By reconfiguring and repurposing Melania as an absurdist character whose presence momentarily undermines the legitimacy of her much more sinister husband, viewers can act as curators of the Trump spectacle, restoring some sense of agency and hope when it is in short supply. The camping of Melania isn’t a radical or necessarily effective political strategy. Rather, it’s a meaningful and distinctly queer method of poking fun that offers fleeting moments of catharsis.

Daniel Spielberger, writing in Real Life magazine, wonders whether turning Melania Trump into a laughable, campy caricature is more than just mockery, but a way to feel a sense of control in a disempowering political climate.

Read the essay