Over the years, Ivanka Trump has changed the way she speaks, her body language around husband Jared Kushner, and even the capitalization of certain words, like "Country," in her tweets. All of this shows us she's nothing but malleable and adaptable; ready to fit a chosen image at the drop of a hat.
Her use of emojis is no exception. In the
millennium two years since her father was elected U.S. president, you can't scroll through Ivanka's feed anymore without seeing multiple American flags. Ahead, we tracked her emoji use from June 1 to November 28, 2018, so you don't have to. Plus, we talked to a linguistics expert about what it means.
How many times Ivanka used the following emojis on Twitter between June 1 and November 28:
How many times Ivanka used the following emojis on Instagram between June 1 and November 28:
The American flag is clearly the winner, with Ivanka using it a whopping 21 times on Twitter (far more than the runner-ups: camera, red heart, and rocket ship, with four times each) and eight times on Instagram, for everything from touting jobs growth to celebrating NASA's Mars landing. When she's not feeling creative, she just tweets it by itself, like here, in support of California wildfire recovery:
It's not exactly a surprise, given the Trump administration's chest-beating, America-first, stand-for-the-flag attitude. It also seems, once again, that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, what with her father's even stronger penchant for flag-waving on social media.
"We can't know someone's motives, but we can say something about the effect their messages are having," Dr. Deborah Tannen, linguistics professor at Georgetown University and author of several books including the recent You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships, told Refinery29. "In this case, the effect of using a patriotic emoji would be a visual analogue to 'America First.'"
Dr. Tannen compared the use of the American-flag emoji to people wearing flag pins and putting flag stickers on their cars after 9/11 "to make themselves feel safe, and to remind themselves visually that they're part of a country they love," adding, "I think emotional reactions are stronger to pictures and the American flag would be an example." Clearly, Ivanka knows her audience.
As for the others? Well, they're very specific, which speaks to Ivanka's planner, type-A nature. Her love of NASA is obvious, as she's used the rocket ship four times on Twitter and twice on Instagram. She even took the time to find a fish on a pole — who uses that?! — when fishing with her son. Conspicuously absent are any jail-related emojis, like the lock 🔒 or the 👮 police officer, despite the fact that a few members of the Trump orbit seem to be heading there soon.