UPDATE: After this story was published, Christina Binkley clarified her original tweets, saying the seats next to Tiffany were only vacant for “about 2 minutes” before being filled by Phillip Plein’s family.
I have strong memories of the mean girls I went to high school with. It’s been a minute, but I remember exactly how it feels to be the awkward, frizzy-haired girl trying to find a seat in the lunch room. My memory bank has some strong flashbacks that replay in my head with the same clarity as stuff that happened last week. Such as,“Sorry, this seat’s taken,” in a fake, syrupy tone and the subsequent titters as I walked away, cheeks burning.
I remember sliding into a seat and witnessing the people around me getting up and moving away, as if I were a carrier of Typhoid or something equally contagious. I haven’t forgotten trying to choke down my sandwich with some measure of dignity while tears pricked at my eyes.
Oh yeah. I remember that.
But there wasn’t social media back then, so my semi-public lunchroom shunning was fairly contained. It wasn’t on the Internet. I also wasn’t famous, so beyond the people in my immediate space, a girl being ostracized and poked fun at was really no big deal.
It certainly wasn’t newsworthy, but when something similar happens to Tiffany Trump, it certainly catches people’s attention.
I don’t have much in common with President Trump’s youngest daughter. I’ve never been to New York Fashion Week, I buy my clothes at Target and Costco. But, when I read about Tiffany’s recent experience at Philip Plein’s show on Monday, all I saw was someone who was the victim of mean girls in the lunchroom … and the unexpected person who stood up for her.
When Tiffany took her seat at Plein’s show, people around her moved away because they didn’t want to be in close proximity to Donald Trump’s daughter. Ridiculous, right? But it doesn’t stop there. Apparently, putting distance between yourself and someone you find distasteful isn’t enough these days.
Christina Binkley, a former Wall Street Journal columnist posted a picture of Tiffany, 23, with empty seats around her with the caption, “Nobody wants to sit next to Tiffany Trump at Philipp Plein, so they moved and the seats by her are empty.”
Nobody wants to sit next to Tiffany Trump at Philipp Plein, so they moved and the seats by her are empty. pic.twitter.com/XcxNYI6Kf8
— Christina Binkley (@BinkleyOnStyle) February 14, 2017
News of the snub became the topic of discussion on Wednesday’s episode of The View. I know we probably don’t need more reason to love Whoopi Goldberg but the 61-year-old, who is very vocal opponent of all things Donald Trump, publicly stuck up for his youngest daughter. She saw a girl who was shamed for no reason and reacted.
“You know what, Tiffany, I’m supposed to go to a couple more shows,” said Goldberg on the air. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m coming to sit with you, because nobody’s talking politics. You’re looking at fashion! She doesn’t want to talk about her dad! She’s looking at the fashion!”
Later, Tiffany responded on Twitter, saying, “Thank you @WhoopiGoldberg I’d love to sit with you too!”
Could this be the start of a new, unlikely friendship? Who knows? Whoopi’s gesture speaks volumes about women having each other’s backs and letting bullies know their actions are not okay.
To say politics is a hot-button, divisive topic right now is a colossal understatement but there are certain things that should transcend those barriers. I’m not one to tell people what they should believe and what they should do but me and a certain awkward, frizzy-haired girl who went to high school in the eighties are going to make an exception:
You should believe in kindness to other people. You should believe in not being a jerk.
You should believe in lifting other people up, and if you’re a woman, you should believe in the sisterhood that binds us together because we’re not going to accomplish the badassery we’re capable of by tearing each other down. No matter what our last names are or who are parents are.
You should aspire to be more like Whoopi and speak out against bullying, especially when the person being bullied may be unpopular.
Tiffany Trump is just a girl who wanted to go to a fashion show and she didn’t deserve the Mean Girls treatment. Thank goodness for feisty ladies like Whoopi who recognize that sending a strong message to the bullies out there is most important.
I’m looking forward to the picture of the two of them together at Fashion Week. Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall to hear that conversation?