November 21, 2015

"Trump doesn’t look fastidiously tailored, which is probably one of the many reasons why the average voter can listen to him pound his chest and still relate."

"Trump may have his name plastered on assorted buildings, but he looks more like an ordinary, angry middle-management guy," writes Robin Givhan, criticizing Donald Trump's looks after criticizing Donald Trump for criticizing somebody else's looks.

The somebody else is an unnamed "guy" who "went crazy" about something Trump said about food stamps. Said guy was "seriously overweight." Givhan takes Trump to task for "fat-shaming" this man:
[M]ocking someone’s weight cuts at the core of personal appearance, societal prejudices and a fraught sense of insecurity that by all rights should not exist but stubbornly does. 
By all rights? Really? Isn't there at least a smidgen of justification for observing that the federal government spends our money on a program that feeds people who are, demonstrably, eating too much? Trump used a fairly respectful expression. He said:
You know, it’s amazing. I mentioned food stamps and that guy who is seriously overweight went crazy. He went crazy. . .  That’s an amazing sight.
It's not like he said I mentioned food stamps and that fat pig — huuuge pig — went crazy....

Givhan says "It is a fashion insult — of the pettiest sort," before proceeding to criticize the fit of Trump's suits, the color and length of his tie, and the strategy of the combover. She's not taking a 2-wrongs-make-a-right/tit-for-tat position. Trump's insult of the "seriously overweight" "guy" was "a visceral, intimate insult.... So Trump’s fat-shaming of a protester begs one to consider Trump’s own appearance." He was asking for it.

But does Givhan really need justification to launch into an analysis of how some politician looks? That's her beat as a columnist and has been for years. Since when does she need to build a foundation for her fashion critiques by demonstrating that her target has done fashion insults that cut to the core?

I had to think for a few seconds about that, and what I came up with was that she wanted to criticize Trump for talking about how a guy looks, but that risked hypocrisy, since she continually writes about how people look, and she's criticized for that. How to attack Trump without exposing herself to the same attack? And I think her first reaction to Trump's pointing out that some guy is fat was probably that Trump himself is fat. But it's not her taste level to write that somebody's fat.

So Givhan processed the temptation to say that Trump is fat into the assertion Trump worries about whether he looks fat. There's this anecdote from 1999, in which Trump comically exclaimed that some photo made him look "like I weighed 500 pounds!" But I think that little story displays Trump as openly expressive, feeling free to talk about weight, and not a shame-oriented kind of person.

But Givhan places a sound bet that Washington Post readers are shame-oriented and ready to loathe Trump for prodding them where it hurts and where liberals are telling them they're entitled not to hurt. And of course they're entitled to food stamps even if they're fat. That's not even an issue to discuss. But it's what Trump was discussing.

47 comments:

Hagar said...

About Trump, so not quite off topic.
I came to this country in 1953, and I assume the government put all the information I had to give them to get a visa somewhere, that we probably could refer to as a paper database.
Likewise with all the information about me collected while I did my military service.

Sebastian said...

"By all rights? Really? Isn't there at least a smidgen of justification . . ."

Faux questions, right?

As you say, that's not even an issue to discuss.

Prog gospel: 1. everyone is always entitled, except GOP white males 2. whatever entitlements exist are never enough, to be paid preferably by GOP white males 3. no one should be shamed for anything, except GOP white males and 4. no one should comment on anyone's looks, except everyone positively on Jenner and everyone negatively on GOP white males.

Hagar said...

Not just me, come to think of it. I brlieve my uncle, who sponsored me, also had to show proof he was a respectable citizen and willing and able to reimburse the Gov't for any and all expenses incurred if I misbehaved or otherwise came to be "a burden to the American taxpayer" and would have to be sent back, i.e., deported.

tomaig said...

That fat guy was convicted and jailed back in 2005 for attempting to bomb the USMC recruiting office in Worcester, MA.

http://www.masslive.com/news/worcester/index.ssf/2015/11/protester_arrested_at_donald_t.html

Haven't heard anything about that little detail from the media.

Fernandinande said...

Unnamed guy so fat he got his own zip code.

In The Know: Should We Be Shaming Obese Children More?

traditionalguy said...

Trump is going too fast all of the time to preen as a fastidious fop. OK, back to the drawing board. He has to have a some real weakness. Last night Barbara Wawa asked Trump what s are his weaknesses. But he refused to answer.

Like the competitive man that he is, Trump followed rule #1, which is you never help out your enemy with targeting data. That is only shocking because Obama has brain washed his disciples into believing you are only strong when you are aiding and comforting your enemies.

Of course the current Muslim Invasion of the west that Soros and Obama are so excited too see is only a huge Targeting Operation. In any military invasion plan the Recon men first are sent into enemy territory in disguise to observe and report back on all of the enemy's weak Targets.

