President Donald Trump is not having the best week. I mean, what's new, really, but this is an especially bad stretch for the president. So maybe his White House keepers thought that releasing his official portrait would cheer him up a little. You know, get some positive press. But that is just not the case, and these tweets about Trump's official portrait show, well, why.
Both President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence's official portraits were released on Oct. 31 — yeah, Halloween — according to the Associated Press. It took the White House nine months to release the portraits, a delay which they have not yet explained. In the interim, picture frames in federal buildings meant to hold Trump's portrait were reportedly empty.
It's one of the more innocent ways in which the Trump administration is breaking with decorum, but it doesn't mean people are being any less critical.
Sure, he released his controversial tax plan and tweeted racially-charged sentiments calling for "extreme vetting" of Muslims this week, and all of these things deserve intense scrutiny and even criticism.
But do we need to criticize everything he does? Does his portrait really deserve derision? Uh, yes. Yes it does.
Because here are the portraits in question:
As you can see, there's just something... off about it.
First of all, while still not entirely natural, Trump's skin is more peach than orange, so you know that there's been some photoshop magic. But it's more than his skin. It's his... smile. Seeing him smile is disturbing, like a dog on its hind legs. It just isn't right, especially given the lack of light in his eyes. Even before he became president, Trump built his career off of being a scowling, gruff business boy.
I'm also confused because I thought this was his official portrait, which presents its own set of problems — especially the strong Mussolini vibes.
This photo was featured on his biography on WhiteHouse.gov, according to Vox, so I'm not hallucinating. This was used in an official capacity. But it wasn't technically the official presidential portrait, despite being hung, per the Boston Globe, in some buildings, such as Boston's immigration court. It's a mystery.
But I'd almost rather the official portrait of the 45th president be the scowling, angry-tweeting septuagenarian that we all know. I mean, just look at the eyes in this old portrait. There's a little sparkle.
Instead, we have a somewhat dead-eyed, photoshopped, smiling Trump.
But there's so much more about this portrait is weird, and Twitter is here to show you why.
First, and perhaps most importantly, is the fact that Trump's neck has very likely been photoshopped.
Buzzfeed's Jesse McLaren is usually known for clever photoshopping, but this is the real deal. Even better, whoever photoshopped it didn't keep the texture intact, giving the neck a blurred effect. It looks like whoever did the retouch was trying to minimize the wrinkles and shrink the size of Trump's neck, which is relatively large.
This is what his neck usually looks like:
Despite having world-class resources at the tip of their collective fingers, it seems like the White House can never really do anything right, so it's kind of perfect that they couldn't even fix his neck properly.
Even The New York Times is taking the piss.
The Times' Vanessa Friedman said of the portrait, "It almost looks as if he’s being tickled. The word chortle comes to mind."
But the best part about the portrait? All the photoshop jobs and alternative ideas.
I think that @matthewpankratz is giving Trump too much credit. Orange he may be, but is he really nutritious?
He looks a little peaked in this one.
And there's more:
One last one, in case you forgot about the neck. Which I sure didn't. This one isn't photoshopped, but it is still Very Good.
Are these tweets a little mean? Yeah, sure. But it's a little bit of brightness in an otherwise garbage year.
So, yeah, bring on the neck close-ups.