Washington: Melania Trump has chosen to keep a low profile ever since her husband Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th US president. However, Melania returned to public gaze on Tuesday — in a manner of speaking — after the White House released her official portrait as the First Lady of the United States. To say the least, her portrait had divided public opinion (but perhaps as not as much as her husband).
Melania, shown from the waist up, arms crossed, is dressed in a black jacket with a black bow around her neck: Also noteworthy, the huge (yuuuuge!) rock on her left hand, dwarfing the relatively subdued sparkler on her right. Shot by Belgian-born photographer Regine Mahaux, who has previously worked with the Trump family, the first lady is smiling slightly, with a perfectly flawless visage. While some gushed that the first lady was "beyond beautiful" and "gorgeous," others on Twitter mocked (shocking, we know) the image as highly airbrushed and compared the gauzy background — a window in the White House residence — to 1990s school portrait settings.
Meanwhile, critics jumped on a line in the White House statement that said the portrait was taken in Trump's "new residence at the White House." While every other modern first lady has accompanied her husband to Washington, the 46-year-old Trump has remained at her luxury triplex penthouse in Manhattan and not made many public appearances. Melania has said she would remain in New York until son Barron finishes the school year. Others on social media, including actor George Takei and Russian pop band Pussy Riot, used the portrait to take a swipe at the rumoured shaky state of Donald and Melania's marriage.
Folks divided about Melania's portrait. She looks forward to seeing it when visiting the White House--or as she calls it, her summer home. — George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) April 4, 2017
Melania's White House portrait is beautiful and will make an excellent conversation piece if she ever happens to visit the White House. — Nick Amadeus (@NickAmadeus) April 3, 2017
And of course, a few smart alecs had some special quips for The Donald.
Meanwhile, Melania issued a small statement accompanying the photo's release: "I am honoured to serve in the role of first lady, and look forward to working on behalf of the American people over the coming years."
This isn't the first time that a first lady portrait has stoked controversy. Michelle Obama was criticised for wearing a sleeveless dress in her first official portrait in 2009, with some saying the bare arms were too casual.
Which is kind of ironic, since the US Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms.
With inputs from AFP
Published Date: Apr 05, 2017 01:19 am | Updated Date: Apr 05, 2017 01:19 pm