During Trump’s recent visit to France to celebrate Bastille Day, he drew critical attention for commenting on French first lady Brigitte Macron’s body, telling her she was “beautiful” and “in such great shape” in their first face-to-face meeting. It was a moment that drew scrutiny and condemnation from many different quarters, thanks in part to Trump’s well-documented history when it comes to women.
On Saturday, Reebok got into the act too, subtweeting the president with a sharp-edged graphic explaining when it’s appropriate to make such a remark. The athletic apparel company’s tweet made the case that it was an inappropriate thing to say, unless Trump was reacting to the discovery of a long-lost, mint-condition action figure.
In case you were wondering when it IS appropriate to say, "You're in such good shape…beautiful,"… THIS: pic.twitter.com/Z1cnnRD8Ut
— Reebok (@Reebok) July 14, 2017
Unsurprisingly, Reebok’s graphic said “the very first time you’re meeting the spouse of a major world leader” is not an acceptable time to comment on a woman’s physical appearance.
As is increasingly the case when corporate brands have trolled or criticized the president on social media, the tweet’s mentions include many people praising the statement, while others―Trump supporters, mainly―have pledged to never again buy Reebok shoes.
While the gesture may have provided a momentary thrill to progressives and critics of the president, it’s a somewhat surprising move from such a major athletic company, considering Republicans and Trump supporters sometimes need to buy athletic shoes too. Regardless, someone at Reebok made the calculation that this statement would serve them well with the public—or at least carried a negligible risk of backlash.
For the record, Trump’s remark to Brigitte Macron was not the first time he reportedly made such an unsolicited remark about a woman’s appearance in a professional or official setting. During the presidential campaign, Karen Attiah of the Washington Post described him calling her “beautiful” after a policy interview.