What Melania Trump’s official portrait says about the new First Lady?


The White House has shared the first official portrait of Melania Trump, BBC reported.

“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,” MrsTrump said.

In this aspect,commentators have been comparing it to photographs of Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton.

But what does the picture say about the latest First Lady?

“Images of presidents are important because presidents think images of themselves are important,” Photograph Prof Cara A Finnegan from the communications department at the University of Illinois.

“Our expectations for these kinds of images are pretty high,” she added.

“In some ways they [the White House] are doing what they can do with what they have, which is someone who is a model, who built a business on her fame and the way that she looks,” says Prof Finnegan.

“The abstractness of that background, where she’s vaguely in the White House but you can’t really tell that to me mirrors her own situation.

“For people, who want to criticize her for that, they will be able to do that but for people who want to say, ‘Look, she’s the First Lady and she’s in the White House, leave her alone,’ they can do that too.”

“When you talk about images of women, talking about body language is really complicated because often our interpretations say more about us than of the women being pictured.”

For Prof Nicole Dahmen from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication, on the other hand, “Melania Trump’s first official portrait embodies the excessive wealth and reality star celebrity of the Trump White House”.

“If the argument is, ‘Look how fake the Trumps are compared to the Obamas, because the Obamas photographs were so authentic,’ that’s where I get uncomfortable because there are ways to select and frame images, regardless of whether you airbrush them, that can be very inauthentic.”



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