On paper, she has the life that some (note: some) women daydream about: beauty, glam, access, fame and a really, really rich husband.
But I know that I’m not the only one who would hate to be in Melania Trump’s (designer) shoes right now – regardless of your political stance.
That’s because Melania currently appears to be earning every cent of her “money vs. love” relationship, or – as some are calling it – her arrangement.
The hashtag #FreeMelania is even trending.
— SUTTON (@SuttonOfficial) January 23, 2017
Note the above use of the word “appears.” Before anyone goes getting his or her panties or boxers in a knot, claiming that maybe Melania loves this whole ordeal, the attention and her new First Lady status, let me state that my opinions are based on my own observations, the opinions of body language experts and on video footage of the Trumps’ public appearances.
And, frankly, also based on my own experience.
I admit, there was a time – which seems light years away now – when things like private jets, yachts, luxurious trips and very expensive wines were staples of my young life, thanks to a few boyfriends of times past. And no – I didn’t actively seek out the dollars (seriously; I thought one ex was a fellow starving artist when our paths initially crossed and met another through high school friends).
While there was definitely love and affection in relationships of this nature, they would begin to feel like something was missing: a depth, a true emotional connection, an unwavering mutual respect and – most importantly – the ability to love free of restraints and conditions, and to embrace imperfections. I would later find that type of connection with the less flashy, less wealthy and more artistic set of available men. And it felt good to be loved and love in that capacity, even if it didn’t “look as good on paper” to more superficial friends.
You know, the type of relationship that the Obamas appear to have (with an added bonus of looking good on paper), which is in stark contrast to that of the Trumps.
By now, you may have seen the articles, memes and videos that compare the body language between the Trumps and the Obamas on inauguration day. While one couple appears warm and loving, the other appears cold and hollow (and you can guess which is of the latter). “It’s interesting that Trump got out of the car and came up the stairs and shook hands, instead of helping his wife out of the car, waiting for her, or even looking back for her,” body language expert, Patti Wood told the Mail Online.
Another telling comparison is the moment both Melania Trump and Michelle Obama joined their husbands on stage. It’s almost cringe-worthy to watch.
I’m so glad this GIF exists. pic.twitter.com/a4BNmzfa5C
— summer. (@SummerNazif) January 21, 2017
There’s also the video that circulated like wildfire yesterday – the day after the Trumps’ 12-year wedding anniversary – which shows North Carolina Rev. Franklin Graham telling Trump, “It’s my prayer that God will bless you, your family, your administration and may He bless America.” He then turns and smiles at Melania, who beams back at him until he turns back away, when she immediately drops the smile for a sad scowl.
While some continue to ridicule her, others feel sorry for Melania (hence the hashtag).
It’s not my intention to blame or shame Melania Trump (I actually wrote a piece a few months back defending her). And – trust me – I know how it feels to be labeled things like an airhead or a trophy wife (FYI: not good). Melania has had to deal with everything from slut shaming, to being shunned by fashion designers and the widespread ridicule of her 10-year-old son (the last of which is not okay, by the way). She didn’t sign up for any of this when she exchanged vows with Trump over a decade ago.
Sure, she’s been described as “icy” and more than a few people have made note of her well-painted resting bitch face. Maybe she indeed loves every moment of it; it just isn’t translating.
I do recognize that not everyone needs romance, warmth and the Notebook-esque love story that I do.
For some women – and men for that matter – the money over love deal is totally fine. I know women with one agenda only: to find a rich husband who can afford a nice house in Toronto’s housing market and live abundantly ever after. And to each their own.
But part of me wonders if there’s something behind her perfectly painted face that longs for more than the designer dresses, global spotlight and her new address at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.