The spectacle and collective breath-holding around whether four-time indicted and arrested and twice-impeached former President Donald Trump would have a mug shot taken in Georgia after he turned himself in at the Fulton County jail ended last night when the sheriff’s office released the image.
With a tense and scowling visage, Trump glared at the camera in the photograph, which suffered from poor lighting and harsh shadows.
The photo was instantly iconic and historic. It is the first time a United States president, sitting or former, has had their mug shot taken. It, of course, went viral on all social media platforms.
Trump, suspended from Twitter in 2021 and reinstated to use the platform now called X under Elon Musk’s ownership, returned to the app Thursday night by posting a link to his fundraising website alongside the mugshot.
“Never surrender,” read the caption underneath the photo of Trump, who literally surrendered into the custody of law enforcement officials to have the picture taken.
LGBTQ+ activist and social media influencer Matt Bernstein, who has more than 1.4 million followers on Instagram and is known for his ornate fingernails and political and social commentary, took the opportunity to improve the unflattering mug shot that some have said looks “sinister.”
On Instagram, Bernstein posted a video of himself commenting on the process it took for him to edit the mug shot, adding makeup and accents to the former president’s face to reveal his creation.
“So Trump’s mugshot was released, and it’s rough,” Bernstein said. “But I am an equal opportunist diva. Where some people saw challenge, I saw opportunity.”
He added, “Definitely had a lot of work to do on her, but listen, when you’re busy tearing at the sweet, silky fabric of democracy, you don’t have time to be a glamazon. And that’s why you have gay people on the internet who will do it for you.”
Bernstein’s video shows how the creator enhanced Trump’s image with the wonders of technology, joking about the makeup he used.
“Used the Urban Decay Naked palette for a super simple smoky eye, and then for the brows, I went with the Anastasia DIPBROW (2016 girls, you know). For lips, we did Clinique Black Honey. It’s a universal shade. It looks beautiful on everyone.”
Next, Bernstein did away with Trump’s signature comb-over hairstyle, favoring a more pronounced wig.
“Just some finishing touches here,” Bernstein says as the video’s reveal draws near. “Add a little bronzer and blush. Highlight the center of the face, [and] add a little opacity to the lips. Also decided to add some pink and blue rhinestones, because [of] trans rights.”
The video ended with Bernstein quipping, “And yeah, that’s just like a super easy and quick transformation you can do if you’re ever indicted on federal charges for conspiring to overthrow democracy. Try it out!”
One follower responded to the reveal joking, “It’s giving child pageant stage mother who never even placed pins all her hopes and dreams on little Deborah Lee Kimantha then wonders why no one visits at the home anymore.”