Yandy’s “model wife costume” is clearly a riff on Melania Trump’s Ralph Lauren inauguration outfit. It has a similar blue hue, white gloves (sold separately) and a stomach cut-out. It is, for all intents and purposes, a “sexy Melania Trump” costume.
Any unnecessarily sexy FLOTUS costume would probably feel questionable. But given President Donald Trump’s consistent objectification of women in general ― and of his wife specifically ― this costume is particularly frustrating.
It reminds us of how the president seems to see most women only in terms of their bodies and their sex appeal (and how that didn’t stop his political rise). Trump made his utter lack of respect for women abundantly clear both in interviews and on Twitter, whether by commenting on their looks or bragging about grabbing them by their genitals. When meeting the first lady of France in July, for example, he immediately commented on her body and looks. “You’re in such good shape,” he said.
It also reminds us of the way Trump is known to speak about his wife in particular. In vulgar, recently released tapes from past episodes of “The Howard Stern Show,” Trump and Stern engaged in a number of crude conversations centered around the now-first lady’s body. In one instance he talked about how pregnancy turned her into a “blimp ― in the right places.” In another, he talked about groping her in public. According to Vanity Fair, Trump told an acquaintance he only agreed to have a child with Melania after she promised she would “get her body back” after giving birth.
That this “sexy Melania” costume is all Trump seems to see when he looks at his wife ― or any woman ― isn’t a stretch to imagine.
“We don’t take ourselves too seriously and neither do our customers,” said vice president of merchandising Pilar Quintana-Williams. “The Yandy Girl strives to be the talk of the Halloween party and we’ve found these topical, pop culture-inspired costumes with a fashion-forward twist are always a fan favorite year after year.”
But Trump views women as objects, their bodies as property he is entitled to and can talk about, treat, and swap as he pleases. It makes a Halloween costume depicting a more revealed first lady feel even more gross than the “sexy” Halloween costumes that are already so prevalent.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.