Derp said...

The Democrats are a top-bottom coalition against the middle. Of course somebody who seems to represent the middle is popular with the Democrat's opposition.

Jim said...

Wish I had a dollar for every time I heard some lefty talk about Chris Christie's weight.

Laslo Spatula said...

"It is a fashion insult — of the pettiest sort..."

Offhand, I would think all fashion insults to be petty, pretty much.

Her job is to make them seem insightful. This insightfulness is best appreciated by the petty, but she already knows that, and cashes the check that puts pretty fabric over the hole in her soul.

From the article:

"Besides, it takes a particular kind of confidence to dress well — not flamboyantly but with discreet elegance. It means being willing to draw a lingering glance not because of anything that is obvious or loud but because of the eloquence of subtlety. It means trusting in the power of a whisper."

A sentence full of signifiers -- discreet, lingering, eloquence, subtlety. Also a set of words straight out of a Romance Novel.

"Baron Baraque possessed the particular kind of confidence to dress well — not flamboyantly but with discreet elegance. This quality drew a lingering glance from Lady Robin, not because of anything that was obvious or loud but because of the eloquence of the Baron's subtlety. The Baron knew to trust in the power of a whisper, and how Lady Robin so wished to have this man whisper in her ear alone. She also admired the confident bulge in his fine trousers -- trousers with the perfect crease -- and she felt a tingling in her Lady Bits..."

As for the overweight masses on food stamps: let them eat cup-cakes.

I am Laslo.

Hagar said...

Trump says and does all the things Ms. Givhan thinks a candidate running for president absolutely should not do.
But the public, and not just Republicans, say "Yay, go Donald! You da man!"
I don't think it is because they actually approve of the Donald so much, and I think Ms. Givhan and her employers should give some thought to what these people mean to say by this.

cubanbob said...

"Trump doesn’t look fastidiously tailored, which is probably one of the many reasons why the average voter can listen to him pound his chest and still relate."
"Trump may have his name plastered on assorted buildings, but he looks more like an ordinary, angry middle-management guy"

She isn't to swift. That's probably the reason he might windup being the nominee and from there the next president.

David said...

He drives them C-R-A-Z-Y.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Did she also criticize the government programs, sponsored by Michelle, about school lunches and calorie list for menus in restaurants, and Bloomberg's elimination of large sodas, all of which are at least partially aimed at decreasing obesity?

Something tells me she didn't.

pm317 said...

Trump was great on 20/20 last night. He came across as a lovable grandpa even. The condescending Walters kept asking condescending gotcha questions to his wife to trip her up and she wouldn't. One of those questions was your husband is such a nasty person to go after women like he does (paraphrasing) -- his wife simply said, he treats everyone the same. Isn't that what liberal feminists want?

amielalune said...

Way too much time talking about Robin Givhan's opinions. Sheesh.

pm317 said...

We needed Trump to expose Obama's immigration (future lefty vote banks) shenanigans. We needed Trump to expose the fact that the US could have easily bombed the stolen oil 'pipeline' to cut of money for the barbarians (not just ISIS, think that turkey in Turkey Erdogan). Putin to the rescue and save the Europeans. Obama is with the Saudis, that despicable turkey in Turkey.

Who gives a fuck what Givhan says.

Laslo Spatula said...

"...but he looks more like an ordinary, angry middle-management guy..."

I think we are supposed to realize that this ordinary, angry middle-management guy is white. Because white middle-class men are all angry, everyone knows that.

They are angry at Government. They are angry at Progress. They are angry at Blacks. But -- most of all -- they are angry at Fashion. Because Fashion is Gay.

Fashion wants them to shave their chests and wear skinny jeans. You know: things Gay Men like.

Gay Men use Fashion to trick the Daughters of ordinary, angry middle-management white guys into believing that they need to be anorexic to be stylish.

Gay Men delight in starving these Daughters down to the body style of a lanky twelve-year-old boy: it is the only way they have any interest in the Female.

Ordinary, angry middle-management white guya don't want to have a cock put in their ass, so they stay out of Prison and Pay their Taxes. All the while, Fashion laughs at Them.

I think this is what she was trying to say.

I am Laslo.

Leigh said...

Curious that the Dems in liberal media are going after Trump since he is the only guy -- at least, so the gopE claims -- who would lose to Hillary in the general. The gopE is planning a very expensive, coordinated Trump take-down. And the liberal media is helping? Odd indeed.

It will be interesting to see if we get the chance to find out which side is right.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/gop-operative-plans-guerrilla-campaign-against-donald-trump-1448050937?alg=y

Achilles said...

This article is too good to be true for Trump. The person writing it must be a moby or plant.

Rob said...

Is this dumb bastard Trump so surrounded by yes-men that no one will tell him he ought to button his suit jacket?

Michael said...

