“On a surprise trip to the Texas border to visit immigrant kids, the first lady wore what appeared to be a $39 Zara green jacket with lettering on the back that read I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” — Washington Post, June 21, 2018
I see many Americans have questions about my outfit from my trip to South Texas. In the interest of transparency and because I always aspire to Be Best, I want to explain the thought process that went into my attire.
As the First Lady of the United States — much like you, I did not expect to find myself here! But here we are, together, what a joy it is — I know my outfits will be seen and scrutinized by the public. The pressure is on for any outfit, anywhere I go, for instance as I visit a detention center filled with children who have been ripped from their parents for literally no reason at all, as there is no law requiring this.
When I get dressed, I have to ask myself many questions. How will this look on camera? Should I wear costly, faux-distressed jeans when going to meet children who are being real-distressed at facilities costing more than $700 a day, or would that be too matchy-matchy?
Ultimately I decided to wear white jeans to convey to these children what they need to be in order to be the kind of immigrant we will welcome into the country. (White. They need to be white.)
I began to think of all the images I had seen so far from these “cages,” or as I prefer to think of them, “open-air daycares.” Or maybe [long blank stare] it is best not to think of them at all.
Where was I? It’s so important to incorporate the local culture in your look. Could a white gold Santos de Cartier bracelet be an homage to a chain-link fence? Inspiration for an accent piece is everywhere you look! Incidentally, this is how I chose my footwear for my instantly-iconic trip to Houston after that rainstorm. I chose stilettos, so I could perch above the waters, much like a heron or a house on stilts.
Did you see that picture of the weeping two-year-old girl standing next to her mother? Who could look at that picture and not think: I love that bold pop of color! This is what inspired me to wear a jacket when I visited the border. You could call her my muse, I suppose, but I have no idea how to reach her, so, for now I guess you can’t call her anything.
I remembered that these children probably do not read English and some of them are too young to read at all. So I knew if I wanted to put a message anywhere on my person, it should be small words, big print. Basically like when I am communicating with my husband, or with Eric.
For makeup, I opted for my classic look. No need to avoid mascara! It is only a problem if you feel that what you are about to see will make you cry.
If you ever find yourself in a situation like this one, this is my most important advice: try not to stress about it too much. You have other clothes! These children you are visiting, they have nothing but the clothes on their backs. When they picked out these outfits approximately 42 days ago — or maybe when their parents chose these clothes; some of these children are obviously not old enough to dress themselves — it was a much higher-stakes proposition. It might be the last thing these kids ever get from their parents, from whom they have been violently separated, and whom they may never see again. But that is not your problem! Soon you will be home in your bed, with your family, where you are safe from harm, and none of this will matter very much to you anymore. You really don’t have to care, do you?
Oooh, that’s perfect. I should put that on my jacket.