First lady Melania Trump went on her first solo international trip to Africa as she visited four African countries in five days – Malawi, Kenya, Ghana, and Egypt.
The goal of her trip was to promote her Be Best campaign and visit local programs focused on helping women and children, but that didn’t stop the critics from bashing her for her wardrobe choices, specifically a white pith helmet.
“Pith helmets — so-called because they are made of the material sholapith – were worn by European explorers and imperial administrators in Africa, parts of Asia and the Middle East in the 19th century before being adopted by military officers, rapidly becoming a symbol of status – and oppression,” reported the Guardian.
Here is a sample of what people had to say about her hat on Twitter.
New York Times White House Correspondent Catie Rogers noticed that the first lady was annoyed with questions her helmet. “You know what?” responded Melania, “We just completed an amazing trip.”
“I wish people would focus on what I do, not what I wear.”
Despite the outrage, the trip has been a success so far.
“During the trip, Mrs. Trump will learn more about the United States role in providing assistance to help countries become self-sufficient,” reported her office during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. “Her trip will focus on maternal and newborn care in hospitals, education for children, the deep culture and history woven into each African country, and how the United States is supporting each country on its journey to self-reliance,” her office announced September 26.”
Prior to her departure, Melania Trump shared the following statement to the press.
“This will be my first time traveling to Africa, and I am excited to educate myself on the issues facing children throughout the continent, while also learning about its rich culture and history,” said the first lady.
“We are a global society, and I believe it is through open dialogue and the exchanging of ideas that we have a real opportunity to learn from one another,” she concluded.