Donald Trump is an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in cash.
Actually, that's the tagline for Erika Girardi, one of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but it applies equally to Trump. Even if, for a moment, you set aside the man's politics, his views toward Muslims and Mexicans, and the litany of weird, branded products that carry his name, it's still hard to understand why people like him so much.
The mystery extends beyond Trump's political supporters. The Manhattan real estate mogul has dated a string of beautiful ladies, from Rowanne Brewer to Carla Bruni to his current wife, Melania Trump. His first wife Ivana Trump, and his second, Marla Maples—both bombshells—famously got in a verbal sparring match over who loved him more.
But why? Trump's not exactly conventionally good looking. The orange skin, the inexplicably light bags under his eyes, the hair. Even an experiment to make Trump look "as hot as possible" through Photoshop resulted in a slightly meaner and worse-looking version of Benedict Cumberbatch.
There are theories: Ann Coulter suggested last year that it's because "he's tall, he's hilariously funny." Todd Shackelford, a psychologist at Oakland University, told Slate it's because "women are far more forgiving of physical attributes" and instead, "status, prestige, and resource acquisition are remarkably predictably linked to assessments by women of male attractiveness." Or maybe it's just that his lovers were attracted to a younger version of Trump—the one who graced the cover of Playboy in 1990—rather than the current one.
I wanted to get to the bottom of it. Is Trump actually sexy? I reached out to several Trump lovers, who each asked to remain anonymous, to see if they could weigh in.
SUBJECT ONE: The Woman Who Started a Reddit Thread Debating Trump's Sex Appeal
I found this 27-year-old woman after she confessed on Reddit: "I find Donald Trump sexually attractive." I reached out to her to ask if she could pinpoint exactly what did it for her, and this is what she told me.
What is it that you find physically attractive about Trump?
He does have some physical features that I absolutely adore. First, his stature. I like tall men with broad shoulders. I may be a bit old fashioned in this regard, but I want to feel protected with a man. Donald comes off as physically imposing, but approachable in his interviews. I also really love his teeth, even if they are veneers.
Do you think his personal qualities—like fame, money, success—make him more physically attractive?
I'd be lying if I said the fame and money didn't catch my attention—if not for those, I wouldn't know who he was to begin with. What is more important, though, is his success and his ability to project confidence.
The hair and tan—we gotta talk about it. What are your thoughts?
I get the tan. Looking at Donald's face, it's pretty obvious that he is suffering from a bit of rosacea (unsurprising, given that his mother was Scottish). A tan sort of balances things out and looks better on the camera. The spray tan does usually come off as unnatural, but a natural suntan isn't really an option with rosacea. I don't have any problem with the hair. I actually kind of like it.
Why do you think so many beautiful women have been attracted to Trump?
I think that for most women who find him attractive, the money and fame are the initial attention-getter. The confidence, drive, and success are what win Trumpettes over. I also understand that when the cameras are off, he is a much nicer guy.
Let's say Trump wasn't wealthy. Still hot?
Still hot. That said, I likely would have never heard of him, if not for his wealth.
SUBJECT TWO: The Men Who Run "Babes For Trump"
Babes for Trump has collected quite a following, on both Instagram and Twitter. Dozens of hot women have contributed photos of themselves supporting Trump, as if wearing a bikini is the key to Making America Great Again. Intrigued, I emailed the four young men who run the account.
Is Babes for Trump a serious or satirical project?
This is a real account. The idea came about one evening when we were on Twitter browsing through our feed and saw the hashtag #babesfortrump accompanied with an image of an attractive young woman. This immediately sparked the idea to create an account that blended two of the hottest social media trends out right now—politics and sex appeal.
We hadn't seen anything like it before, considering the supposed negative and derogatory rhetoric surrounding Donald Trump. We were baffled to see that young college women were full on supporting Trump and weren't afraid to show a little skin while they're at it. So we ran with it.
What do you think these women find sexy about Trump?
This is a tricky one, because we don't want to speak for everyone, but we think the draw to him is that he has the quintessential "bad boy" attitude about him. He isn't afraid to be controversial or speak his feelings. We also think he can be considered sexy because of his past with women—it's well known that Trump likes an attractive woman.
So, is Trump himself sexy?
Absolutely, Trump is sexy. He ran a beauty pageant—the man knows sexy. He is the embodiment of an image that people want, whatever that may be, and that is the definition of sexy.
Who are these women contributing photos to Babes for Trump?
Women want to be desired; women want their voices heard. We believe that much of the media puts this assumption out there that women don't like Trump, and that if they do, there is something wrong with them. That is just not true. What we are seeing is that America's "Girl Next Door" might be your biggest Trump fan. Like we said before, there is this misconception out there that young women don't like Trump, and they do.
What would Donald Trump's Tinder bio say?
If you think the only thing about me that stands tall and is made of stone is my wall, you'd be sadly mistaken.
SUBJECT THREE: A Member of the Band The Trumpettes
The Trumpettes are a four-person band with one song, "Trump Tsunami." It's weirdly sexual. I emailed their manager, Richard, who put me in touch with Raydea, the singer of the band. Here's her explanation of Trump's sex appeal.
Who are the Trumpettes?
We're a group of girls that love the idea of Trump, the movement, the swagger he has, which is so masculine and assertive. He knows he's the shit, and we like what he represents. That's Trump—he may be brash, but he's real, and he's a strong individual who believes in himself and others.
Do you find him attractive?
He's really cute, with his little boy face. We're not trying to push Melania aside, but we're here to completely support.
You actually think he's good looking?
I think he looks great. He's six-three, with his wide shoulders, beautiful skin, those blue eyes. It's all there. And he walks like a man walks! There's something so sexy about that. He knows what he wants and how to get it, and that's alluring.
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