Being first lady of the United States often involves taking up a pet cause: something that’s reasonably nonpartisan, suitably uncontroversial and frequently child-centric. Michelle Obama has campaigned to decrease childhood obesity during her husband’s time in office, for example, while George W. Bush’s wife Laura focused on promoting nationwide literacy and better education.
So anti-bullying must have seemed like a safe cause for Melania Trump to say she’ll adopt if her husband makes it into the White House. At a speech on the campaign trail for Donald Trump on Thursday, the former Melanija Knavs – who has stood by her husband throughout the allegations of sexual assault and infidelity in the last month of his presidential bid – discussed her plans to eliminate internet bullying if she becomes first lady.
But she hadn’t reckoned with Lady Gaga.
Gaga has long been a vocal advocate for bullying victims, and she wasn’t impressed by Melania’s stance on anti-bullying – because, she says, Donald Trump is a bully himself.
“To say u will stand for ‘anti-bullying’ is hypocrisy,” Gaga tweeted at Melania on Sunday afternoon. “Your husband is 1 of the most notorious bullies we have ever witnessed.”
Online bullying is one of the issues Gaga’s non-profit Born This Way Foundation aims to eliminate. Established in 2011, the foundation works to create a “braver, kinder world” for young people through the creation of safe spaces, the promotion of life skills education, and community engagement activities.
And shortly before she posted that tweet to Melania Trump, Gaga was photographed at Narita International Airport in Tokyo wearing a dramatic white, grey and blush-coloured dress and feathered hat bearing a badge reading ‘VOTE’ – an ensemble echoing the outfits worn by suffragists campaigning for women’s right to vote in the early 20th century.
Coincidentally, female Hillary Clinton voters around the US have been wearing white to the polls in tribute to the women’s suffrage movement.
Her Twitter bio, meanwhile, implores her 64.3m followers: “Don’t stand around and let this election pass by. WE MUST VOTE AND STAND STRONG TOGETHER. Go to the polls and vote for the kinder and braver Hillary.”
Images: Rex Features