Who Was That Caped Circus Lady What Stoled Our Hearts? Michelle Van Etten, That's Who!
After several nights of this convention crap, our eyes and ears and general faces have somewhat glazed over. We are Instacarting vodka and occasionally just screaming "Oh god, these people are horrible! Why are they all so horrible?" into the void (aka Twitter). But then, last night, like a beautiful breath of fresh air, came Michelle Van Etten, entrepreneur and snake-oil peddler, to add a little sunshine. Sunshine in the form of dubious pyramid scheme vitamins and circus stories and FASHION.
Why was she there? Did she just waltz in from the margarita bar next door? No, she's a member of a group called "Women In Business For Trump," and someone apparently thought it would be a good idea to have her speak. You know, because they're basically just rounding up any women and people of color that they can at this point so that Donald Trump looks less racist and misogynistic.
The whole entire first part of her speech was dedicated to her having wanted to be in the circus when she was a kid, and then starting her own neighborhood circus. I'm sure there was a lesson in here somewhere, except it was hard to hear over the specter of my high school drama teacher yelling "stop indicating!" I guess the lesson was that she was naturally good at business! And possibly tight-rope walking.
Michelle didn't get into "business" though, she says, until after going to a high school reunion and seeing that all the girls she'd gone to school with had done way better than her, and looked like Barbie and had BMWs, and she was 30 pounds overweight and a stay-at-home mom with a minivan.
Although Michelle was described in RNC materials as an entrepreneur with over 100,000 employees... that's a little bit of an exaggeration. Though as anyone who has ever used Tinder or whatever can tell you -- so are most things about people who call themselves entrepreneurs. She doesn't actually have 100,000 employees, personally, she works for a multi-level marketing scheme that has maybe that many "independent contractors." She actually has zero employees, but whatevs!! So, basically she is like that chick you went to high school that keeps trying to sell you that Jamberry nail stuff all the damn time, except she hawks a brand called "Youngevity" that is also touted by fringe conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. NEAT! He says they make him extra Alex Jones-y, so you know they are probably full of meth.
According to their site, they sell vitamin and drink mix type things that are most definitely snake oil crap, coffee, scrapbooking materials (no, seriously), chintzy-looking jewelry, clothes for ladies who miss Casual Corner, and mineral makeup that will almost definitely do gross stuff to your face because of that boron nitride stuff that's in it. So, you know, basically a lot of crap. Michelle calls this her "multi-faceted INTERNATIONAL business."
Then after going off on that tangent, out of the blue, she announced that she was able to make so much money from these pyramid schemes, that her husband was able to retire early and could stay home and homeschool their kids... BECAUSE SHE WILL NOT EXPOSE THEM TO COMMON CORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!1!!!!! Which, I guess, she thinks involves devil worship of some kind?
Michelle gave a shout-out to her other business during the speech, MV House of Style. Which is sort of like "MTV House of Style," except not. Said thriving business is "a fashion studio" located in, we figure, her basement in Brandon, Florida, and has a total of 17 Facebook likes. Probably they sell a lot of blazer capes. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I, too, own a blazer cape! They are not terrible if you don't button them up and they are cut well.
What does all of this have to do with Donald Trump? Well, according to Michelle, uh, 50% of millennials want to be entrepreneurs and be their own boss, and they won't get to do that if Clinton is president because of "excessive policies." And Donald Trump will make it so it can happen and he will magic up an economy that can somehow function with 50% of the people being their own boss.
It was at this point that the white wine spritzers and Alex Jones vitamins kicked in and she just started blathering on about the American dream, and how we need a president who is a businessman and not a Hillarycrat? You know, because Warren G. Harding worked out so well for us. And he's good, because he believes in business and America and also he'll repeal Obamacare and uh, "allow small businesses to provide healthcare for their employees again." Which I am pretty sure they can already do? And he'll do a lot of other stuff here, and he'll make America great again, and it'll be great.
And you know what else is great? Michelle Van Etten. Seriously, I kinda wanna hang out with her in Florida, like at a "Lady's Night" at TGIFridays and just get BLITZED and watch her talk, and sing loudly along with "I Saw The Sign," and sob softly into a mudslide about how all the girls she went to high school with are prettier than her now and probably having better sex, and then get super weirded out when she starts talking about the damn immigrants, at which point I would awkwardly leave and tell the bartender to make sure she does not drive home. I bet she says "WOOOOOO!" a lot.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse