Trump family’s ‘garish and superficial’ U.K. outfits, explained – National

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U.S. President Donald Trump and his family spent the last few days in the U.K., visiting Buckingham Palace, dining with the Royal Family and wearing lots of fancy outfits.

While the official state visit wrapped up on Wednesday afternoon, America’s first family made an impression with their wardrobe choices.

Social media erupted with remarks about the Trump family, some celebrating Melania’s hats while others asked why the president doesn’t have a nicely tailored suit.

“In truth, the British press is going to be critical of the Trumps’ ensembles no matter what, given their lack of political popularity in the U.K.,” said Rebecca Halliday, a lecturer at Ryerson University’s School of Fashion.

“[But] what we see in the Trump family is a display of wealth that is often opulent and garish and superficial.”

Here are some of the most talked-about outfits worn by members of the Trump family and how they were received.

Trump’s white-tie look


What he wore: A white waistcoat with matching white bow tie under a black tailcoat.

Where he wore it: Trump donned the look at the Queen’s formal state banquet, which was hosted at Buckingham Palace on June 3.

Social reaction:

Many people took to Twitter to comment that the president’s suit was ill-fitting and poorly tailored.

Bette Midler tweeted that the suit’s proportions were so bad Trump’s tailor should be fired.

Others said Trump looked like “the butler.”

Cultural context: 

When the royals host state banquets, a “white-tie decorations” dress code is mandatory.

“The white-tie dress code is used for the most formal state dinners and affairs,” Halliday said.

“For men, [this is] centred around the wearing of the white waistcoat and bowtie with the tailcoat over top — and this seems to be the area that Trump has problems with.”

WATCH: The Royal Family follows some peculiar rules

Halliday says that a waistcoat should fit snug at the waist but not be too tight.

“Trump’s seems a bit too snug,” she said.

“His tailcoat is too short in the front and doesn’t cover the waistcoat enough, which accentuates his stomach.”

GQ agreed and pointed out that Trump’s waistcoat was too long for this black tailcoat.

READ MORE: Donald Trump says ‘nasty’ comment about Meghan Markle was taken out of context

While people have been commenting on Trump’s ill-fitting suit, Halliday says it’s important to not let his style choices distract from his politics.

“We shouldn’t look at criticism of politicians’ fashion choices as a distraction from ‘real’ political issues but should read them as a reflection of politicians’ social values,” she explained.

“The Trump family’s opulent fashion choices on their U.K. visit should also be read alongside the Trump administration’s callous decisions back home.”

Melania’s landing outfit and matching hat


What she wore: A custom white dress from Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana paired with a custom hat made by designer Hervé Pierre.

Where she wore it: Melania sported the white ensemble on June 3 when landing at Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen.

Social reaction: 

Some said Melania’s outfit looked like it was inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s character in My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney girl who tries to fit in with high society.

Others compared her look to an outfit from the 1980s show Dynastywith the Cut drawing reference to Joan Collins.

Cultural context:

The Royal Family often sport fancy hats, and as Vanity Fair points out, Melania’s hat may signal that she is adopting the tradition.

“There seems to be an attempt to select and emulate specific upper-class notions of Britishness and British dress in the most expensive manner possible,” Halliday said, highlighting the fact Melania also wore an expensive Gucci shirtdress as she headed to London.

The silk dress was covered with images of Tower Bridge, Big Ben and double-decker buses. (The first lady has been criticized in the past for matching her wardrobe to her travel schedule.)

Ivanka’s white-tie dress


What she wore: A blue Carolina Herrera gown with three-quarter-length sleeves and “floral sparkle embroidery.” The dress currently retails for US$10,990.

Where she wore it: Ivanka wore the dress to the state banquet at Buckingham Palace.

Social reaction:

Some people on Twitter said Ivanka’s outfit was too casual and not white-tie.

Cultural context:

For white-tie events, women wear floor-length dresses, ideally ballgowns, Halliday says. Ivanka’s dress does not convey the right formal tone.

“While Ivanka dress is from a noted American designer who has dressed several important political women — and is floor-length — the fact that it seems to be cotton and has buttons lends to an odd shirtdress appearance, which comes off as too informal,” she explained.

READ MORE: The feminist significance of Meghan Markle’s post-birth dress

Elle UK points out that women often wear dresses with a fitted bodice and full skirt.

“Traditionally, long gloves have been worn, however, this is not seen as essential at modern white-tie events,” the outlet adds.

Ivanka’s belted skirt suit and fascinator


What she wore: A white, pleated knee-length skirt with a white jacket cinched at the waist with a bedazzled belt. Ivanka completed the outfit with a fascinator.

Where she wore it: Ivanka wore this outfit on June 3, the first day of the state visit. She was spotted watching her father and stepmother greet members of the Royal Family through a window of Buckingham Palace in the outfit and later added her hat for a visit to Westminster Abbey.

Social reaction:

People mocked Ivanka’s fascinator, while others accused her of unsuccessfully copying Meghan Markle‘s style.

Cultural context:

Fascinators and decorative hats are staples of British royal culture, as they are common at formal events and weddings.

The conservative nature of her outfit is likely out of respect for royal dressing customs, as women often wear skirts or dresses that hit the knee. Still, Halliday says Ivanka’s outfits may miss the mark.

“Even Ivanka’s more appropriate and contemporary British looks are still not well received by fashion critics because she comes off as even more as classist and distant,” she said.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Experts say dodgeball is ‘legalized bullying’ — is the game really the problem?

by BBG Hub

“As part of the curriculum…  [dodgeball is] tantamount to legalize bullying,” she continued. “The fact that it happens in the school context gives you the sort of legitimacy that we don’t feel it deserves.”

Is dodgeball itself the issue?

Some schools in the U.S. have banned dodgeball, Robson added, but research indicated Canadian schools have not done the same.

Parenting and lifestyle expert Maureen Dennis of Toronto told Global News all games and sports have winners and losers, but it also doesn’t mean all sports and games have incidents of bullying — including dodgeball.

“Learning how to be a gracious winner or loser is a very important lesson in life,” she said. “Not everyone can win at everything. Not being good at something is OK. Not enjoying a game is OK. Being proud of being good at something is OK. Enjoying winning is also OK.”

She added it is concerning to “bubble wrap” our kids from an opportunity to lose, fail, get hurt or compete.

“We aren’t encouraging bullying, that is not the same thing as competing or playing a game, bullying is defined as seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce someone perceived as vulnerable,” she said.  “Dodgeball doesn’t seek to harm, intimidate or coerce other students. Everyone has the same chance to play the game.”

Early childhood consultant Julie Romanowski of Miss Behaviour in Vancouver, added dodgeball is aggressive (like other sports), and it should neither be banned nor mandatory for children at school.

“I don’t think it should be banned but definitely other [students should have] options,” she said. “There are many alternatives to keeping fit and learning new games other than the aggressive ones.”

She added children should be exposed to a variety of sports that include interaction and no interaction, giving them a choice to seek what is best for them.

“Interacting with other children is good for child development however, you can ‘interact’ with someone and even have physical touch and not be ‘aggressive’ such as touch-football, the game tag, skipping or group gymnastics and cheerleading.”

Teaching children competition

John Cairney, professor and director of Graduate Studies at the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto added while banning dodgeball is not the answer, having alternatives could be a good starting point.

“There are many alternatives to the game that are preferable — more inclusive with greater opportunities for participation and design,” he told Global News. “The kinds of concerns individuals are expressing about banning the game have to do with more generalized concerns about how children are treated in our schools.”

He added some comments suggest dodgeball makes children tough and banning it or removing it from the school system is an attack on competition. While the researchers argued they are not anti-competition, Robson added others believe the backlash stems from a backlash of liberal ethics generally.

READ MORE: Reality check — bullying rates in Canada

“The reality is, children can learn a lot about themselves and others, experience the thrill of adventurous play, experience team work, individual achievement in competitive structures through a number of different game-based activities and learning opportunities beyond dodgeball,” Cairney said.

Credit: Getty Images 

And in the bigger picture, let’s not forget about bullying, something that can happen in dodgeball or any other sport or setting.

“We need to consider how sport and physical education must be structured to work to prevent bullying,” he said. “For too long I think, we have ignored the problem and allowed certain contexts, like sport, to be a place were bullying is tolerated and even seen as part of the culture.”

He said physical education has evolved tremendously in the last few decades. “Where gymnastics, sports like football and basketball, dominated the landscape, today there is way more attention to a broader range of activities [like] circus arts, fitness, dance, games of a wide variety and more traditional sports.”

