Author’s note: this piece originally stated that Melania Trump was born with the surname Knauss, which is incorrect. She was born with the surname Knavs, which she later Germanized to Knauss. My apologies for the error. ~LEM, July 2016
Ivanka Trump, the elder daughter of the front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, New York City businessman Donald Trump, shared the first official family portrait of the Trump-Kushner family of five on Instagram on Monday, April 25, according to Us Weekly.
Ivanka Trump, 34, married businessman Jared Kushner in October 2009. She gave birth to their third child, a son named Theodore James Kushner, on March 27. Trump and Kushner also have a 4-year-old daughter, Arabella Rose, and a 2-year-old son, Joseph Frederick. Their first official family portrait with baby Theodore was taken at the child’s bris on April 3. He is pictured at eight days old. Ivanka Trump converted to Orthodox Judaism in preparation for her marriage.
“Jared and I feel incredibly blessed to announce the arrival of Theodore James Kushner. Jared, Arabella, Joseph, and I are so excited to welcome this sweet little boy into our family!”
Ivanka Trump runs her own eponymous lifestyle brand with offices in her father’s famous Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, and has an extremely active and polished presence on social media. She often chooses to share carefully selected snaps of her children and family, incorporating them into the social media strategy that is intrinsic to her brand because it bears her name.
Ivanka Trump’s social media strategy led her to create the hashtag #WomenWhoWork, a campaign intended to support, encourage, and empower mothers who work outside of the home. The Ivanka Trump Lifestyle Collection offers many products for women in work and in life, such as jewelry, clothing, outerwear, shoes, handbags, and fragrances.
Ivanka Trump is also an Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions at her father’s company, the Trump Organization. Her two full brothers, Donald Trump, Jr., 38, and Eric Trump, 32, each have the exact same title at the company, where the three siblings work closely together. Their mother is Ivana Trump (née Zelníčková), 67, a Czech-American former fashion model turned socialite and Donald Trump’s first wife. According to another of Ivanka Trump’s Instagram posts, the eight grandchildren that Ivana Trump shares with Donald Trump refer to her as “glamma,” a portmanteau of “glamorous” and “Grandma.”
Ivanka Trump also has a 22-year-old half-sister, Tiffany, from Donald Trump’s second marriage to actress and Dancing with the Stars contestant Marla Maples. She also has a 10-year-old half-brother named Barron from Donald Trump’s current marriage to Slovenian-born former fashion and glamour model Melania Trump (née Knavs, later Germanized to Knauss).
Ivanka Trump has been an enthusiastic campaign surrogate for her father during this election cycle, notably more so than his prospective First Lady, Melania Trump. Used to the limelight, Ivanka Trump spent several years as a fashion model — beginning when she was still a teenager — prior to earning her business degree from Donald Trump’s alma mater, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She also made regular appearances on her father’s NBC reality show, The Apprentice. She has used this experience in public speaking and being in front of crowds on the campaign trail, and she was the one chosen to introduce her father in June 2015 when he officially announced his 2016 bid.
Ivanka Trump’s role in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was recently explored in an April 7 piece for The Federalist, a conservative online magazine that has published several pieces that have been critical of Donald Trump. Author Mary Katharine Ham suggests in the piece that Ivanka Trump represents everything that Donald Trump wants to be but cannot be, and that he is actually jealous of his daughter. Ham points out a perceived public verbal dig as evidence.
“In [sic] Long Island Wednesday, Ivanka introduced her father just over a week after giving birth. He chose to make a condescending crack about sparing her from his catchphrase: “She did a good job. So, I won’t say ‘IVANKA, YOU’RE FIRED!’” One wonders how often she’ll show up to endure these you-mad-bro jabs from her father, but there’s no need to wonder why he dishes them out. If you listen to Trump’s speeches and watch his eldest daughter in action, she is the effortless embodiment of everything about which he evinces screaming insecurity. […] To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, class, success, and intelligence are like being a lady. If you have to say you are, you’re not. There’s at least one Trump who understands this.”
Much has been made about Ivanka Trump’s role in her father’s campaign, and the fact that it seems to be more significant than his wife’s role. She’s a master of social media and excellent at crafting a public image — for herself. As talented as she is in this area, Ivanka Trump has been unable to smooth her father’s rough edges and prevent him from receiving criticism for his tone (often from fellow Republicans as well as Democrats) and weathering near-constant accusations of racism and misogyny.
[Image courtesy of Joe Raedle/Getty Images]