The Donald dresses in a style we used to call "57th Street Biggie." It involves Oxxford suits and in those days Countess Mara ties. Worn then by industrialists, Auto executives and guys who ran conglomerates. Beefy but not fat guys, guys who were entirely comfortable in their skins and who lunched at length at 21. By the 80s they dropped the Countess Mara and adopted Hermes or Ferragamo with some clinging to solid ties, often red.

The Givhan woman is clueless, of course, and is followed only by the clueless. "Discreet elegance!" Hilarious. Givhan has an eye for what she considers the lack of elegance of conservatives and uses her column on "fashion" as a perch to snipe politically. She had harsh, critical, words for the way the children of Justice Roberts dressed. And for that we are forever grateful.

As to fat people, we have plenty of them and plenty of those plenty are gobbling at the trough of government's "supplements." It was perfect for him to point that out and is not in the least offensive to the many fat people who support Trump and who work to pay for their food.

Crazy Jane said...

Laslo is right about the signifiers. In addition to being wrong and bad, Givhan tells us that Trump is declasse. Quelle surprise.

Givhan has written insightful fashion columns, but my impression is that she has turned more political in recent years. Perhaps that is part of the deal when you work for a D.C. newspaper.

I do look forward to her analysis of Hillary's pantsuit wardrobe and hairstyle evolution.

Curious George said...

No one fat shames more than the left. Exhibit one is our own resident lefty garage mahal.

Laslo Spatula said...

"... prodding them where it hurts and where liberals are telling them they're entitled not to hurt..."

There are layers to this...

Rich Liberals are allowed to be hurt by Poor Liberals.

White Liberals are allowed to be hurt by Black Liberals.

Male Liberals are allowed to be hurt by Female Liberals.

Straight Liberals are allowed to be hurt by Gay Liberals.

Gay Liberals are allowed to be hurt by Transsexual Liberals.

Transsexual Liberals are not allowed to be hurt by Anyone.

Especially the poor, black, gay Transsexual. He/She has enough problems.

All Liberals are not allowed to be hurt by Differing Opinions.

Bring back the Guillotine.


I am Laslo.

Michael said...

Rob

At least Trump keeps his jacket on, versus the typical politician who feels compelled, Bobby Kennedy style, to be in shirtsleeves, ready to go to work for the American people.

Michael K said...

I'm starting to wonder if Trump is the modern version of Andrew Jackson. Jackson was uncouth and his followers drove the Federalists crazy. I may have to reread my Jackson biographies.

chuckR said...

Perhaps Mizz Givhan could campaign to remove sugary carbonated beverages from allowable purchases under the SNAP program. If you wish to be fat, fine. But I'm damned if I should be required to subsidize your diabetes and heart disease.
Won't happen. Big Soda owns too many Congresscritters.

Skeptical Voter said...

Robin Givhans is what proctologists study.

Mac McConnell said...

With respect to Mizz Givhan, she seems to have been bipartisan in her fashion criticisms in the past, Cheney, Hillbilly and Mrs Obama to name a few.

narciso said...

yes, how about that,

http://www.masslive.com/news/worcester/index.ssf/2015/11/protester_arrested_at_donald_t.html

Laslo Spatula said...

Ordinary,Angry Middle-Management Guy Says:

I approve of Yoga Pants. Sometimes I put quarters on the sidewalk just to see a young woman in yoga pants bend over to retrieve it. That's worth twenty-five cents.

I approve of Bras that enhance cleavage. This is true even with the small-breasted women. Yes, I am looking at your tits while you talk.

I don't get walking around with "JUICY" on your ass, but fine, have at it. Can't blame me for looking.

Short Skirts: You don't need to actually see the Thigh Gap to realize that there IS Thigh Gap. With the right length, of course.

Sweaters with No Bra: I have no problem with your nipples telling me you are cold; thanks for pointing it out.

Nose Piercing. Not really sure about this, but I'll be staring at your tits, anyway. So.

Ponytail through the Back of a Baseball Cap. Mesmerizing. Makes everything else you are wearing irrelevant. But Yoga Pants can work wonders in combination.

Ordinary,Angry Middle-Management Guy adds: None of This Applies to My Daughter; maybe a few of her friends.


Bring back the Guillotine.

I am Laslo.

narciso said...

yes, how about that,

http://www.masslive.com/news/worcester/index.ssf/2015/11/protester_arrested_at_donald_t.html

EDH said...

Althouse: "But I think that little story displays Trump as openly expressive, feeling free to talk about weight, and not a shame-oriented kind of person."

William said...

These confrontations with hecklers make Trump look good. That confrontation Sanders had with the BLM crew made him look weak......On the other hand, Sanders looks like he has had the self discipline and strength to push away from the table a few times in his life. He wears his suits better than Trump. Who wore it better should be a key factor in our Presidential decision making process. Ben Carson is about the best dressed Presidential candidate, but Rand Paul looks elegant on occasion.

Paul said...

Not being a NYT reader I googled to see what this woman looked like. No surprise there.

Alex said...

Maybe Trump should become more appealing to gay men.

cubanbob said...

Givhan and the WaPo are read in a few zip codes, very insular. Trump has a lot of more followers in a lot more zip codes. She will have a psychiatric breakdown the day after the election. I wonder if Hillary the grifter will accept the reality of knowing the rubes failed to take the bait and MoveOn or whether she too will have a breakdown.

Ann Althouse said...

EDH, I am a big fan of your many great links, but that one didn't work.

Andy said...

Im not sure why, but I like Trump..

rcommal said...

Wish I had a dollar for every time I heard some lefty talk about Chris Christie's weight

You'd double your money if you included every time some righty does as well.

Dave Duffy said...

King Kong

Real American said...

wait, I though it was sexist to criticize a politician's appearance.

Bruce Hayden said...

The Democrats are a top-bottom coalition against the middle. Of course somebody who seems to represent the middle is popular with the Democrat's opposition.

and

As to fat people, we have plenty of them and plenty of those plenty are gobbling at the trough of government's "supplements." It was perfect for him to point that out and is not in the least offensive to the many fat people who support Trump and who work to pay for their food.

Interesting article in NYT (Who Turned My Blue State Red?). The author was trying to understand why, in his words, lower middle class would vote against what he saw was their interests (written, of course, from the Dem point of view). One of the big things that he pointed out is that the growing divide is between those on welfare, etc., and those who aren't. The author claimed that there isn't that much fraud in the welfare programs. The rest of us know that is complete BS. And, that is part of what is going on here, with the Dems pretending that these programs are well run, and the middle class (including the lower middle class that used to be reliably Democratic) know that a lot of those on the government dole are grifters. The more the Dems pretend, the more votes they lose. The lower middle class live next to the grifters living off of the government, and many could have gone that way, but didn't. They know people on SS disability that spend their time fishing, know people showing up at the grocery store in their expensive cars and trucks with SNAP cards, and many know that there is a big black market for those cards, where you can buy them at maybe $.50 on the $1. The Obama Administration doesn't care - and, indeed, seems to want to increase dependency, regardless of need (or, lack thereof).

Trump has seemingly tapped into this. Sure, he is a billionaire. But, he is railing against those people who live off of food stamps, and could go to work instead. The type of grifter that the lower middle class sees living next door, doing well, by cheating. Reagan's Welfare Queens, etc. The reason that this is so strong this time around is that the Obama Recession lingers (because of all the largess that they have ladled out to the undeserving) and the Obama Administration, and its Dem allies, have increased the amount of dependency so greatly, while making it almost impossible to get caught at committing welfare fraud. Voting against Dems and Obama is becoming almost a form of signaling, that those in the lower middle class who do so are choosing not to go the welfare route. Trump, and a number of the other Republicans, are tapping right into this (and he is doing it best).

The untailored looking suits? Tailored suits are for Democratic plutocrats, or, at least Republicans who have a lot of sympathy for them, and aren't willing to vote against the socialist projects pushed by the Democrats. You don't get Republican votes these days in a tailored suit (unless you are Dr. Carson, and then it helps, in a reverse racist way). Trump is dressing for success here, and I suspect that his people know it.

Also - note Trump's red ties. Weirdest thing about Obama is that he won't wear such. Red ties are power ties, and blue ones are the opposite. Trump knows this. Putin knows this. Obama may know it, but acts like the beta that he is.

Paul said...

Obama is more gamma than beta.

Anonymous said...

"Also - note Trump's red ties. Weirdest thing about Obama is that he won't wear such. Red ties are power ties, and blue ones are the opposite. Trump knows this. Putin knows this. Obama may know it, but acts like the beta that he is."

Obama in a red tie

Fen said...

"...mocking someone’s weight cuts at the core of personal appearance, societal prejudices... but when we mock Rush Limbaugh's weight and Chris Christie's weight, that's different" - Robin Givhan

FIFY. Asshole.

Sammy Finkelman said...

? Isn't there at least a smidgen of justification for observing that the federal government spends our money on a program that feeds people who are, demonstrably, eating too much?

Actually the argument is made that such a person may not have enough money for food. Pasta is cheap, but proteins are more expensive and they claim even fruit.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2847733/

Someone has to know where to buy, and what to buy, and probably be able to cook.

When incomes drop and family budgets shrink, food choices shift toward cheaper but more energy-dense foods. The first items dropped are usually healthier foods – high-quality proteins, whole grains, vegetables and fruit. Low cost energy-rich starches, added sugars, and vegetable fats represent the cheapest way to fill hungry stomachs1,2

Actually whole grains are probably not very healthy.