Melania Trump's Nude Photo Shaming Is Outraging Both Democrats and Republicans

August 1st 2016

Kyle Jaeger

On Sunday — and then again on Monday — The New York Post ran covers featuring resurfaced photos of Melania Trump posing naked. To some, the decision to publish the photos represents a sexist effort to exploit Donald Trump's wife to sell papers.

The logic behind the series isn't clear, but it doesn't appear to be a smear campaign. After all, the paper endorsed Trump in April and his campaign's senior communications adviser, Jason Miller, described the photos as "a celebration of the human body as art." Trump was quoted in an accompanying article saying "pictures like this are very fashionable and common" in Europe.

Others question paper's ethical judgment.

It's hard to imagine what publishing risqué photos of a presidential nominee's wife, which were reportedly part of a 1995 photo shoot for a French men's magazine, could contribute to conversations around the 2016 election. But maybe that wasn't the point — in which case the question remains as to why the paper chose to print back-to-back nude covers, with additional "exclusive photos" included inside.

The Chicago Tribune's Heidi Stevens called the cover "morally bankrupt," arguing that while there's nothing wrong with women posing nude and embracing their bodies, the paper's feature lacks substance and serves only as "a way of reminding women that no matter what we accomplish, no matter what barriers we break and ceilings we crack, our bodies are still the public's to ogle."

Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams also questioned the motive behind The New York Post's Melania covers.

"What exactly is the New York Post’s point here? Is it some straight up slut-shaming, an attempt to pass smug moral judgment on a prominent woman’s past, because that’s just what the Post does? It is a clever con by a conservative, Murdoch-owned and Trump-endorsing newspaper to deflect attention from its garbage-fire candidate and his recent temper tantrum at the grieving mother of a war hero, his continued failure to disclose his tax returns, his blatant lies about the debate schedule, or his terrifying ignorance of world events? Or is it as simple as this: The Post saw boobs and didn’t think any further than ka-ching? I don’t know; take your pick. The point is that the Post’s choice, for two days in a row, to run naked covers of Melania Trump is definitely irrelevant, idiotic and insulting."

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