According to an observer of Middle Eastern Eastern customs, Melania Trump received fawning coverage during her Saudi Arabia visit because she represents their idea oh the female ideal: she is quiet, defers to her husband continually and is beautiful.
Writing for CNN, Anushay Hossain explains that the First Lady has great appeal in the Muslim country due her conservative dress and quiet demeanor.
“Her intense appeal makes sense, considering the first lady represents so much that Saudi citizens find familiar and can relate to, especially visually,” Hossain wrote. “Melania walks behind her husband, is quiet and reserved, does not make obvious demands (at least not ones we can hear), and most importantly, she looks beautiful and polished.”
According to the author, “how the Saudi government likes women to behave is similar to how Donald Trump has said he likes women to behave. And they both prefer women to look pretty in pictures, rather than hold actual positions of power.”
Hossain notes that first Daughter Ivanka also was on the receiving end of good press – and for a reason.
“The Saudi press also appreciated Melania and first daughter Ivanka Trump’s championing of the kingdom’s feminism light, also known by some as ‘fake feminism’ — the same brand of women’s rights Donald Trump likes to promote — which the two did by visiting companies run by women entrepreneurs,” she continued. “Those visits, which Ivanka and Melania made separately, project a false narrative of a government committed to advancing women’s rights.”
Noting that Melania Trump provides “the perfect cover for misogyny and tyranny by being beautiful, poised and often silent,” Hossain concludes, “In Melania, the Saudi press and the Saudi government found the perfect spokeswoman, who projects a glamorous image that glosses over one of world’s most autocratic and oppressive regimes. What is not to love?”