When first lady Melania Trump set off for Texas on Wednesday with her husband to view the destruction of Harvey, she set off a mini furor on Twitter over her shoes. That's because the first lady was seen boarding a presidential helicopter wearing stilettos. The criticism came quickly, with a common refrain being that the first lady looked insensitive and out of touch. Then came the backlash, with defenders criticizing those critics for focusing on fashion choices in dire times. By the time the first lady landed in Texas, she had switched to sneakers. “It’s sad that we have an active and ongoing natural disaster in Texas, and people are worried about her shoes," said a spokeswoman for the first lady. As the Washington Post notes, one of the first lady's most surprising public defenders turned out to be Trevor Noah.
"I don’t know why anyone should care what anyone wears when they’re on their way to help people,” he said on his show. "Who cares? Look at the pope, you see how he dresses? All white … he looks like he’s going to a P Diddy party. But we don’t say, hey he can’t go out helping people dressed like that." Another defender was none other than Kathy Griffin: "There are many reasons the Trump administration concerns me," she tweeted. "Melania Trump's shoes aren't one of them." But for every sentiment like those is one like this: "It was a mistake in the message it relays," a stylist who worked with Sarah Palin during the 2008 campaign tells Politico. "She should be dressed accordingly." For the record, the shoes appeared to be "classic Manolo Blahniks," note the New York Times in its assessment of the brouhaha and the deeper meaning of the "telling detail."