Chivalry was not alive and it was not well on the steps of Air Force One recently, according to the latest comments about a picture that’s gone viral of Donald and Melania Trump. President Trump is seen descending the steps of Air Force One far ahead of Melania Trump. The first lady is pictured carefully making her way down the stairs with her husband already on the tarmac saluting those who are there to greet the couple.
This is a sign of “disrespect,” according to a few experts in lifestyle and etiquette, who were cited by the Independent. After eyeing the picture, their consensus was that the image didn’t show President Trump offering the respect to Melania that was called for in this situation. You have to admit, at first glance this doesn’t look very good on Donald Trump’s part, as Melania is left far behind her husband to walk down the steep steps on her own. With her tendency to wear stiletto heels, one can only image how treacherous the steep steps could be for the first lady.
With that said, this is a picture and while they are “worth a thousand words,” you still don’t know the backstory that goes along with this image. Also it is worth noting that Donald and Melania Trump have walked down those steps side-by-side or fairly close together on previous descents. The picture creating all the noise is seen below.
In comparison, of course a picture of Barack and Michelle descending the same steps can be seen below.
There are plenty of other pictures online of the previous presidents and their first ladies making the trip down these stairs together, but there are also plenty of pictures of Donald and Melania descending the steps side-by-side, like the ones seen below.
Donald Trump has been noted to bolt out in front of Melania before, like when arriving at the White House to be greeted by Barack and Michelle Obama before the inauguration. Donald exited the car and made his way to Barack and Michelle, who were standing and waiting for their arrival. While this was going on, Melania was still exiting the car and Trump did not wait for her so the two could greet Barack and Michelle together.
Yahoo News reported that body language expert Susan Constantine said, “Melania is an object to [Trump],” after observing the president’s behavior in regards to the first lady. She claims that if you didn’t know the two were married, Trump’s actions around Melania wouldn’t point to the two being a married couple.
While the body language doesn’t fare well, whether you are a supporter of Trump’s or not, you might need to understand the way Donald Trump thinks and behaves before tagging these actions as a matter of “disrespect.” First of all the public has seen and heard enough from Melania Trump to know that she wouldn’t stand for any type of disrespect. As a strong and independent woman, if Donald Trump disrespected Melania in anyway, she probably would have been long gone with Barron in tow.
As far as Donald Trump making his way down Air Force One steps way ahead of Melania, you don’t know what transpired to cause this event. He might have been in a hurry to get some vital information. He also could have turned to Melania to excuse himself and jogged down the steps ahead of the First Lady to deal with urgent business. It is hard to picture Donald Trump in a relaxed mode. He seems to have one speed and one speed only – fast.
He didn’t get where he is in life today by lagging behind and he is quick to jump on the business at hand. He is also not used to having Melania by his side while doing business, and being the president is all business. He is used to getting to a destination and getting down to work.
Etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore suggests that while this appears to be a sign of disrespect, it could also be a sign of “self-absorption” or something as simple as “he is in a hurry.” Even if there was a good reason behind him leaving Melania’s side on the steps, she would rather see Trump modeling a different kind of behavior, as he is a role model for the country.
Etiquette expert Elaine Swann, suggests that “it’s down to his desire to be seen as the leader, rather than part of a unit,“ according to the Independent. When Trump gets to the bottom of the stairs he is seen giving a salute to greet those who were there to meet him. The proper thing to do would have been for him to wait for Melania to finish her descent down the stairs and join him before greeting anyone.
Even as a Trump supporter, you have to admit it doesn’t look like one of Trump’s most stellar moments, but the key to this sentence is “look like.” It is not as if Trump does this on a constant basis, as he is pictured on numerous occasions walking alongside Melania down the steps of Air Force One.
Something very well could have transpired to put Trump in such a rush that day and to say he disrespects Melania over this one picture is like calling a puddle the Atlantic Ocean; it is just too far of a stretch.
So to answer the question – does Melania realize it appears she’s being disrespected by Donald Trump in this picture? Melania is an extremely intelligent woman so if she was being disrespected by her husband in any way, shape or form, she would be the first to know it. Both the first lady and Donald Trump went on that day to the Easter Egg Roll and the two were all smiles. Donald offered up complements to his wife as he spoke to the crowd. With that said, it doesn’t seem fair to say that Trump is disrespecting his wife in this picture no matter what it may look like.
[Featured Image by Alex Brandon/AP Images]