World Gets Its Best Look Yet at Melania Trump
She's winning generally positive reviews for her presence on international trip
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2017 10:52 AM CDT
First Lady Melania Trump steps out of a car as she arrives at Chierici Palace in Catania, Italy, Friday.   (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
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(Newser) – President Trump's first international trip has given the public its longest look yet at how President Trump and Melania interact as a couple, and the Washington Post assesses. "Do they hold hands? (Not regularly.) Glance at one another lovingly or roll their eyes? (Neither, at least before the cameras.)" But don't be too quick to buy the negative press. They've been together 17 years, and the story has plenty of quotes from insiders who say they are much happier than headlines suggest. Yes, this hand-holding fail went viral, but less noticed were the times they have held hands on the trip.

  • 'Awkward'? Speaking of that negative press, a headline at Newsweek wonders if the Trumps are "the most awkward couple in politics," running through examples going back to the inauguration.
  • Subtle trolling: When the apparent hand swipe emerged, Pete Souza, the official photographer in the Obama White House, posted an image of the Obamas holding hands

  • More assertive: A Financial Times writer thinks Melania is finally coming into her own as first lady. Debate all you want about that maybe-hand-slap, but "less disputed is the fact that Mrs. Trump is gradually becoming a more assertive and visible figure on the political stage—one enigmatic gesture at a time," writes Courtney Weaver. It makes sense she has laid relatively low, given that, unlike her predecessors, she is new to politics.
  • Poker face: Unlike most previous first ladies, Melania doesn't have a "permanent" smile on her face at public functions, and that's not such a bad thing, writes Claire Zillman at Fortune. "No matter what you think of Melania Trump or her husband's politics, there is a subtle strength in her stone-faced expression during these command performances."
  • Fashion: A post at news.com.au runs through her outfits on the trip and is impressed. "She’s been channelling her inner Business Barbie and rocking a series of fabulous two-piece suits, complete with giant belts cinched in at the waist." Refinery 29 notes that Dolce & Gabbana is the first major fashion house to boast of dressing her.
  • Those belts: Caryn Ward at the Chicago Tribune takes an admiring dive into Melania's fashion and sees much in her choices, particularly her use of belts. "To me, Melania's message is a cinch. It's that she has power and no one, least of all the president, should forget it. Or he just might get swatted again."
  • Her Catholicism: One thing that hasn't gotten much attention is a nugget that emerged out of her visit with the pope—confirmation that the first lady is indeed Catholic, notes CNN. That makes her the first Catholic first lady since Jackie Kennedy.

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