulations!