Intro for March 3, 2017
Buzzfeed’s Anne Helen Petersen wrote a great piece yesterday about Ivanka Trump And The Aesthetics Of Denial, an analysis of how Ivanka uses social media to her advantage – to pivot and redirect and protect, not just her father’s brand but, most importantly, her own. The reason I’m opening with this today is because we are now at a time when we can no longer separate celebrity and politics. Ivanka’s personal brand strategy is directly borrowed from celebrity brand strategy – when she posts pictures of herself with her children immediately after her father introduces a controversial policy (which one?!), it’s the equivalent of an actor getting papped at the Brentwood Farmers Market with her husband and kids after a tabloid reports that her marriage is in crisis; when she posts a shot of her son as her “personal assistant” while she’s taking calls in the White House, it’s the equivalent of a celebrity either getting papped leaving a lunch meeting with a director or heading to the gym or happily and obliviously hanging out with family (focusing on what really matters!) after his movie bombs at the box office.
Even Ivanka’s pre and post marriage identities have celebrity comparisons, as AHP suggests that she’s “Barbie 2.0, the sort of woman men want to both marry and f-ck, but who also doesn’t alienate women. While Ivanka’s early, pre-(Jared) Kushner image had tinges of Angelina Jolie vampishness, her post-marriage image is all Jennifer Aniston: apolitical, inoffensive, all-American”.
You know who else could be included here? Before I tell you, this is the sentence that triggered me – and maybe it’ll trigger you too:
(Ivanka’s) ostensible apoliticism is, in fact, the most dangerous sort of politics, cloaking its own power in the banal aesthetics of domesticity and femininity, outwardly professing, “I’m not part of this narrative,” even as her ubiquitous presence communicates just how much a part of it she is.
The key word here? NARRATIVE. As in:
“I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that I have never asked to be a part of, since 2009.”
Who said it? Taylor Swift. And Ivanka Trump. And apoliticism. It’s there too, non?
Speaking of Taylor, she’s been quiet on social media for weeks. But she did take the time yesterday to big up Lorde’s new single, Green Light. Always supportive of her friends, of course, but also always SHOWING that she’s that kind of friend, because that too is part of her personal narrative.
Click here to read Anne Helen Petersen’s latest piece on Ivanka Trump’s celebrity management.
Have a great weekend!
Yours in gossip,