Melania Trump was especially excited to visit the Vatican and meet with Pope Francis while accompanying President Donald Trump on their first overseas trip during his presidency in May. The nation’s second First Lady born outside of the United States is also the second to be a Catholic. Louisa Adams, wife of John Quincy Adams was born in London, United Kingdom. Jacqueline Kennedy, First Lady of John F. Kennedy was Catholic.
Born on April 26, 1970 in Slovenia, Mrs. Trump grew up learning five languages, including Italian. While the fashion world buzzed favorably about her attire each day of the trip, she chose a moderate and demure black Dolce & Gabbana long-sleeved dress for her meeting with the Pope. With President Trump watching proudly, Pope Francis asked her in Italian if she feeds him “potica,” a popular pastry dish from Slovenia. She instantly brightened the joke and meeting with a charming smile. “Potica,” she nodded.
While the mainstream media, including Vanity Fair, attempted to report negative and assumptive narratives of the President and First Lady, many observers considered such stories added fuel to the fire for their reasons to distrust liberal generated news.
“Like her idol, Jacqueline Kennedy, Melania is unapologetically glamorous,” Kate Anderson Brower from Cosmopolitan magazine wrote today. “…like Jackie, she is not changing her style to become more like her predecessors or to please others.”
“She chose not to cover her head in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, she charmed the Pope, and she won fans when she apparently swatted away her husband’s hand on the red carpet in Israel,” Brower continued. “The hand swat in particular has helped her image. Donald Trump’s supporters do not recognize it as a hand swat anyway, insisting the media is blowing the clip out of proportion, and those who don’t like the president generally want any sign that Melania is a tortured soul trapped in an unhappy marriage.”
Even the New York Times couldn’t help but notice that “by the end of the trip, Mr. Trump seemed to recognize her subdued star power. Speaking to American service members at the Sigonella naval air station in Sicily, he said the United States could not have a better emissary than ‘our magnificent and wonderful person, our first lady, Melania.’”
“Like Jacqueline Kennedy, Mrs. Trump has made her mark early on with fashion,” The Times commented. “Her outfits, like the pumpkin-colored leather skirt she wore on the flight to Saudi Arabia and the olive-drab safari dress she wore once in Riyadh, spurred a thousand photographs and columns of analysis.”
There is something passionately similar to how Melania Trump is compared to Jackie Kennedy and Princess Diana. During her speech at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Sigonella before departing Sicily for Washington, D.C., she said, “This trip, for me, has been very special, and I will never forget the women and children I met. As one of the kids at the hospital that I visit said in a picture he drew for me, ‘We are all the same.’”
One particular touching moment came during a visit with a young boy waiting for a new heart at a hospital in Rome. Not long after she left, she was informed that a donor had been located. “Receiving that news is a moment I will never forget,” she smiled. “I wish him a speedy recovery.”
The Trumps made five stops in four countries. During the eight-day trip, the President sought to reaffirm America’s global leadership, continue building key relationships with world leaders, and delivered messages of unity to America’s friends and allies.
Most news reports emphasize Mrs. Trump’s modeling career in Milan, Paris and New York with glamor shots on such magazine covers as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, British GQ, Ocean Drive, Avenue, In Style, and New York Magazine. Her major layouts include the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Allure, Vogue, Self, Glamour, Vanity Fair, and Elle.
What many people do not realize is the humanitarian and philanthropic interests pursued by the First Lady. For four years she served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the American Red Cross beginning in 2005. In 2010, Mrs. Trump was the Chairwoman for The American Heart Association which raised $1.7 Million for research.
According to her official White House biography, her passion for cultural diversification “can only be surpassed by her dedication to helping others, and her generosity has been noted. She was Honorary Chairwoman for Martha Graham Dance Company in April 2005, is an active member of the Police Athletic League which honored her with Woman of The Year 2006, has been an Honorary Chairwoman for The Boy’s Club of New York for five consecutive years… in April of 2008, she was asked by Love Our Children USA and NASDAQ to participate in the Fifth Annual National Love Our Children Day and the beginning of National Child Abuse Prevention month by ringing the closing bell at NASDAQ.”
“Melania is also a successful entrepreneur. In April 2010, Melania Trump launched her own jewelry collection…Mrs. Trump cares deeply about issues impacting women and children, and she has focused her platform as First Lady on the problem of cyber bullying among our youth.”