The Twitterverse and political blogs are buzzing with the latest example of First Lady of the United States Melania Trump appearing to be as exasperated with her husband as most Americans are. If you missed it, as the Trumps exited the Tel Aviv tarmac, Donald Trump reaches a hand back for Melania to hold. Without breaking stride, Melania coolly swats it away.
After the past eight years of witnessing countless adorable displays of affection during the Obama administration, the new first couple looks absolutely despondent in comparison. But the Trumps are not the Obamas. The Trumps themselves have depicted their marriage as shallow as the sand traps at Mar-a-lago.
In 2005, the newlywed Melania Trump addressed a business class at New York University. A student asked the supermodel if she would still be with Donald Trump if he was not rich.
“If I weren’t beautiful, do you think he’d be with me?” she quipped.
This candid response from the FLOTUS illustrates a marriage as lackluster as any failed Trump business venture. Donald is rich. Melania is beautiful. And so, they are married.
Of course the glimpse Melania gave into their marriage happened long before Donald Trump became candidate Trump who wooed the Republican party while touting his support for “traditional marriage”. But now that he’s President Trump, no moment of martial discourse goes unnoticed.
Many have joked about freeing Melania as if she’s unwillingly stuck with her husband and is looking for a way out like many of us are. But Melania has never given any indication that she isn’t a willing participant in the marriage, whether it’s a sham or true love behind the golden curtain.
If Melania now finds herself in a hypothetical marital prison, she holds the key to her own emancipation. No one needs to free Melania but Melania.
During one of many times Donald crudely spoke with Howard Stern, Melania flirtatiously joined alluding to being practically nude during the conversation. When Donald gained political notoriety during his crusade for then President Obama’s birth certificate, Melania appeared on the Joy Behar Show and claimed the American people demanded to see proof of the president’s birth, not just her provocateur husband. When a tape was infamously released of Donald bragging to Billy Bush about his sexual assault tendencies, Melania quickly dismissed them as locker room talk.
Many mothers may be appalled to hear their husbands claim they’re happy to have children, but refuse to do anything to raise them as Donald said during another crass conversation with Howard Stern. But, not Melania!
“It’s very important to know the person you’re with,” Melania told Parenting magazine in 2006. “And we know our roles. I didn’t want him to change the diapers or put Barron to bed. I love every minute of it.”
Trump’s atrocious behavior has been consistent through the years and so has Melania’s devotion.
During Trump’s years of transgressions, Melania has been right there on his arm. She conducts interviews in her comically luxurious penthouse in Trump Tower, where her only son has his own floor. (Not room, his own floor) She blazed the campaign trail with him, despite her apparent aversion to personal media attention. She has spent years standing by her man in Louboutins, flashing her 25-carat diamond ring and her supermodel smile.
Moments, like the swat heard around the world, are not just fuel for memes and late-night punchlines. Like the newlywed Melania’s candid response in 2005, these moments could be just a genuine glimpse into the Trumps’ marriage beneath the presidential façade.