Well, folks, we can all exhale.
Ivanka Trump’s former friend and schoolmate Lysandra Ohrstrom (not an Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt character surprisingly) published what was supposed to be a scathing expose of the First Daughter in Vanity Fair this week—but it reads more like a Gossip Girl script than something of substance we should actually take seriously.
Here are the highlights.
Selling Out (But Make It Classy)
There’s nothing new about individuals who were once close to the Trump family going after a payday. Heck, Donald’s own niece was among the first (though certainly not the last) to publish firsthand reports of allegedly toxic behaviors, attitudes, and the goings-on at Mar-a-Lago.
With Ohrstrom, the perspective — her “bird’s eye view” as she describes it — isn’t all that unique. In fact, the lush enviable descriptions of shopping sprees, European vacations, and hobnobbing with the glitterati read more like a lengthy humble-brag of the way she benefited from the friendship, not the hard-hitting takedown she probably anticipated.
Ohrstrom’s tell-all reads more like a lengthy humble-brag of the way she benefited from the friendship.
Ohrstrom reveals she and Ivanka first became friends in junior high, with a relationship that lasted over a decade. Ohrstrom was even a maid of honor in Ivanka’s nuptials to Jared Kushner.
But over time, no doubt as Ohrstrom’s own wokeism increased while Ivanka’s public profile grew under her father’s administration, their relationship faltered and Ivanka’s former friend felt she could no longer “be silent.”
The piece is well written, sure. But Ohrstrom, like other patronizing journalists of her kind, has that rare ability of eliciting eye rolls rather than applause or tears of appreciation. This piece is no exception, regardless of the publication.
Nothing New To See Here
Ivanka (and even the First Lady) have long been sacrificed at the altar of white progressive feminism. They’re collateral damage in the war of liberal women versus the Trump presidency.
Once upon a time, these friendships might have forged strong bonds, built on shared secrets and fond memories. Only years later were these relationships disgustingly exploited for the purposes of attention.
Ivanka and Melania are collateral damage in the war of liberal women versus the Trump presidency.
They’re not alone.
In 1996, White House intern Monica Lewinsky confided in her colleague Linda Tripp and gave away the ultimate secret to her confidant — that she was in love and having a sexual relationship with a married man. But not just any man: President Bill Clinton.
What should’ve been a response of discretion and guidance given to Lewinsky was instead exploitation of the basest kind. Tripp taped phone calls between herself and Lewinsky and released them to the press, who were only too eager to take advantage of a naive 23-year-old.
What followed was a media maelstrom the likes of which have never been seen since, one which Lewinsky confessed (20 years later) ripped into every facet of her personal life and made her suicidal. There was no equal vilification for Clinton in the media, of course. Or even Tripp. Lewinsky was the one who suffered.
The Price of a Quick Buck
Individuals in politics selling each other out is nothing new of course. Ohrstrom is just another in a long line of figures who’ve done the same, and she won’t be the last.
And it’s hard — almost impossible — to believe that she wrote intimate descriptions of a 13-year-old Ivanka out of the goodness of her heart, and not because of a fat check or a few weeks’ worth of social media attention.
There’s nothing new or exciting about Ohrstrom’s piece, but Trump family critics will eat it up. Keep in mind, the bulk of her account happened 20 years ago, when both she and Ivanka were pre-teens and no doubt behaving like the privileged daughters of elitist East Coast circles they were raised in.
There’s something acutely sad about profiting from personal relationships for a cash grab.
Ivanka even once farted and blamed it on a classmate. Groundbreaking stuff.
In all seriousness though, there’s something acutely sad about profiting from personal relationships for a cash grab. Ohrstrom probably thinks of herself as noble and brave, and validated by an elite magazine even, for her efforts.
She’s a product of her environment. How many times were we urged during this election season to cut ties with friends and even family over their votes? How many times were we told that sacrificing our personal relationships over voting for racism/sexism/et al would be for the greater good (and not over a deadly toxic allegiance to political ideology)?
I believe Ohrstrom’s article says more about her than it does about the former friend she relentlessly and ruthlessly attacks. Even after the Trump presidency, one woman will continue to retain influence and public recognition, and it isn’t Ohrstrom.
It also confirms, yet again, what we already know to be true: third-wave feminism is not the empowering nor inclusive band of sisterhood we’ve been told it is (because attacking women ad hominem is acceptable as long as you disagree with them). And perhaps most unfortunate of all, some people will do anything for a dollar.