Here’s a study in “cognitive dissonance.” Style site Refinery29 recently revealed a very interesting and ironic fun fact about devoted first daughter and right-wing beauty icon, Ivanka Trump: her longtime makeup artist, Alexa Rodulfo, is a Mexican immigrant.
Yes, you read that right.
Already a beauty entrepreneur in her native Juarez, Mexico, in 2005, Rodulfo moved to the United States to pursue a career working in New York City, quickly making a name for herself among the fashion elite, and becoming known as the “beloved hair and makeup artist to all the girls,” according to one 2009 Vogue profile. And soon after her arrival in the States, she could count Ivanka Trump among her many well-heeled clients.
This would be just another feel-good American Dream story if Trump’s father hadn’t risen to the presidency on a campaign platform that leveraged anti-immigrant rhetoric and sentiment—especially against Mexicans.
But in spite of the fact that her client’s father has instituted policies ripping families apart at the U.S.-Mexico border and would gladly trap future aspirants like Rodulfo on the other side of his hypothetical border wall if given the opportunity and funding, Rodulfo tells Refinery29 that “nothing has changed” between her and Ivanka Trump.
In fact, in what one can only assume is evidence that Rodulfo suffers from full-blown Stockholm Syndrome, she says:
Ivanka and Jared both love Mexico and have deep respect for my heritage. I have never felt anything from her or her family besides warmth and respect. ... Everyone knows Ivanka is not only my client, but she has been a wonderful and supportive friend.
Rodulfo and Trump are such good friends that she’s apparently like another member of the family, even bordering into what strangely sounds like nanny territory after completing Trump’s makeup for the day:
It’s really nice to spend family time with them. She plays with her children and they play with my makeup while I work. Then when Ivanka leaves, I stay with [Trump’s daughter] Arabella. She loves when I put lipgloss on her or do braids.
While Rodulfo did not disclose to Refinery29 how much she is paid for her services—or whether she’s paid extra for the childcare—we’re not the only ones who have questions. At least one commenter on Rodulfo’s Instagram has asked: “How do you stand next to this woman who has defended her father?”
And when Rodulfo featured Trump in a 2017 post captioned, “Work with people that inspire you,” one commenter asked the question we were all wondering: “She inspires you? To what? To leave the States? To build a wall between you and your country?”
But while Trump has remained typically mum on most of her father’s policies—save a belated statement expressing her opposition to separating migrant families—Rodulfo maintains that Trump is similarly message-free in her makeup, saying:
I don’t think she is sending any message with her makeup ... If there is a message to her makeup, it is one of warmth and confidence. She does not use her makeup as a mask to hide from the world or help her assume a character.
Clearly, assimilation is a helluva drug.