Not too long from now, it will officially be an entire month since First Lady Michelle Obama has vacated her office and position to hand it off to Melania Trump. While in office, Michelle Obama elevated the popularity of the United States First Lady is ways we’ve never seen before.
And she’s done it in many different ways. Becoming one of the biggest fashion icons since First Lady Jackie Kennedy, her work to fight childhood obesity, and her incredible ability to inspire and influence many young people around the globe has solidified her place as one of the greatest First Ladies of all time.
After the incredible legacy First Lady Michelle Obama left after serving eight years, many have questioned whether or not Melania Trump even has the potential to fulfill the expectations the people have of their First Lady.
One of the most important roles that every First Lady is expected to have is to be a champion in a certain social issue. For Eleanor Roosevelt it was African-American civil rights, for Hillary Clinton it was health initiatives and women’s equality, and for Laura Bush it was increasing education efforts.
During her husband’s campaign, Melania Trump noted that her social issue that she would fight against is cyber-bullying, especially among children.
Many people were very shocked and frustrated that she chose this as her issue to combat considering the fact that her husband has used the internet to attack and bully people for almost an entire decade.
Even international pop star Lady Gaga, a champion in the fight against bullying herself, called out Melania on Twitter because of her choice saying: “To say u will stand for “anti-bullying” is hypocrisy. Your husband is 1 of the most notorious bullies we have ever witnessed.”
A month into her position, we haven’t seen Melania do anything really, especially when it comes to anti-bullying.
Another expectation the American people have of the First Lady (whether or not the admit it) is to become a fashion icon. Jackie Kennedy originally raised the bar for fashion for a First Lady and it is something that every First Lady since has decided to continue.
Unfortunately for Melania this may not be easily be achieved. Due to her husband’s divisive campaign, many of the people who have designed and dressed the First Ladies of the past have refused to provide her with anything.
One of the designers who dressed Michelle Obama many times, Marc Jacobs, has expressed his decision to not dress Melania telling the media “I have no interest whatsoever in dressing Melania Trump”. He continued with the explanation would rather put energy into helping those that would be hurt by her husband and his supporters.
The final high expectation that a First Lady is expected to fill is to take place in ceremonies and be a voice for the people. Many of these activities include participating in charitable events as well as take part in my speaking engagements.
Since the beginning of her husband’s campaign, Melania has taken a step back when it comes to participating in any other way than standing behind him in most of the places he goes.
In very few cases, Melania has become vocal and given speeches to support her husband. Unfortunately for her, none of these speeches have gone all that well. Many people have still not forgotten Melania’s speech at the Republican National Convention.
After stating she wrote as much of the speech as she could with very little help, Americans noticed there was a paragraph nearly identical to a paragraph of Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Two days later a staff writer for Melania took responsibility for the incident, even though we were told Melania wrote it almost entirely by herself.
On top of the controversy, Melania has not actually proven herself to be all that great in giving speeches anyways. She seems to struggle for the majority of them, and sometimes appears uncomfortable speaking out in such a manner.
Overall, Melania’s biggest obstacle for the next four years as First Lady will easily be her husband. There’s no way she cannot be associated with the things her husband does and believes. And as her husband’s approval ratings by the American plummets faster than any other president in U.S history, so will hers.
Melania’s best bet is to get as far away from her husband’s antics as she can and work hard fighting social justice issues that Americans care about to keep her reputation as high as possible. She may be one of the first First Ladies in a very long time to stay considerably quiet during her husband’s time in office, and honestly, it may not be too much of a bad thing.