Brilliant visual analysis of Melania Trump's 470 Twitter photos


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/19/brilliant-visual-analysis-of-m.html


#2

It is interesting to read someone deconstructing another by reference to their social media photos. I don’t know how well I’d come off in that manner :wink:

Just looking at those photos of Central Park, I guess that they display a $1,000,000,000 view; but it looks a bit shit really. Just a big park surrounded by nondescript tall buildings. Sad.


#3

I keep trying to find something understandable, something relatably human about her, and I keep failing.


#4

Let’s deconstruct this deconstruction a bit:

Let’s lead with the only real meat of the piece: Imbach is somehow incensed that Trump’s surprisingly shy trophy wife doesn’t want the world’s most high-profile unpaid internship for 4 years. The position as the nation’s hostess can be quite a pulpit, but it’s also a full-time political job that comes with no real power to speak of (which is pretty fortunate considering we never elect First Ladies, who are generally also not politicians). Either the tradition functions of the First Lady are vital (in which case, why haven’t we redistributed those functions to people who don’t end up in the job purely by coincidence?) or they are not (in which case, why are we riding anyone from declining to do them)?

Whenever she’s been part the national conversation, it has been to 1) remind everyone she has nude photos online 2) point out she sounds like a cartoon vampire, 3) speculate that she was more prostitute than model, 4) claim that she (never her paid speech writer) stole her most public speech from Michelle Obama, or 5) Speculate that her son is autistic. I would have no interest in getting out there and trying to win over the blogosphere either.

We’ve all been through high school English. We all know that any kind of analysis is probably either wild speculation, 180 degrees off of an author’s most bald statements (thanks, Derrida!), or almost exactly as banal as taking the work at face value. The first two give an analyst an opportunity to feel clever. As an exercise this is a cute approach, but I’m not going to expect an deep insights here.

Some examples of what that approach nets us:

Oddly, if you were to look at my phone – because I’m not the sort of jackass that posts pictures to twitter – you wouldn’t find any selfies of me with my daughter. You’d find a few of my wife and daughter. It’s not because there’s an underlying gender-based distance. I don’t have a lot of selfies because all selfies are inherently staged (and so rarely worth doing). I have a few of my wife and daughter because they were cute together, and – being far enough away to appreciate it without participating – I had a chance to get a photo.

[quote]In selfies where she’s not blown out or disguised, she crops herself into disfigurement. What a paradox! She is a former model, a public figure, “an extremely famous and well-known person,” a woman exposed, and she can only bear to share selfies which portray her as a set of disassembled parts.
She hides, in other words, even when she is presenting herself.

Melania’s photographs of her son are the most fascinating of the collection. She always obscures his face, just as she obscures her own, protecting him as she does herself. You’d never know it was him.[/quote]

We have a journalist going through the publically-posted photos from “an extremely famous and well-known person”, and she’s surprised that she rarely shows her son’s face? This whole piece is a case study in why it would be a terrible idea to do that. That doesn’t seem suspicious, that seem mildly situationally aware.

[quote]This, as a little side note, is a hermit crab, and the only photograph of an animal that she ever posted, aside from the show horses running races at Mar-a-Lago.

A creature which lives inside its own shell. She must relate, no?[/quote]

Do we even need to note that sometimes a crab is just a crab?

Second opinion: this is the photo stream a former model who is keenly aware that photos are posted to be seen. When those photos are not safe and vacuous, they are scrubbed clean of imperfections and personal touches. That doesn’t make me think she’s a prisoner, it makes me think she feels obligated to maintain some connection to her old life chasing the public eye, even though she doesn’t actually like being in the public eye anymore. As edited as her selfies are, she’s also probably not thrilled about getting older. There are a lot of photos taken when she had time alone, either at home or in transit. Or stated another way, the sheer number of such photos suggests that she has a lot of time on her hands, probably something of a work widow. That jibes with what we know of her pretty well.


#5

I simply wouldn’t read so much into all this. Just some pics taken with a phone, and that’s it.


#6

She’s depressed. That’s all those photos say to me. Like, seriously depressed.


#7

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