Eve* remembers the day it happened: December 27, 2016. She was doing her geometry homework at her house in Tennessee when her phone lit up.
“I literally almost started crying because I was so happy,” she says, recalling the moment she read the notification on her screen. “I just could not believe my eyes.”
The real Ivanka Trump — blue checkmark and all — had followed the Instagram fan account Eve, now 16, runs dedicated to the first daughter.
When Paige, a 14-year-old in Indiana, realized Ivanka had followed her account, she started screaming with delight. “It was really crazy and surreal,” she says. “I was just really happy.”
And when Suman Choudhary, a 24-year-old in Jaipur, India, found out the first daughter had followed her, she just about died. “Oh, my goddddd,” she says. “Like, how could that happen? I never dreamed of that.”
Ivanka Trump — who is also a special assistant to the president — has had a tough first year in Washington. Critics have accused her of being ineffective in government (and relying on nepotism to get there), complicit in her father’s agenda, and hypocritical for complaining about the viciousness of politics. They also torched her self-help book, Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success.Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
On Instagram, however, none of that seems to matter. There are dozens of accounts dedicated to the first daughter, chronicling her every selfie, every fashion choice, every megawatt smile. Most post at least once a day, with effusive captions (“I cannot get over this beauty!”) and plenty of hashtags (#teamivanka, #ivankaforpresident, #beautiful). Culled from Ivanka's personal Instagram or Snap story or cribbed from the Daily Mail, among other places, the photos depict all aspects of the first daughter’s life, from international trips to Hanukkah celebrations with her kids. Ivanka herself follows 40 of them. (A spokesman for the first daughter did not respond to requests for comment.)
The accounts command an active base of followers — some have more than 50,000 — a vast community of admirers who leave fawning comments on the posts. When Paige, the teen in Indiana, posted a side-by-side of Ivanka and Chrissy Teigen wearing the same kimono dress on her account, @ivankatrumpsbiggestfan, asking “Who wore it better?” her 9,000 followers were united in their loyalty. “My Queen Ivanka,” one commenter said. “No question,” said another.
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Sometimes the accounts feature a series of paparazzi-like shots from the same day or moment, posted four or five in a row or spliced together to show her from multiple angles. Her family, from husband Jared Kushner to the president, often make cameos, as do her three children. Sprinkled in with the play-by-plays are old modeling shots with smoldering eye contact or major Spice Girls vibes. Her selfies are similarly revered: “Sending your selfies to NASA,” reads the caption on a December shot, “because ur a star.”
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Most of the accounts cropped up around the time of Donald Trump’s election or inauguration, and the administrators say they were moved to launch them out of genuine admiration for the first daughter. “Besides my mom,” says Paige, “I consider her my number-one role model.”
Eve, the Tennessee teen who manages @alwaysivanka, started her account shortly after the 2016 election to show her support for the first daughter and connect with other people who look up to her. She posts multiple times a day, publishing glamour shots, newsy photos at summits, and enthusiastic quotes from Ivanka about the recently passed tax bill. “I like updating people on what she's doing, and kind of keeping them up-to-date with where she is in the world,” she says. There’s not much of a process to choosing her photos, Eve explains (“I'm an honor student and I take AP classes,” she says, “so I try not to make that a priority”). She just scrolls through Ivanka's most recent pictures on Google for 10 or 15 minutes. “Then when it comes time to post, I’ll just find something that’s cute.” She now has more than 49,000 followers.
The five women interviewed for this story applauded the first daughter’s accessories empire and #WomenWhoWork brand. She hasn’t simply rested on her (“absolutely stunning!”) looks to get by, they say: Ivanka has declared it her “life’s mission” to improve the lives of working women (even though her clothing company reportedly relies on low-wage workers in foreign factories toiling under harsh conditions).
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“It's very hard to set up a business,” says Sofya Gray, a 26-year-old entrepreneur in Rockport, Massachusetts, who runs @thefirstdaughterivanka, which has 22,000 followers. “Sometimes people — especially women — they just don’t want to do it. It’s frustrating. It’s hard. But with a person like her in government, I think it’s a good example. It’s a good inspiration.”
