The Time A Smile Was Not The Answer

Reasons why Ivanka Trump can never be my role model

By Soumya Bisht, Batch of 2019

Bursting with radiance and a confidence that only somebody with a privileged background like hers can carry, Ivanka Trump sure knows how to make heads turn. Of course the long legs and the gorgeous personality draw eyes, but the young entrepreneur has proved time and time again that she is much more than eye candy. The Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions at her father’s company, the Trump Organization, the mother-of-two has established herself as an up and coming leader. With the victory of her father in the 2016 elections, Ivanka has yet another label to add to her portfolio – that of the ‘first daughter’. At the age of thirty-five, she is much older than her predecessors and thus, finds herself subject to intenser scrutiny. Needless to say, she has disappointed me enough to write an article with the title that I chose.

I wasn’t an active follower of the US presidential elections this year. However, the apparently-flawless ex-model and budding entrepreneur Ivanka Trump, got my curiosity piqued. In a swirl of mucky politics that threatened to engulf an entire nation into a battle that would see no one as a victor, Ivanka spoke of hope and smiled and waved. She stood at the podium talking about pretty, dolled-up ideas and refused to talk about the issues that mattered. She stood to speak about how her father would ‘make America great again’ but denied to put forth her opinions on what she thought about her father’s blatant sexist comments. A woman of the 21st century with an educational background to envy, there she stood with everyone’s eyes on her and not once did she speak on how she abhorred her father’s views. All she had to do was stand up. Stand up and speak. Just this time, she should have put her duties as a woman before those of a daughter. She may support her father but for the sake of the nation, she should have put to good use the platform she had to denounce the one ideology of her father’s that nobody with a progressive mind would accept. Trump’s blasphemous stance on women has been out in the public for long, with him body shaming his female foes, passing snide remarks on their sex lives, labeling them ‘bimbo’, ‘gold diggers’,etc. True, Ivanka may be one of his favourite children, but is that what should matter to a woman who portrays herself as independent, strong and as a woman who holds other women’s well being as her foremost priority?  

So, when Ivanka chose to ignore her father’s sexism and chauvinism, eyebrows were raised. For once, everyone wanted to sympathize with the seemingly-perfect Ivanka Trump. And this was when Ivanka, the embodiment of ‘sky’s the limit for women’, chose to not dig herself out of the hole she had fallen into. In fact, she refused to acknowledge that she was stuck in a hole. She kept falling deeper still, as she smiled for the cameras and denied to answer the questions that the people behind the cameras asked. Ivanka Trump, the person I wished would be the silver lining to Trump’s candidature, refused to stand and act for the the very thing she was vocal about- women’s rights. And thus, Ivanka trump was reduced to yet another person who spoke of dreams that she neither would nor could ever achieve.