Every Way Melania Trump Is So Different From Past First Ladies
We know Donald Trump does things differently than his predecessors but his wife, Melania, is also one of the most unique first ladies we’ve ever had. She’s not as visible as past first ladies have been and she doesn’t seem to want any attention focused on her. However, since she’s married to the president, she’s become one of the most famous faces in the world — and now people can’t stop talking about just how different she is than what we’re used to.
Here are all the ways Mrs. Trump is unlike former U.S. first ladies, including the risqué thing she did that probably won’t ever be done by the wife of another president (page 6).
1. Melania is the only first lady raised in a communist country
Melania was born in the small town of Novo Mesto and grew up in Sevnica in present-day Slovenia. When she was born in 1970, the county was part of the communist nation of Yugoslavia before declaring independence in 1991.
Melania left Slovenia to pursue a modeling career and moved to New York City in 1996. She married Trump in 2005 and became a citizen the following year.
Next: Only one other first lady was born outside the U.S.
2. She is only the second foreign-born first lady
While Melania is the only first lady born in a communist nation, she’s not the only one who was born outside of the United States.
John Quincy Adams’s wife, Louisa Catherine Johnson, was also born abroad. She was born in London to a British mother and an American father who was a merchant and diplomat living in England at the time of her birth.
Next: No other first lady knows so many of these.
3. Mrs. Trump is the only first lady whose native language isn’t English
Melania is a polyglot. English is not her first language but one of several she’s fluent in. According to Vox, in addition to English and her native Slovene, the FLOTUS also speaks Serbo-Croatian, Italian, French, and German.
Her son, Barron, knows English, Slovenian, and French as well.
Next: No other first lady has been her husband’s third wife.
4. She is the only first lady who is her husband’s third spouse
Trump was married to Ivana Trump from 1977 to 1992, and then to Marla Maples from 1993 to 1999. This makes Melania his third wife and he is the only U.S. president to have had as many marriages.
John Tyler and Woodrow Wilson remarried after their wives passed away, and Ronald Reagan is the only other president who was a divorcee. Reagan split from his first wife in 1949 and married Nancy in 1952.
Next: Only one other first lady practiced the same religion.
5. Melania is only the second first lady who practices Catholicism
Because the League of Communists controlled Slovenia when she was a child, Melania had to be secretly baptized. After visiting Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2017, the FLOTUS’ spokeswoman confirmed that she is a practicing Catholic, making her the only Catholic first lady beside Jacqueline Kennedy.
President Trump is Presbyterian.
Next: No other first lady posed naked for photo shoots.
6. She is the only first lady to have posed nude for magazines
Prior to meeting her husband, Melania worked as a fashion model and was featured in many publications such as Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar.
She’s also done nude photo shoots including a spread for British GQ and remains the only first lady to have bared it all in a magazine.
Next: No other first lady did without these.
7. Melania is one of the only first ladies to not use nannies
Another thing that sets her apart from other first ladies is that she refuses to hire a nanny to help raise her son. First ladies of the past who had young children had hired help, but Melania has always said that she likes being a “hands on” mother to Barron and therefore doesn’t have nannies.
Trump agrees that there is a downside to having someone assist in taking care of your kids. “If you have too much help, you don’t get to know your children,” the president explained.
Next: Only one other first lady delayed this move.
8. She is the only the second first lady not to move into the White House right away
After Trump won the presidency and moved to the White House, his wife stayed behind at their home in Trump Tower. The move was so Barron could finish school in Manhattan instead of having to transfer midyear. After five months, Melania and the couple’s son moved to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
She is the only first lady beside John Adams’ wife, Abigail, who did not move into the residence with their husband right away.
Next: No other first lady has kept a lower profile.
9. She is one of the only first ladies who shies away from the spotlight
Whether or not they like the spotlight, most first ladies understand that it’s part of their role and step into being such a public figure during their husband’s term(s). But Melania is one of the most private first ladies we’ve ever had.
She has always valued her privacy and prefers to keep out of the limelight. However, that’s something that has become very difficult with how much news about the Trump family is covered on a daily basis. Still, Melania tries her best to keep a low profile and does not do as many appearances as first ladies of the past.
Next: No other first lady has refused to do this in public.
10. Melania is the only first lady to refuse to hold her husband’s hand
There have been quite a few times Melania has refused to hold the president’s hand in public, which is something we have never seen a first lady do in the past.
Another thing we’re not used to seeing is a first lady actually swat her husband’s hand away from her which is something else Melania has done in the past.
Next: No other first lady is taller.
11. Melania is only one of three first ladies who are 5-foot-11
Melania is one of the tallest first ladies. The former model joins Michelle Obama and Eleanor Roosevelt as the only others with a height of 5-foot-11.
No other first lady has been taller than that.
Next: No other first lady has been so private but yet so popular.
12. She is one of only a few first ladies more popular than the president
While her husband has his supporters, he also has his many detractors. But even the latter seem to have a favorable view of the first lady, which is a bit unusual considering how low-key she is.
We know less about Melania than former first ladies but perhaps that’s part of her appeal and why she has become the most popular person in the White House.
Next: No other first lady was accused of ripping off a first lady before her.
13. She is the only first lady accused of plagiarizing another FLOTUS
Melania was scrutinized for her speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention for allegedly plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s speech from the 2008 Democratic National Convention. A speechwriter, who was working for the Trump campaign, later claimed responsibility for the similar passages.
No other FLOTUS has ever been accused of delivering a speech so similar to another first lady.
Next: No other first lady was thought to hope this outcome would’ve been different.
14. Melania is the only first lady reportedly upset by her husband’s election win
So much has been made about what was alleged in Michael’s Wolff’s book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, but none more than the excerpt claiming that she cried on election night.
There have also been other reports alleging that Melania does not enjoy being the FLOTUS and living in the White House. Whether or not those reports are true, she is the only first lady we’ve ever heard about possibly not being happy about her husband’s big victory.
Next: No other first lady has diverted so much from tradition.
15. She is the only first lady who is doing it all on her own terms
President Trump didn’t read the job description when he was elected to the White House and decided to do things totally off script. His wife followed suit and took a page straight out of his book.
Instead of going by the what the role of a first lady should be, Melania is filling it how she wants it to be and that’s what makes her so different from other first ladies.
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