Ivanka Trump, nepotistic adviser to President Trump, said in a press conference today that girls, particularly girls growing up in lower economic communities, should be inspired by her success.
“If I could grow up and start a luxury fashion line—with the obstacles and disadvantages I’ve faced my entire life—and create a powerful brand of clothes sold in dozens of countries around the world, anyone can. I encourage even girls from the poorest of families to never give up hope. If I could do it, you can as well.”
The statement was delivered toward the end of her keynote speech at a Girl Power conference in Buffalo, New York, though her invitation to speak, let alone her keynote speech, perplexed many conference attendees.
“Don’t get me wrong, I think Ivanka is a lovely person, I just don’t know why she was invited to a Girl Power conference when her success is due mostly to her grandfather’s and father’s wealth,” said attendee Wilma Masters, who brought her three daughters in order to show them that girls can do anything to which they set their mind. “And the position she has now in government is again because of her father, so I just don’t think Ivanka is a very appropriate role model at a conference dedicated to promoting girls’ independency and self-sufficiency.”
Other attendees thought that Ms. Trump’s speech seemed a little disingenuous or even dishonest.
“What on Earth does she mean that, if she can be successful, anyone can be successful?” asked Nicole Zimmerman, who brought her daughter to see the conference’s role model women presenters. “She’s third-generation rich, she could literally do nothing for her entire life and still be richer than anyone else here at this conference.”
Other attendees questioned Ms. Trump’s self-awareness after she recounted a childhood story (also published in her book, The Trump Card) of setting up a lemonade stand with her brothers outside their summer vacation home. Trump noted that there wasn’t any foot traffic outside because the neighborhood was so rich, but that she convinced the family body guard, maids, and even their driver to buy lemonade from them as a testament to their ability to make the best out of a tough situation.
“What is up with that story?” asked attendee Maria Rodriguez, “That could be the definition of a 1-Percenter childhood. Rich kids coercing their family servants to give up actually hard-earned money that the kids don’t even need. Oh my God, that is wrong on so many levels.”
“What is the moral of that story?” asked Susan Randall, who attended with her 6-year-old son to teach him to always respect girls. “That poor people are more charitable than the super rich? I hope the Girl Power conference next year has a keynote speaker that actually earned something without relying on her last name.”
(Photo courtesy of Michael Vadon.)