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On Friday, a Slovenian artist named Maxi unveiled his life-sized statue of Melania Trump. Images of the statue quickly made the rounds on social media where Internet onlookers laughed and gasped at the chainsawed statue of the first lady.
Melania Trump has been honored with a life-sized, wooden statue of herself near her hometown in Slovenia.— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) July 6, 2019
I hope political passions will not inspire mockery of this uncanny likeness. pic.twitter.com/f1JSVzNode
Some were more perplexed and asked whether the statue was meant to be taken as a joke or a tribute.
Melania's hometown erected a wooden statue of her, and I am still not sure if it was meant to be a joke or a tribute. pic.twitter.com/OMvSWLvakh— Christopher Bouzy (@cbouzy) July 6, 2019
I would like to offer a third option—the statue is neither a joke nor a tribute, but a herald of our future. She wears the same blue dress that Melania Trump wore to the 2017 inauguration and holds her left hand up in a gesture that could be seen as a wave, but I take it as a defiant, “No.” She says, “Donald is no longer your leader, it is I who shall serve you and your people. You are safe now. I have come to take what is rightfully mine.”
And so, I present to you, my most compelling reasons why the Melania statue should run for president in 2020.
She cares about the environment
It’s no secret that Trump has been very, very bad for the environment. There is more than one running list of all the ways he has damaged our environment and all hope for its future. The New York Times counts 83 ways Trump has harmed the environment to date.
The Melania statue is a return to nature. She was carved from a tree, by a simple man named Maxi, who has worked with wood for many years in ways that do not damage his native Slovenia.
She is green. She is holy. She is rooted in the soil. She will provide for us at her great trunk. She will remind us that we must honor and respect the Earth.
She’s from humble beginnings
Trump frequently claims he is a self-made man but, in truth, he is the heir to a New York real estate fortune. According to Politico, over the course of his lifetime, Trump’s father gave him $413 million dollars in today’s money. Trump is no man of the people and his habits prove he has a preference for rubbing elbows with the elite. He has filled his cabinet with the members of ultra-rich like Betsy DeVos, Sonny Perdue, Wilbur Ross, and Steve Mnuchin.
In contrast, the Melania statue is a simple wood carving from a small village. She rose up with no help or handouts other than a chainsaw and a man with a vision. She engages with the ordinary public that visits her daily. She is in touch with the common man. She remembers her humble beginnings, possibly because they are so recent. But she cannot forget them, either, because she is quite literally rooted where she stands. She is the most down-to-earth candidate I can imagine.
She’s solid and dependable
Trump changes his mind and often. Some have suggested that the only thing we can count on during a Trump presidency is that he will inevitably change his mind. Others have gone a step further, suggesting that Trump values unpredictability as a negotiation tactic. Seemingly, Trump seemingly enjoys chaos and feels that by stirring feelings of chaos in others he will always hold the upper hand.
Not my beautiful Melania statue. She is solid and sturdy. She is unchanging. She has been photographed from many angles and her expression—half smile, half grimace—never changes! Her hand is always raised. Her dress is always blue. Sure, with time and weather she will erode and decay, but even that is predictable—a truth we can depend on when all else seems uncertain. She makes me feel safe.
She brings people together in a big way
Trump is known for his bravado. He loves to make bold claims about how huge his audiences are. He even had official inauguration photos doctored so the crowd size would appear larger than the meager 300,000-to-600,000-person turn out (which was a third of the estimated 1 to 1.8 million who attended Obama’s inauguration.)
Not only are Trump’s crowds much smaller than he claims, he often resorts to divisive language that indicates he is a president for a dwindling few Americans.
The Melania statue may reside in a small village but she has gathered friends from across the globe in laughter and in awe. She has given group texts something to smile about on a Sunday afternoon. She has entered the hearts of many. She is for the people, all of the people, from Slovenia to the Mississippi Delta to the Great Lakes. She says come, set down your troubles, look upon me, and laugh with your fellow man. She is a force for good.
She’s a big angry woman
Trump is a small-handed, blustery man who has openly mocked the Me Too movement at his rallies on more than one occasion. He has been caught on tape bragging about acts of sexual assault. When accused of rape, he said he couldn’t possibly have because the woman in question was “not [his] type.” As if to say, rape is OK, maybe, but no uggos, thanks!
The Melania statues is a big angry-faced woman. She is a return to the divine feminine. She is our furious mother. She will guard us and protect us. She will never mock us when we are in need. She will soothe us. She will embrace us in her firm wooden bosom with a love that is solid and unyielding.
Unfortunately, the Melania statue is not yet 35 years of age, was not born on American soil, and thus is not eligible for election. And sure, her detractors may point out that she is a statue who cannot talk or move her limbs, nor can she read or write. But I say let’s bend the rules a little just this once and elect and enormous angry statue woman as the fearless leader of the free world.
Melania Statue 2020!
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Nayomi Reghay is a frequent contributor to the Daily Dot, covering body positivity, feminism, sex, relationships, and gender. She is also the author of the advice column “Swipe This!” A former New York Teaching Fellow, her writing has been featured in Reductress, Rolling Stone, Mic, Someecards, and more.