Fake Fendi vs. The Real Deal
Activist with a decades-long track record of advocating for women and girls. Coupled with one of the most visible and desirable men in the world. Designers want to dress her. Adoring crowds gather to catch a glimpse of her. A woman for kids to look up to, settling comfortably into her role as pleasant figurehead on the world stage. These are things that Ivanka Trump wants to be. These are things Meghan Markle actually is.
When Donald Trump was elected, it was clear that Ivanka wasn’t qualified to work in the White House. At least not in the sense that “qualified” means “equipped to understand and perform the duties of a job.”
Ivanka Trump had never shown interest in policy or politics—unless you count the fact that her eponymous line of clothing appeared to be designed with depressed bureaucrats in mind—before her father ran for office. Ivanka was more focused on the family brand, on sitting in a fake television boardroom with her father, on lying about how many units in the erstwhile Trump SoHo had been pre-sold. She’d even dipped her toe into lifestyle blogging.
Ivanka wanted to be a princess, a denizen of photo-ops and collectible dishes Middle America can order from Parade magazine, like Princess Diana. A person beloved and celebrated like royalty, and immune to the critical eye of the political media. Problem is, there’s no “princess” position in the executive branch.
After her marriage to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle will be stepping away from politics to focus on her royal duties. But the years before her royal courtship were characterized by advocacy and grit.
Markle first publicly advocated for women and girls when she was just 11 years old, when she started a letter-writing campaign against an ad that suggested only women perform housework. The campaign got the attention of NickNews. Per the AFP, her role as a global ambassador for World Vision Canada took her to Rwanda and fostered her advocacy for children in other developing countries. She’s written about global stigma around menstruation, and spoken at the UN for International Women’s Day in 2015. During that talk, the self-described feminist said “Women need a seat at the table, they need an invitation to be seated there, and in some cases, where this is not available, they need to create their own table.”
This February, Ivanka Trump tweeted a photo of herself sitting at her father’s desk in the Oval Office, noting “the importance of women having a seat at the table.” This would be a nice photo-op for an advocate if pesky political reality hadn’t gotten in the way: Ivanka’s father, whom she is supposed to be advising, has nominated or appointed white men to positions of power at a rate not seen in decades.