Former First Lady Melania Trump is trending on social media, but not for anything she actually did. Rather, Mrs. Trump was cast in the spotlight when Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark of Missouri’s Malden First General Baptist Church said during his Sunday sermon that women should look to maintain their figures and lose weight in order to keep their husband’s attention.
A 22-minute video of his February sermon was shared on Facebook, and has been viewed thousands of times.
He showed a photo of the former First Lady as an example of what women should aspire to and said, “Now look, I’m not saying every woman can be the epic, epic trophy wife of all time like Melania Trump.”
The pastor added, “Most women can’t be trophy wives, but you know, maybe you’re a participation trophy.”
Pastor Clark is now on leave after the comments he made. General Baptist Ministries, the denomination to which his Malden First General Baptist Church belongs, said in a statement posted to its Facebook page, “Every woman was created in the image of God, and they should be valued for that reason. Furthermore, we believe that all individuals regardless of any other factors are so loved by God that Christ died for them.”
Of course it didn’t take long for Clark’s comments to be called out on social media as sexist and misogynistic. There were more than 12,000 tweets by Sunday afternoon with most in response to Clark’s sermon.
A few users found humor, and poked fun directly at Pastor Clark. “This Guy said women should strive to look like Melania Trump while he looks like SNLs Pat. Classic,” posted @DeathMetalIV.
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“Women should strive to look like trophy wife Melania Trump, says the pastor who strives to look like the child of Bill Barr and Tom Arnold,” suggested another @labyrinthweaver.
A few users suggested that Clark should truly practice what he preaches.
“I’m gonna need Stewart Allen Clark, the pastor who told women to slim down, pretty up and look more like Melania Trump to slim down, tone out, and look more like Henry Cavill,” noted GMWhitehair.
@dez_blanchfield took it further, noting, “clearly he hasn’t looked in the mirror recently and realised he is in fact morbidly obese himself.. if his body is the temple of his god, he surely then is by his own cult text a blasphemous brainless twerp”
“It’s always the men who look 11months pregnant telling women to lose weight,” noted @ReneeAlida.
By late Sunday morning Stacey Abrams’ name also began to trend, as some users suggested she was someone to aspire to rather than Melania Trump.
Came The Negativity
However, not all the negativity was targeted at Clark. Many users went in an equally mean and hurtful way, taking aim at the former First Lady, despite the fact that Melania Trump had absolutely nothing to do with Clark’s comments.
“Not every women likes to shop at Whores-R-Us, like Melania Trump,” which @ItalianTexans shared. It was part of a theme that took aim at Mrs. Trump.
@SMariaWilliams1 posted, “If trash could be a trophy then Melania Trump could be a trophy wife.”
“A Missouri pastor received public backlash after he told women to lose weight and strive to be like Melania Trump for their husbands!!! NAILED IT!,” tweeted @tonybellerose.
That was met with a fury of equally hurtful responses.
However, at least a few people jumped in – not to support the pastor – but Mrs. Trump. In some cases this still took aim at the former president.
This latest round of comments not only highlights the political divide in the United States, but it also serves to show how hurtful individuals continue to be on social media. As noted, former First Lady Melania Trump had nothing to do with Clark’s sermon, and she has largely stayed out of the limelight, yet there were those who sought to bring out the very worst that social media has to offer.