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First Lady, Second Chance: From communism to nude photo shoots, First Lady Melania Trump will shatter precedents set by previous presidential spouses, has the chance to make change.

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Love her or hate her, Melania Trump will completely change the expectations of a First Lady. Statistically speaking, it’s more likely you hate her. In fact, it’s something she and Hillary Clinton have in common: impressively low polls as favorable presidential spouses. According to data gathered by The Washington Post, Melania Trump is the least favorable presidential spouse since Hillary Clinton.

Many Americans have already brought to attention the number of traditions the new first family will break.
Melania Trump is the only First Lady from a communist country. While most recent presidential spouses have been patriotic Ivy League graduates, Melania is an Eastern European model with one year of college under her belt. According to The Week, the only other First Lady born outside the United States was John Adams’ wife, Louisa, born in London in 1775.

The vast majority of the American population may only know her as Donald Trump’s third wife who modeled naked and has a thick Slovenian accent. However, while these two qualities may define the woman who  represents our country, they shouldn’t; Melania Trump is so much more and should she choose, she could redefine the role of an American woman.

First, Melania, at times, has demonstrated her strength of conviction. Melania is fluent in five languages and publicly differentiates herself from her husband. She’s insisted in multiple interviews she doesn’t always agree with him because she is her own person. She said she always gives him her opinion, but he doesn’t always take her advice. Melania has publicly spoken out against his comments. She said she wishes he would stop using “inappropriate language” on social media and commented publicly against one of Donald Trump’s most infamous moments, his “locker room talk” of grabbing women “by the p****.”

Melania also has an opportunity to speak up for immigrants to this country. There are rumors that Melania’s speeches have been few and far between during the campaign because of her thick accent, which seems ironic considering her husband’s preaching against immigration. As an immigrant to the United States who became a citizen just a decade ago, many were surprised Mrs. Trump publicly supported her husband’s strict immigration policies. She defended herself in an MSNBC interview, saying he will target illegal immigrants. She said, “I follow the law. I never thought to stay here without papers.” Throughout this interview, she defended his controversial comments against Mexicans by saying the problem is with people who break the law and come here illegally, rather than with immigrants who are here legally.

Melania also has the potential to be a strong role model for mothers. The Trumps recently announced Melania will stay in New York City with their 10-year-old son Barron until he is finished with the school year, which leaves Mr. Trump living in the White House alone. Only two other presidential spouses haven’t lived in the White House with the president. Martha Washington didn’t because it hadn’t been built yet, and Anna Harrison’s husband died before she got the chance to move in. Despite transition spokesman Jason Miller defending the decision as considerate parenting, Melania received criticism for breaking the tradition.

Melania’s worldly experience can also open people’s minds to traditions and morals other than what they’ve witnessed from previous First Ladies. It is well known that Melania posed nude in her earlier years. Mr. Trump defended her choice by citing cultural differences, claiming in Europe, nude photos are very common and part of the fashion industry. I myself spent all three years of middle school in Europe and have to agree the culture there is much more open when it comes to nudity.  I admit this potentially influenced Melania’s decision to participate in this photoshoot, but, in general, most Americans found it distasteful. This situation demonstrates her different perspective and culture, which she has the opportunity to share or hide from Americans.

Like many others, I am concerned with how women will be treated with  Donald Trump in the White House. We need to stand up for women’s respect.

While that is not to say everyone has to agree with her history, brushing her off as a dumb model will not do. Many people are making judgements of her based off of her husband or past career choices, neither of depict her. If we refuse to treat the First Lady as a person with her own perspectives and politics, we condone disrespecting women.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “First Lady, Second Chance: From communism to nude photo shoots, First Lady Melania Trump will shatter precedents set by previous presidential spouses, has the chance to make change.”

  1. Marvin J. Salzmann, MD on January 28th, 2017 7:19 pm

    I agree. We should never be judged by others actions. If you watched any of the inauguration you would have seen her loving attention to her son Baron. Only a mother could have looked after her 10 year old like she did.

    [Reply]

  2. Kathy Salzmann on January 28th, 2017 7:56 pm

    This was an intelligent, well thought out and considerate assessment of the new First Lady. Our country is strong because of the contributions of immigrants. Melania has a chance to have a positive influence. She shouldn’t be judged by her husband’s behavior.

    [Reply]

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First Lady, Second Chance: From communism to nude photo shoots, First Lady Melania Trump will shatter precedents set by previous presidential spouses, has the chance to make change.