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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A social media scrutiny of Melania Trump indicates she’s one to watch out for

While US President Donald Trump seems to follow through with his pre-election claims, Melania Trump is still bit of a wild card.

Written by Nandini Rathi | New Delhi | Updated: January 25, 2017 8:50:12 pm
Melania Trump, #freemelania, #sadmelania, free melania, sad melania, Trump inauguration Melania, FLOTUS Melania Trump, Melania Trump frown, melania trump body language, melania pussy bow blouse First Lady of the US,  Melania Trump arrives during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington. (Source: AP)

As the proceedings of US President Donald Trump’s inauguration day advanced on Friday, FLOTUS Melania Trump provided stuff of memes that heavily validated the grim thoughts that at least half the Americans felt in the pits of their gut – as Donald J Trump officially took on the mantle of their President.

The ceremony provided multiple moments when President Trump and the First Lady appeared to be ill at ease with other – which was put in sharp contrast to the love and respect that seemed to naturally emanate from Barack and Michelle Obama towards each other in the eight-year flipbook of the last presidency. Noting the body language of disregard from Donald to Melania, experts on Mic.com read awkwardness, animosity and discomfort between the couple. On inauguration day, when the Trumps were to meet the Obamas, Donald left Melania behind at the car and ascended the stairs by himself to greet Barack and Michelle. Social media was quick to pick up on this and other moments, and as a result #freeMelania and #sadMelania trended all day long on Twitter and are being employed even now. A self-reflexive sympathy of sorts has been coming her way through serious and hilarious mentions alike.

The gif of her frown, in what appeared to be a reaction to something Trump said, has been widely circulated and speculated upon.

Melania Trump has drawn her share of flak and criticism, for furthering ‘birther claims’ of her husband against former president Obama, plagiarising Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech and for appearing unassertive and passive in her own regard – especially in comparison to Michelle Obama, who has been oft-appreciated as being an equal and active partner to her husband — and to step-daughter Ivanka, who played an important role in boosting Donald’s popularity by deodorising the worst of his blatant misogyny during the election campaign.

Melania is also, however, the one to surprise.

This is the second time Melania’s public appearance is being meme-speculated as a quiet, between-the-lines rebellion. The first time was when she made an appearance during the second presidential debate, famously wearing a bright fuchsia Gucci pussy-bow blouse with cigarette pants, just days after Donald’s hot-mic scandal in which he bragged to Billy Bush about forcing himself on women and grabbing them “by the p***y”. The monikered pink blouse seemed to hit the nail on the head in the minds of many who were horrified by Donald. The outfit was also notably Melania’s most conservative of her previous public appearances — which seemed to subtly mock Donald’s appalling brag.

 

Melania Trump, #freemelania, #sadmelania, free melania, sad melania, Trump inauguration Melania, FLOTUS Melania Trump, Melania Trump frown, melania trump body language, melania pussy bow blouse Melania Trump, wearing her ‘pussy-bow’ blouse, greets former US President Bill Clinton before Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton begin their presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, on October 9, 2016. (Source: Reuters)

 

 

After Donald’s win, it was believed that Melania would become one of the most inconsequential and rather disliked First Ladies. However, something slightly different has marked the beginning for the new FLOTUS. Donald Trump is no longer mysterious in a way that he was when he initially clinched the victory on November 8. Barely a few days into his presidency, he has confirmed that he does not intend to pivot from most of his extreme positions — the journalists are continually being slammed for reporting, the causes of climate change and women’s reproductive rights have been assaulted upon, the wall on the Mexican border will receive a de-facto green light and Muslim immigrants may be banned for a while. Amidst all this, Melania Trump, however, is still bit of a wild card — at least in our image-processing, metaphor-finding minds. That has to be somewhat ascribed to her credit.

 

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