US First Lady Melania Trump is not usually seen in public much, but when she is, there is usually a controversy knocking somewhere. The latest issue that has the public divided is the official portrait released by the White House. In the picture, the former model is shown from the waist up, standing with her arms crossed, dressed in a black jacket with a black bow around her neck. She’s wearing a slight smile and a big-rock ring on her left hand that has had everyone talking.
The portrait has been shot by Belgian-born photographer Regine Mahaux, who has previously worked with the Trump family. “I am honored to serve in the role of first lady, and look forward to working on behalf of the American people over the coming years,” Trump said in a short statement accompanying the photo’s release.
Official Portrait of First Lady pic.twitter.com/K1DUVE5kSI
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) 3 April 2017
While some commenters gushed that the first lady was “beyond beautiful” and “gorgeous”, others mocked the image as highly airbrushed and compared the gauzy background – a window in the White House residence – to 1990s school portrait settings. Not many could get over the size of the ring on her hand, so much so that the rather subdued sparkler on the other went rather unnoticed.
Here’s what some people have been saying:
Melania Trump sporting her Trump University Class Ring. pic.twitter.com/0BhlaOCHNi
— LeftDial (@LeftDial) 3 April 2017
White House unveils official Melania Trump portrait pic.twitter.com/1n5Jnqk6dn
— Chet Cannon (@Chet_Cannon) 3 April 2017
Other critics jumped on a line in the White House statement that said the portrait was taken in Trump’s “new residence at the White House”. While every other modern first lady has accompanied her husband to Washington, the 46-year-old Trump has remained at her luxury triplex penthouse in Manhattan and not made many public appearances. Trump has said she would remain in New York until son Barron finishes the school year.
In the meantime, Trump’s stance and that background window have both given tweeple meme-spiration, which has us cracking up.
Anyone know why Melania Trump’s portrait was taken in front of the Muppet Babies Window? pic.twitter.com/EOLfwfBggE
— Sasha Stewart (@ArtfulStew) 3 April 2017
— Mark_Harris.mov ???? (@markh110) 4 April 2017
Congrats to Melania on her official portrait pic.twitter.com/SuTfebTtTI
— Luke O’Neil (@lukeoneil47) 3 April 2017
In her first official portrait as first lady Melania Trump looks like she wants to sell you some luggage on QVC pic.twitter.com/XIpnVwQGlQ
— Drew McKevitt (@drewmckevitt) 4 April 2017
But then, this is not the first time that a first lady portrait has stoked controversy. Michelle Obama was criticised for wearing a sleeveless dress in her first official portrait in 2009, with some saying the bare arms were too casual.