New Yorkers of Middle Eastern descent post-9/11. The homeless in Manhattan during the Giuliani regime. Black and Hispanic people under the Stop ‘n Frisk era. All groups that have suffered intense discrimination one would not wish on their worst enemy. And yet, while many an advocacy group has stood up for the aforementioned, nary a whisper in defense has been made on behalf of a class of people who’ve arguably been the most harshly prejudged. The most victimized. The most misunderstood and abused. And since no one has cared to look beyond their exquisite breasts, toned asses, multi-million dollar wardrobe allowances, and engagement rings the size of many people’s apartments, to see past the veneer, sisters have had to do it for themselves, today, in the pages of the Post. They are the self-described Trophy Wives 2.0 and they’re here to “redefine” the term “trophy wife” as it currently appears in the Oxford English dictionary.
Let’s start with Stephanie Adams, and a story that, if you’ve got any ounce of a soul at all, will rock you to the core and have you dialing up the NYCLU faster than one can say, through tears, “My shopping trip was ruined. Ruined!”
Handing over her husband’s American Express platinum card in the Giorgio Armani boutique, former Playboy centerfold Stephanie Adams thought she caught the word “gold digger” from the disgruntled assistant muttering under her breath. Then, when Adams’ older investment-banker husband stepped forward to sign for the $20,000 purchase, the saleswoman didn’t give the card back so much as throw it, almost hitting Adams in the face. “She was dripping bitterness and resentment,” recalls the 5-foot-9, 115-pound model-turned-entrepreneur who lives downtown. “My husband was on his cell with a client, but saw what happened and hung up. He was so angry, he said to her: ‘Why did you throw that at my wife?’ ” What should have been a pleasant experience — celebrating a new business deal with an extravagant shopping trip — was cut short as the couple swept out of the Fifth Avenue store and into their car. She’s faced such disdain for nearly two decades now — starting with her two-year marriage to the financier, whom she asked The Post not to name because he shuns publicity. But with two business degrees and a seven-figure investment portfolio of her own, Adams wants to “reclaim” the label “trophy wife” and re-define it more positively: She’s written 25 New Age self-help books, has an online organic-beauty-products company and runs the financial side of her husband’s chiropractic firm. “Anyone who thinks I’m just a good piece of arm candy doesn’t know the whole picture.”
Then there’s Julie Lin and, hoo-boy, hers is a doozy. People actually gave her looks when she decided to quit her job.
Julie Lin, 34, and married to an investment banker, calls herself a “Trophy Wife 2.0.” She is glad to stay in the wings while her power-broker husband takes center stage. In January 2012, she quit her top marketing job to become a writer and homemaker. It was a move that raised eyebrows among friends — especially since she and her husband (who asked to remain anonymous in The Post for professional reasons) have decided to not have children. “It was soon after our wedding, and we were having dinner with friends who asked me what I was going to do with my time,” recalls Lin. “I said: ‘I’m going to be a trophy wife,’ and everyone thought it was hilarious. “I took a step back and thought: ‘What’s so wrong with that?’ My husband says it’s associated with a lot of negative connotations — the Anna Nicole Smith thing — but I don’t think so when I think of modern trophy wives like Linda E. Johnson [dating cosmetics heir Leonard Lauder] and Tamiko Bolton [who married billionaire financier George Soros in the Hamptons last Saturday].” “They’ve shattered the myth of the bimbo with the designer handbag, because they are educated, worldly and ambitious. They’re role models,” continues Lin.
…which is actually totally unfair because she works really hard at her job as a trophy wife, probably a lot harder than non-trophy wives do at theirs. For instance, every day she cracks a newspaper. And looks at more than one section!
Lin keeps up with current affairs and what’s happening in the stock markets, so she can hold her own with her husband’s co-workers and bosses.
She tries on bathing suits.
“Before we went to the Hamptons, I went on a shopping spree and tried on all my outfits in front of my husband. I was like: ‘Is it too booby?’ or ‘Is it not booby enough?’ He was very honest with his feedback, and I’m the same way when he asks my advice.”
She maintains a blog, LifeOfATrophyWife.com, which she not only writes post for but spends hours if not whole days posing for pictures to appear on (which you should know could be construed as NSFW, depending on your definition of NSFW? Everything is covered (in lingerie), but there are asses in the air).
Most importantly, she helps her husband’s career by just being there.
“We spent a long weekend this summer in the Hamptons at the home of one of the senior partners. I couldn’t be this wallflower sitting cowering in the corner. I have to be able to socialize and work with my husband in furthering his career by being charming and personable.”
Will it still be a while before the trophy wives are afforded the same respect as non-trophy wives? ‘Til they can drop $100k in an hour of shopping without having to defend themselves? ‘Til they don’t have to explain that, actually, they do do something all day, and that something involves asking tough questions like “Too booby?” “Not booby enough?” and posing for boudoir photographs? Yes, it will. But at least they’ve taken the first step, and gotten the conversation started. This is how it starts.