Sara, a 16-year-old who asked that I omit her state due to privacy concerns, first became enamored of Ivanka when she appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice as her father’s right-hand woman. Sara and a friend started @weloveivanka while they watched the show. Inspired by Ivanka's #WomenWhoWork campaign, she took an entrepreneurship class her freshman year of high school. “You see someone who loves what she does and she’s very successful at it and she's so well-composed, she's very well-spoken, and she’s passionate about the causes that she believes in ... she definitely was a reason for provoking that interest,” she says. Now, as a junior, Sara loves her accounting class, and hopes to study international business when she gets to college. (Her account, meanwhile, has 14,000 followers, though it’s now private.)Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Though she couldn’t vote in the 2016 election, Sara says she didn’t support the elder Trump (“I didn't really consider him a serious candidate”). But she feels for what Ivanka must be going through at the White House. Despite the first daughter’s job in the West Wing, “I don't see her as a political figure,” she says. “I see her as someone who’s been put into a unique situation, and I think that she's trying to make the best of it.”
Most of the fervor for Ivanka echoes her carefully crafted public image. “She's just so classy,” says Paige. “She's really poised, and she's such a good business woman.”
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Overall, the women — most of whom consider themselves Republicans, whether or not they’re old enough to register with a party — say they are happy with President Trump’s tenure so far.
“I fully support him,” says Eve. “I really admire his work ethic and just how he overall wants to make America even greater.”
Living in India, Choudhary, who runs @ivankaupdates, doesn’t follow American politics much. But when she started hearing Ivanka’s name in 2016, she looked her up on YouTube, and was impressed with her speech at the Republican National Convention. “I loved the way she talks, how calm and composed she is. Her dress, her sense of style. Everything impressed me," Choudhary says. "I was like, she's amazing. She makes an amazing role model. She has all the qualities a woman should have. She’s an amazing woman. So I made a fan page for her.”
Her account now has more than 57,000 followers. She spends around 45 minutes a day scrolling through photos of the first daughter and diligently posts at least twice each day. “There was a time when I would go somewhat crazy about her,” she says. “When I’d wake up, I used to think about her. My last thought of the day was her.”
Choudhary’s biggest dream, she says, is to one day meet Ivanka. She says she’s DM’ed with her on Instagram, even trying to make plans to meet her during the first daughter’s November trip to India for an entrepreneurial summit. (Though Ivanka did appear to ask for her contact information in advance of the visit, according to screenshots Choudhary shared, the meeting never materialized.)
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Nearly all of the women interviewed say they’ve have exchanged messages with Ivanka on Instagram. Most of her responses are brief but warm (“Thank you for your support!” or “I hope to meet you one day soon!”). Ivanka often likes — and sometimes, even comments on — the tributes they post. “You made my day!” she wrote on one particularly heartfelt caption. The women tout how many times Ivanka has liked their posts or DM’ed them (“Ivanka 💓 12x!”) in their account bios.
The accounts receive their fair share of trolls, too, liberals and “Trump haters” who say Ivanka is the paragon of nepotism and faux-feminism — or just that her outfit is terrible (the pink skirt suit she wore to meet the Japanese prime minister in November garnered particular ire).
Sara doesn’t think the hatred — especially when it stems from the president’s policies and behavior — is warranted. “People pass so many judgments on her and say, ‘I don’t know what to think about her.’ ‘Oh, she's corrupt.’ Or, like, ‘She's complicit.’ Like, oh my God, give me a break. What do they expect her to do? Do they expect her to go on her Instagram and say, ‘I am against my father’? Like, no! That’s not going to happen!”
Besides, the women say: How could you not like her?
“She’s perfect in everything,” Choudhary gushes. When, after our 20-minute interview, I thank her for her time, she tells me she doesn’t want to get off the phone — she wants to keep talking about Ivanka. “She was a model, firstly. Fashion — her brand is great. Now, she’s in politics, and she’s doing great. She's a supermom … Every day she wakes up and goes to work. She's so hardworking. It's so much to look up to.
“I wonder,” she says, “how can someone be so perfect?”
*Cosmopolitan.com has chosen to identify all teens interviewed for this story by their first name and state only.
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Source : http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a15038906/ivanka-trump-instagram-fan-accounts/