Louise Linton, wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, raised ire
this week with an Instagram post depicting herself descending the steps
of a government jet accompanied by the caption, “Great #daytrip to
#Kentucky! #nicest #people #rolandmouret pants, #hermesscarf, #tomford sunnies, and #valentinorockstudheels #valentino #usa.” In the photos, the 36-year-old Scottish actress, who grew up in a castle and married Mr. Mnuchin, a multimillionaire, earlier this year, is clad in what appeared to be approximately $16,000 of luxurious cream wool crepe designer clothing and opulent accessories, which she dutifully tagged for any Real Americans currently in the market for thousand-dollar white pants.
Several Instagram commenters pointed out that, in a country where an
estimated 43 million people live below the poverty line and 6.4 million
children live with food insecurity, flaunting ostentatious wealth at
least partially supported by taxpayer money goes beyond tackiness and
approaches sadism. One user wrote: “Glad we could pay for your little
getaway. #deplorable.” Added another: “Please don’t tag your Hermes
In response, Ms. Linton posted a vertiginous wall of text suggesting
that rich people are nobler and more self-sacrificing than poor people
because they pay a lot of taxes, the tone implying that perhaps the
serfs of Instagram would appreciate her scarf more if they weren’t so
dung-caked. When Ms. Linton’s response, which contained the lines “Aw”
and “Your life looks cute,” didn’t garner the ecstatic genuflection of
the common people as expected, she made her account private. She later
apologized, calling the post and her response “inappropriate and highly
DON’T: Use hashtags to let ’Grammers know that your handbag costs more
than they pay in rent in a year, particularly if you’re married to the
cabinet official who could help make homeownership and true,
substantive, generational financial stability accessible for the
working class, but probably won’t! Instead, try something more
relatable, like #selfcare under a picture of you standing next to a
horse. (Best not to mention that you own the horse and also the
copyright to the concept of horses.)
DO: Accept criticism with a smile and an open mind. Not everyone is
going to “get” you, and that’s O.K. Every callout is an opportunity to
either improve yourself or model grace under fire. We are all just
students in this university called life.
DON’T: Get defensive and telegraph the fact that you feel unmitigated
disdain toward those who weren’t fortunate enough to be born into
money, marry into more money, then have their moneyed partner luck into
a cushy six-figure government job with perks such as private jets and
trips to #Kentucky. Before you tell a stranger that her complaint about
the nation falling into the hands of cartoon rich people who can’t even
forcefully denounce the Confederacy is really just the jealous
squalling of a loser with a bad life, stop and think: Is this public?
Will people see this? Am I a member of a humane, collective society or
a capsule of pure consciousness floating in the void? Next, force your
butler to eat your iPhone.
DO: Explore filters, which can hide imperfections and make sunsets pop!
DON’T: Reveal your own deeply flawed filter on the world.
RS Wood <firstname.lastname@example.org>