Donald Trump’s wife Melania is now the First Lady of the United States. While most everyone has an opinion on President Donald Trump, few know much about his gorgeous but shy and quiet wife. The Hill called Melania “anything but the typical candidate’s wife,” and that’s fitting for Trump, who is anything but the typical candidate. But why is Melania so unique? Here’s 10 facts you probably didn’t know about our new First Lady.
Melania is Only the Second Foreign-Born First Lady
Melania broke a nearly 200-year-old record when Donald Trump became President. She is now one of only two First Ladies born outside the United States. The first was Louisa Adams, wife of John Quincy Adams, the 6th U.S. president. Louisa Adams was born in England in 1775. Melania grew up in Slovenia and is the only First Lady who didn’t grow up speaking English.
She Speaks Five Languages
Melania Trump speaks her native Slovenian, but also Serbian, German, French, and English. Slovenian and Serbian are closely related languages, and students in these small countries are encouraged to learn more widely spoken languages like German, French, or English to increase their life and career opportunities. Melania learned all three.
Melania Grew Up Under Communism
Like many immigrants from Eastern Europe, Melania sought out a free life in America after being brought up under a repressive communist regime. Western influence was not allowed, but Melania’s mother smuggled in fashion magazines for her daughter to flip through. Slovenia’s independence was recognized in 1992, the same year Melania won runner-up in a modeling contest and started her career.
Melania moved to Italy to pursue a career as a model. She posed for Harper’s Bazaar, Allure, Vanity Fair, and other magazines before moving to New York in 1996 to pursue more modeling opportunities. Melania, who has loved to draw since she was a child, has always been interested in fashion and design and has her own jewelry line on QVC.
Her Nude Photos Caused a Stir
Like most models, Melania posed nude. The racy photos became a liability when they resurfaced during Donald Trump’s campaign. He responded by saying, “In Europe, pictures like this are very fashionable and common.” He obviously didn’t have a problem with it, as Melania posed nude for GQ after becoming his girlfriend.
She Turned Down Trump
Melania met Donald at a party in Manhattan when she was 28. He was immediately taken with her, but she refused to give him her number.
“If I give him my number, I’m just one of the women he calls. I wanted to see what his intention is. It tells you a lot from the man what kind of number he gives you.”
He gave her all of his numbers. She waited a week to call him, and broke it off soon after due to doubts about his commitment to the relationship. Six months later they were back together and exclusive.
Melania’s Focus is Her Family
Melania shared her parenting tips and secrets for a happy marriage with Parenting magazine. She espoused traditional gender roles and has been called an ideal wife for the conservative base. Melania says that being a mom is her primary job and sometimes calls the couple’s 10-year-old son “little Donald.” She never tries to change her husband.
Melania Encouraged Donald Trump to Run for President
Lance Wallnau’s book God’s Chaos Candidate: Donald J. Trump and the American Unraveling contains a chilling anecdote that reveals Melania’s intuition, support, and influence over Donald Trump. The Trumps were watching the news, before Donald’s decision to run for president had been finalized, when Melania turned to him and said that if he ran now, he would win. Trump was “legitimately shocked” because Melania had previously said that he was “too bright and brash” to get elected. “Something has changed,” she said. “They are ready for you now.”
Melania Has a High IQ
Melania attended only one year of college at a design and architecture school before landing enough modeling jobs to pursue her career full-time, but that didn’t stop former professors from singing her praises when she came under scrutiny as the new First Lady. She had to pass a rigorous entrance exam to get into the program and former classmates have described her as smart.
Designers Disagreed About Dressing Her
Designers usually clamor to dress the First Lady, but the political campaigns were so polarized that some fashion designers took a political stance and said they would refuse to dress Melania Trump. Tommy Hilfiger and others took the opposite position, saying that designers “should be proud” to dress the First Lady. Melania wore Ralph Lauren at the inauguration, noting that as her husband transformed American politics, so had Ralph Lauren transformed American fashion.
[Featured Image by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images]