First lady Melania Trump is inscrutable. When Mr. Trump does the damage, Mrs. Trump is to bear the torch for his victims. Are the contrasting roads of the first couple a planned damage control or is Melania Trump really defying The White House stereotypes?
Strutting down the corridors of the White House, a woman with a stone face who barely comes forward to take the limelight. Lurking in the shadow of her husband, President Trump — the first lady of the United States, Melania Trump is the enigma of Washington who has her own ways of conveying message without uttering a word. She has her own lingo of expressing herself and contrary to the former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, her deafening silence is her weapon.
Melania Trump is a different woman!
In a world witnessing uproar of women addressing their voice and opinion by making themselves visible, FLOTUS choses a different road. The one where she is barely noticed but still succeeds in sending the message across.
Most of the time, ambiguous, leaving the citizens of the United States flummoxed about what exactly she means. And that’s where she becomes more interesting.
When Melania Trump made her first appearance as the First Lady on 20th January, 2016, she made sure that it stays in people’s mind. Her blue Ralph Lauren slim-cut mock turtleneck dress with a cropped cutaway jacket was an ode to Jackie Kennedy making it clear for America that she was ready to make a similar space for herself in the history of White House.
Since then, Melania Trump has been defying the traditional American ways of a first lady. The world hardly notices it. The immigrant first lady is heedless of playing any stereotypical roles she is expected to play, like reinforcing the President’s value sets in a more gentle, lady like manner to uphold the goodwill of administration.
But is it really as black and white as it sounds? Or have Trumps contemplated over this several times at the dinner before stepping in white house? Maybe she is really the first lady of her kind who acknowledge the difference between the opinions of two individuals, married but distinct.
Being the first lady is an unelected, unpaid job that comes without a rulebook but stereotypes from a society that has failed to elect even a single female president in more than 200 years.
An Encrypted Rebel
Whatever the reason maybe, allegedly troubled married life or a stark conflict in ideologies, Melania Trump has often exhibited her resentment to the president’s ways. Sometimes whispering it through her fashion, other times, boldly addressing directly to the people.
The most recent example of Melania Trump taking a different road than president came after both were tested positive for coronavirus. While President Trump after being under treatment for covid-19 drove around the hospital and told American that there is nothing to worry about the virus, Mrs. Trump was completely different in her approach.
Melania Trump refused to go to meet his husband to the hospital clearly stating that doing so would put his staff and medical team in hospital, in danger. Before this, Republic National Convention was the bystander as the first lady voiced her opinions antithetical to Republicans and President Trump himself.
The other time, when President Trump rebuked the CDC guidelines and refused to wear masks, the first lady took to twitter her picture wearing a big white mask, pleading people to wear one themselves.
When First Lady raised eyebrows at RNC
While addressing the nation on covid-19, Melania Trump called the virus ‘an unknown enemy’ while Republicans and the President kept attacking China as the originator of the virus. While everyone including the vice president and second lady talked of pandemic in past tense and refused that America was affected at all, the first lady Melania Trump raised eyebrows with her speech. She not only acknowledged the people who lost their lives, but also ensured that she stands in solidarity with their families.
The All White Defiance
Earlier in 2018, when the state finally succeeded in bringing Melania Trump to stand alongside President Trump during the union address, her sartorial choice prompted waves of comments. While she didn’t exactly stand with the President — entered separately at the union address and only shared the same room — her all white suit spoke volumes.
The all white pants suit along with a glistening white blouse became a symbol of Democrat contestants against Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton back during the 2016 presidential elections. Since then, the all white suit also epitomizes the suffragists and contemporary women empowerment movement.
While another explanation of first lady’s sartorial choice can be her wish to stand out from the crowd of Republicans wearing all black. However, being a former model supermodel, and Mrs. Trump very well knows the consequences of her fashion choices.
The politics of First Ladies’ styling in White House is a testimony that no one can deny. The current first lady is no exception. Nevertheless she still chose to wear something more like a defiance than just a dress.
Maybe she never wanted it. Maybe she did but not the way it is
Hardly ever looking fully content in the company of her husband, Melania Trump can undoubtedly be the most reluctant first lady of The White House. Unlike other first couples of The White House, she didn’t move to white house for five long months after Donald Trump won presidency.
Even during public appearances, the first lady hardly ever looks ecstatic with the President. And some of her happiest pictures are the ones in the absence of his husband.
Often witnessed refusing to hold the President’s hand in public, Melania has come across a woman very adamant in the way she feels.
Without being progressive or political, Melania Trump has expressed her assertion more than any other first lady in the history of America. Whether it is through choosing to watch a news channel (CNN) in contradiction to what his husband watches (Fox news) or sympathising with immigrant children and criticising both Democrats and Republicans for their condition.
But contrastingly, she also sometimes defends her husband in interviews and her speeches. Once she is done with what she has to do, Mrs. Trump switches to a diplomatic road where the explanation for her actions are as vague and bewildering as a stoppage in flow.
Melania Trump has invented a new language of expressing resent when stakes are high. Whether she is a planned equalizer to the damage that her husband creates or a real rebel disguised in the President’s camp, who knows.
What we know is — she is the First Lady of her own kind.