Melania and Michelle: The Legacies and Challenges of Being FLOTUS


On Wednesday at the Inbound 2017 conference in Boston, Michelle Obama spoke openly about what she thinks of the women who voted for Trump. “Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice.”

Behind every great man is a great woman, right?

Cue Melania Trump, the current and third wife of POTUS Donald Trump.

A former model and Slovenian emigrant, she is technically the first naturalized US citizen to become first lady. Melania speaks Slovenian, English, French, German and Serbian. She graduated from the University of Ljubljana with a degree in design and architecture, although it has been contested whether she completed university or not.Trump worked as a fashion model for decades but did not gain the publicity she craved until becoming involved with Donald Trump in 1998. In 2005, Trump gained a lead role in an Aflac commercial. Her leading man? The Aflac duck.

Recently, Melania was photographed in the White House Kitchen Garden. Although Barack Obama predicted Donald Trump would destroy the garden, it fortunately still stands. This garden was a creation of Obama’s and something she took pride in. Trump appears to only have positive things to say about the garden, in her $1,380 shirt, since she is “a big believer in healthy eating.” Perhaps a touch of overkill.

Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama has also always stood for what she believed with strength, exuding intelligence and originality.

Growing up in the South Shore community of Chicago, she graduated cum laude with a major in sociology and a minor in African American studies from Princeton University. She went on to earn her Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. She worked for the Chicago city government, the University of Chicago and as an associate at the Chicago office of a law firm. As she writes her book, Obama is reflecting on the challenges and responsibilities that come with the position of First Lady. Despite what she may think of Donald Trump as president, she expresses positive sentiments towards Donald Trump and a successful presidency.

Obama and Trump have symbolized extremely different values during their time as FLOTUS, their legacies will be vastly different.

Becoming FLOTUS has linked two unlikely women together in shared experience.

Each have been criticized for their outfits in place of commentary on their ideals. There may be more validity to the accusations of Trump’s unfitting ensemble choices, maybe not. However, as women who have both been in a highly-scrutinized position, they are forever bonded.

They have stood in the same position and acted as the same role in the history of the United States. That is not something anyone can discount. Beyond the constant comparing of the two and the choosing of favorites, regardless of the opposition or divisiveness, they are doing their best. And that is all we can ask of women today. We are better off supporting one another through our challenges, and know we are all doing the very best we can.

Cover image via CNN