News & Politics

Six Things We Learned About Ivanka Trump From Her Ex-BFF’s Vanity Fair Essay

Number one: Ivanka allegedly once blamed a fart on a classmate.

In Bess Kalb's Instagram videos, she plays characters like a hair salon receptionist fielding calls from Ivanka Trump. Photo by Evy Mages

This morning, Vanity Fair ran a story written by Ivanka Trump’s former childhood best friend. Lysandra Ohrstrom, a freelance journalist, wrote an essay about growing up alongside Ivanka in New York—and watching her former friend turn into a MAGA figurehead.

“Although friends and family have warned that this article won’t be received the way I want, I think it’s past time that one of the many critics from Ivanka’s childhood comes forward,” writes Ohrstrom, “if only to ensure that she really will never recover from the decision to tie her fate to her father’s.”

While the piece ultimately serves as a takedown, Ohrstrom, who met Ivanka at the elite Manhattan all-girls school Chapin, sprinkles plenty of telling anecdotes about her former BFF throughout. Here are a few things we learned:

Ivanka Trump’s 13th birthday was extra

This won’t come as a shock to you, but Ivanka’s 13th birthday party was, well, a lot. The Trump offspring ferried a group of her friends via limo to Trump’s former Taj Mahal hotel in Atlantic City, writes Ohrstrom. There, she says, the group hung out in the penthouse “under the supervision of two wary members of her dad’s security team.” (Side note: I’m pretty sure I got an American Eagle polo for my 13th birthday and ate pizza with my parents.)

Ivanka Trump did not want to read Empire Falls

“Ivanka always solicited book suggestions from me, and I had recently recommended Empire Falls, Richard Russo’s 2001 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel about the life of a diner manager in a working-class community in Maine,” writes Ohrstrom. “’Ly, why would you tell me to read a book about fucking poor people?’ I remember Ivanka saying. ‘What part of you thinks I would be interested in this?'”

Ivanka Trump subscribed to the Atlantic and loved McDonald’s cheeseburgers in high school

Ohrstrom uses the Atlantic subscription as an example of how Ivanka seemingly differed from the “rougher, more Trumpian edges” of her family. Yet she also had some of the same tendencies as her father, Ohrstrom writes, loving McDonald’s cheeseburgers and cursing.

Ivanka Trump once appeared in Sassy magazine.

The ’90s cool-girl mag was the anti-Seventeen (which is where we’d have expected Ivanka to show up). She called on Ohrstrom to pose with her in the photo spread, “because none of her usual group was available.”

Ivanka Trump once plucked the hairs from her best friend’s bikini line.

That is all.

Ivanka Trump once blamed a fart on a classmate

This is perhaps most important out of all the article’s revelations. Ivanka, someone who is involved at the highest levels of our government, is seemingly not aware of one of the cardinal tenets of American democracy: Thou who smelt it, dealt it.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.