The 47-year-old first lady and former model was photographed Saturday morning in a pair of snakeskin stilettos as she and President Donald Trump left the White House to make their way to Air Force One.
It was a bold move considering the criticism Melania received just four days earlier when she first traveled to the flood-ravaged state to observe Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, wearing a pair of sky-high black heels. (She wore the heels while in Washington D.C. but later changed to a much more casual look when she arrived in Texas.)
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On Saturday, she pulled a similar move, trading her snakeskin pumps for sneakers and a casual outfit by the time she and Donald landed in Texas.
Melania and Donald spent the day meeting with victims and assisting aid workers in Texas and Louisiana. The couple helped load supplies provided by Feed the Children and the Red Cross for victims at a local church where Donald remarked that it was “great exercise.”
“I like doing this,” he said, later telling a Red Cross worker that they were doing a great job.
Although Melania switched out her outfit for her Tuesday trip to Texas, her wardrobe change did not stop the criticism on Twitter, with actor Zach Braff wryly noting that “Melania headed to a disaster zone in stilettos is my Halloween costume.”
A spokeswoman for the first lady released a statement to CNN about the kerfuffle, stating that, “It’s sad that we have an active and ongoing natural disaster in Texas, and people are worried about her shoes.”
On Saturday, Texans appeared to poke fun at the controversy. When the Trumps’ motorcade passed through the streets in Houston, people gathered with supportive signs including “We Love Trump” and “Texans Love Stilettos,” according to the White House press pool. They were also met with more critical signs as they visited with victims, including one that read “Not My President.”
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In the week after Harvey made landfall, floodwaters overtook entire neighborhoods, damaging at least 49,000 homes in Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety reported. In all, some 785,000 people were part of mandatory evacuations in Texas and Lousiana, and more than 200,000 homes are still without power. Tens of thousands of residents are still taking up refuge in shelters across the states.
Officials are now allowing a portion of evacuees to return to their properties to being the process of rebuilding their homes and their lives.