Bette Midler faces massive backlash on social media regarding the swipe she took at US First Lady Melania Trump referring to a picture of Melania taken during a GQ shoot eighteen years ago.
Midler posted a picture of Melania from a 2000 British GQ shoot where she posed in then-boyfriend Donald Trump’s jet wearing a futuristic getup that hardly covered the bases. As a caption to the posted picture Midler wrote:
“The dry cleaning bill for the upholstery on Air Force One must be insane. #FLOT*TS.”
Source: Twitter/Bette Midler
The tweet caused a myriad of responses, most of which showed expression of anger and distaste towards her post. A twitter user that identified as a ‘liberal feminist’ commented that the First Lady Melania’s past modeling work ‘should NOT matter’ and went on to write:
“I am tired of seeing people denounce her for having been a nude model, which has nothing to do with her FLOTUS work nor her involvement in this administration. Stay on message!”
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Source: Twitter/ Bette Midler
Another user felt disillusioned just like many other fans of Midler and wrote:
"I loved you for years. 'Loved you in Beaches and Hocus Pocus. Now I'm done. I'm so sorry you have done this. This has nothing to do with politics. It's just wrong."
During the 2016 presidential campaign, the Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz also used a picture from Melania’s photoshoot for GQ in 2000 to take a stab at Trump’s suitability for president and released it in predominantly Mormon areas that read, 'Meet Melania Trump, Your Next First Lady.'
Source: Twitter/ Bette Midler
In 2012 President Trump also took a stab at Midler as he wrote:
“Now grotesque @BetteMidler is into the Trump act --- trying to become relevant again.”
Donald Trump has also previously written:
“While @BetteMidler is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct.”
Amid all the social media bullying Melania remains steadfast in her commitment to woman and issues of discrimination and bullying. During a Family Online Safety Institute conference on Thursday Melania said:
"It is not news or surprising to me that critics and the media have chosen to ridicule me for speaking out on this issue, and that's OK. I remain committed to tackling this topic because it will provide a better world for our children, and I hope that like I do, you will consider using their negative words as motivation to do all you can to bring awareness and understanding about responsible online behavior."
Even though husband Donald Trump is known as one of the most prolific offenders when it comes to name-calling and bullying on Twitter, Melania focuses on her Be Best campaign with an emphasis on cyberbullying and ways to combat the growing phenomenon and commented:
"I am well aware that people are skeptical of me discussing this topic. I have been criticized for my commitment to tackling this issue, and I know that will continue. But it will not stop me from doing what I know is right."
In August, East Wing communications director Stephanie Grisham said:
"She's addressed this before. She is well aware of the criticism, but that will not deter her from doing what she feels is right. I would hope most people in this country are proud that they have a strong and independent first lady who only has the best interests of children at heart -- I know I am."
As part of the Be Best campaign Melania recently held at the White House, the film ‘Wonder’ got screened, and approximately 30 students watched the movie with the First Lady.
The movie tells the story of a boy with a facial deformity bullied at school and how he copes with it. After the screening Melania said to the students:
"As you may know, October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and I encourage everybody to be kind to each other, to treat each other with respect in everyday life and social media."
The communications director, Stephanie Grisham, tagged Andy Lassner, the producer of the Ellen Show, in a tweet asking if they should save him a seat for the screening upon which he replied:
"Yes!! Will she be talking about how she pushed her husband's theory that our first black president was born in Kenya? What about her 'I don't care, do you jacket' worn while babies were being ripped away from parents at the border? What time should I arrive? Is it dressy?"
It is clear that Melania Trump faces an uphill battle in trying to get people to focus on the subject at hand, and to take her seriously, rather than all the politics and history surrounding both her and husband Donald Trump.