Forever in Donald’s shadow, but always aloof, great choice in fashion but an atrocious lack of political wisdom. Melania Trump could have taken over from the path Michelle Obama carved out but instead, she chose to strut down the corridors of the white house in her Jimmy Choos.
One is a former lawyer, the other is a former model. One is known for her passion, the other is known for her fashion. Then again, one is an extremely popular former First Lady while the other is still struggling to create an identity of her own. Much can be said about the difference in the two FLOTUS Michelle Obama and Melania Trump.
Before discussing these two distinguished ladies, let’s first discuss the importance of the First Lady:
The right-hand woman
As the partner and personal confidant of the President, the first lady plays a very important role in the White House. A report in Editor’s Choice says that the first lady is an extension of her husband’s diplomacy and public persona. She is known for her initiatives, charities, and causes. Because she has a lot of power and influence, she is the trendsetter, a leader, and a role model for millions of Americans. Hence, it is very important that America has a strong, hardworking, and dedicated the first lady who is a visionary and is capable of helping the President take the right decisions.
Where Michelle triumphs
Right from the campaign trail, Michelle Obama showed who is the boss. Right from giving passionate speeches to presenting her husband Barack Obama as the best candidate, Michelle left no stone unturned to ensure that her husband won the elections. A New York Daily News report suggests that Michelle was successful in portraying herself as the nation’s “Mom-in-chief.” Michelle has both a calming as well as an inspiring effect on the public. Her speech on everyday struggles and hope for the future was widely appreciated by both her supporters as well as critics.
Watch: Michelle Obama on the awkward gift exchange with Melania Trump
Michelle also adapted to the White House pretty soon by getting their private suites renovated to match their personal style as well as adding her personal garden to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
It is also said that Michelle was ambitious and wanted to make a difference in as many areas as possible. For, this, she hired a large team of around 25 staff members, held a lot of events, visited soup kitchens as well as community service. With her Ivy League degrees and great oratory skills, she knew how to position herself in the international stage. Here was a woman who refused to stay in the background. She was there to shine and spread light.
As FLOTUS, Obama visited poor countries, launched campaigns against childhood obesity, was very approachable and down-to-earth in her public dealings, and always inspired women and people of color to have a voice. She made sure her children have a normal life and enjoyed a high rating of public approval. She was voted as the most admired woman of 2018.
Melania: All looks, no substance
In the three-and-a-half years, since Melania became First Lady she has been mocked and criticized on many occasions. Right from her background to her accent, right from her disinterest in public life to her strained relation with her husband, Melania has been subjected to many jokes. Often being taunted as an airhead model, a book ‘Melania & Michelle: First Ladies in a New Era’ by Tammy R. Vigil has criticized Melania and called her among the least liked of all modern first ladies. Also, the fact that her earlier career as a model who has posed nude for magazine covers has only added to her troubles.
In fact, Trump’s first wife Ivana has also made snide remarks about Melania by calling herself Trump’s first wife and the first lady.
More than Trump’s Trophy Wife
Known for her good looks and a great fashion sense, Melania, a former model, has often been referred to as Donald Trump’s ‘trophy wife.’ During the campaign trail, she would be spotted looking pretty and standing in the background without saying anything. In fact, Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump is known to have more influence and power than Melania.
Melania is known to avoid the press and was under criticism when her nude photoshoot from the past resurfaced.
A New York Daily News also criticized Melania’s speech when her husband was nominated as the presidential candidate. Not only was Melania Trump’s FLOTUS speech short and lacked emotion, but she appeared stolen from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech.
Watch: Michelle Obama finally speaks out about Melania Trump’s plagiarized speech
Though admired for her impeccable fashion sense, her choice of clothes to Mexican border amid all the immigrants’ drama was very inappropriate and insensitive. She wore a jacket that read, “I really don’t care. Do you?”
Also, one of the most talked-about topics that drew a lot of criticism was that Melania waited for a full five months before she shifted to her official residence. It is said she preferred staying at Trump Tower in New York City with her son Baron than at the most famous residence of America- the White House in Washington D.C.
There have also been many other controversies that have shown Melania in a bad light. One was that neither was she expecting her husband to win the election in 2016 nor was she happy about it. Also, she has courted controversies related to sensitive immigrant issues. The fact that she was granted a green card for permanent residency in 2001 through the EB-1 program, nicknamed the “Einstein visa” meant for scientists, academicians, or others who displayed outstanding abilities was also questioned.
Recently model Chrissy Teigen slammed Melania with a profanity-filled tweet for not doing enough during coronavirus.
No marks for guessing who would we choose as the more popular, admirable and respectable first lady. Someone who has the class, experience, a vision and a will to bring about a change in the world, and not someone who is busy leading a life of luxury and making no contributions to the society in any way.
Watch: Comparing Melania Trump and Michelle Obama side-by-side