While one word that could best describe the Trump presidency thus far is "unpredictable," appearance-wise, the administration and those surrounding the president are anything but. There's President Trump with his omnipresent tan and hay-colored swoop. There's first lady Melania Trump with her long, chocolate brown waves highlighted with thin caramel strips. Then there is Ivanka Trump, daughter and adviser to the president, with her long, center-parted, ice-blonde hair.
But on Monday, as Ivanka Trump was set to depart on her tour of South America to promote economic empowerment of women in developing countries, she cast her longstanding public image aside and stepped out with an entirely new look.
While departing on a government plane in Maryland, Trump showed off a brand-new bob hairstyle, which is the shortest her hair has ever been since she made her public debut when she was just 10 years old in 1991.
For a White House so obsessed with optics, the question is... why now? It's a well-known fact that the Trumps' physical appearances are carefully calculated, as Melania Trump's go-to hairstylist Mordechai Alvow told us last year.
"When someone is going to be in the eyes of the public and will constantly be on the news, there is a look that people want to understand and be comfortable with and associate with," Alvow says. "[Melania] is not like a performer. There is a look about her where it's almost like she’s the mother of the public. You want your mother to have one steady look."
Knowing that, it's natural to wonder what's really going on behind the scenes whenever someone in this administration changes their look dramatically. (Like last December when Melania Trump suddenly dyed her hair bright blonde right around the time her husband had been directly connected to a federal crime.) Though that look didn't last long, it's pretty clear the Trump administration knows that when an image changes, headlines will come.
So if the intention of these well-timed changes is to divert attention away from the president, what would Ivanka Trump's new hair be distracting us from? Her dad's endless, nonsensical Labor Day weekend Twitter rants, perhaps? Or, according to New York City-based image consultant Amanda Sanders, this could be part of an image overhaul for Ivanka.
"She wants to reestablish credibility because her father’s campaign is coming up," Sanders tells Refinery29. "She’s going to be heavily involved in it, and this hair makes her look more grounded and more mature and more professional. You take her a little more seriously."
Refinery29 has reached out to Ivanka Trump's hairstylist Alexa Rodulfo for comment and will update when we hear back.