He added: “Let’s help children and youth find what’s right for them so that they stay active and engaged.”

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Declawing pets is actually ‘amputating a joint’ and should be outlawed: experts – National

by BBG Hub

Lawmakers in New York state passed a bill on Tuesday that, if approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, will make declawing surgeries for cats illegal unless deemed “medically necessary.”

The bill recommends that declawing procedures for “cosmetic or aesthetic” reasons be punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.

“It’s unnecessary, it’s painful and it causes the cat problems,” said Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat from Manhattan and the bill’s sponsor.

READ MORE: Paws-itively great news for cats — Manitoba vets ban declawing

The only exceptions are surgeries for “therapeutic purpose(s),” such as for treatment of an illness or disease.

In an interview with the The New York Times, Rosenthal called the bill a way to protect cats from pet owners who “think their furniture is more important than their cat.”

If the bill is signed into law, New York state will be the first in the United States to officially ban declawing.

The state will join several U.S. cities — such as Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles — as well as many other countries, including Australia, New Zealand and most of Europe.

READ MORE: New Brunswick veterinarians vote to ban declawing, practice no longer available in Atlantic Canada

In Canada, declawing is only illegal in two provinces: Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

However, it has been banned by several provincial veterinarian associations across the country, including groups in Manitoba, New Brunswick, British Columbia and Alberta.

In recent months, there’s been more pressure placed on veterinarian associations in remaining provinces, such as Ontario and Quebec, to follow suit and ban declawing.

However, according to Jan Robinson, registrar and CEO of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario, banning the procedure as a veterinarian association is not the same as making it illegal. Sometimes, the former can do more harm than good.

WATCH: Dog and cat obesity is a growing problem

“What we’re seeing in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland… and out of New York state are societal decisions,” said Robinson.

“When you have the law coming… then what you’ve got is nobody can do the procedure.”

In contrast, when a veterinarian association bans the procedure, it only becomes prohibited for licensed veterinarians to perform the surgery.

This means other, potentially less qualified people are still free to offer declawing procedures, which worries Robinson.

“If you make it professional misconduct for a veterinarian to do it, then [the client] can have it done by whomever,” she said.

“If these procedures are going to go on from time to time, then what we want is the most skilled individuals to be able to do that.”

READ MORE: Declawing cats no longer allowed in B.C.

Although the group has not banned the procedure, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario does not support declawing.

“We don’t support surgeries for cosmetic purposes that are medically unnecessary. We encourage veterinarians not to perform them unless they are medically necessary or beneficial to the animal, and that becomes very context specific,” said Robinson.

“Our belief is that that should be the judgment of the veterinarian — the medical professional — who is there with that client, with that animal, with that circumstance and [who is] making a judgment around that.”

This is aligned with the position of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), which also vehemently opposes the practice.

WATCH: N.B. SPCA speaking out about the need to educate people about adoptions

According to veterinarian Dr. Jim Berry, a past president of the CVMA and current chair of the CVMA professional development committee, declawing is actually “amputating to a joint.”

“The common term is ‘declawing,’ which makes it sound like we’re just removing the nail,” said Berry, who is also co-owner of Douglas Animal Hospital in Fredericton, N.B.

“The actual name is partial digital amputation, and… that’s because what we’re actually doing is removing the last bone on the finger of each paw.”

The procedure is extremely painful, especially during recovery.

READ MORE: Veterinary pricing: Costs for services and procedures vary wildly, here’s why

“If you hold your finger up, it’s not just taking off the nail — it would be like amputating to that last joint. Instead of having three bones in the end of each finger, you’d only have two,” he said.

After being declawed, cats have to change the way they walk and do other basic tasks because of the loss of bone.

“Scratching is a normal behaviour for a cat… they’re scratching for marking and scratching for care of their claws,” said Berry.

“What you’re doing is… taking away a normal behaviour [and] creating a situation where we have surgical pain.”

Berry says declawing can also cause chronic pain.

“It comes down to why we’re doing this. There’s no benefit to the cat,” Berry said.

When declawing is deemed “medically necessary” will vary from province to province. However, it’s usually only in severe situations, such as a tumour in the nail or when nails are severely infected.

“We are supposed to be advocating for the health and well-being of our patients,” said Berry.

“It’s very hard to rationalize that one.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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