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Hello. My name is Melania, and I’m the First Lady of the United States. I had this portrait taken so that I could stand and show the world what a strong, sharp woman I am. I don’t sit when I have my picture taken, like those other first ladies, and I don’t believe in looking homely. Growing up in Slovenia, my mother was a pattern maker. She never let me wear the same dress twice, and when I pleaded with her that I was sick of having my clothes taken apart and rearranged to create new outfits, she scolded me. “Melania,” she said to me, “you must always stay one step ahead. You must always look good. Looks are all you’ve got.” In that moment, I swore to myself that I would never be homely. Now, I don’t just wear diamonds on my perfectly sculpted fingers; I eat them for breakfast.

Some people have been making a fuss lately about how much it costs to protect me while I live in New York City. They think I’m a freeloader! This portrait is here to show them that I work, and not just on the runway. There’s no chance you could see me with my arms crossed like this — just like my good friend, the billionaire Michael Bloomberg — and not think, “That’s a woman who knows what she’s doing. That’s a woman who does it herself. That woman is in charge.”

What am I in charge of? Whatever I want; I’m the First Lady. Today I’ve decided to be in charge of cyber bullying, which is why I had my photograph taken in the nursery of the Muppet Babies. Those alien creatures climbed over their crib walls and became a threat to our society. They have bullied America’s youth for too long, and I’m going to do something about it. I, Melania, will save the children. I will be their friend.

But Melania, you say, the Muppet Babies only aired on TV from 1984 to 1991. Yes, I know. That is why my portrait looks like it was taken sometime between 1984 and 1991. The first version the photographers made was too sharp; it failed to bring out my glinting eyes and my sparkling diamonds and my Slovenian cheekbones. I told them to add more vaseline to the camera lens — a trick I learned back when I was working as a model. This version is authentic, just like me.

If you look closely at my portrait, you might notice that I’m not smiling. Why aren’t I smiling? Am I not happy to be the First Lady? Yes, of course, I’m so proud of my husband, who, you should know, treats women equal. But I am not smiling in this photograph because I am thinking hard about all of my hard work. I am thinking about how I went from immigrant to First Lady, and how the perfect outfit to express that journey is my chic black work blazer paired with my black button-studded take on the pussy bow. These are the clothes of a serious American woman who might have worked sometime in the 1980s — and starting today, they can be yours. Because with this portrait I am launching my new broad-based commercial brand. It will sell clothing, shoes, accessories, and other things, all modeled by me, Melania, one of the most photographed women in the world. Through my brand, my vision of the world could also be yours. Together, with my vision and your money, we will make America look great again.

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Jillian Steinhauer

Jillian Steinhauer is a former senior editor of Hyperallergic. She writes largely about the intersection of art...

8 replies on “Hello, I Am Melania Trump, and This Is My Official Portrait”

  1. I did not vote for Trump and do not like many of his positions. But those who are moaning and
    whining about Trump are becoming so predictable and boring.

  2. The amount of self-righteous snark about Melania has gotten to be truly embarrassing and unbecoming :-(.

  3. The complainers here ought to check out the routine comments from their set about Michelle Obama over on Breitbart News and other places Trump supporters routinely congregate. Then they can talk. Or then maybe they shouldn’t.

    But I suppose the sensitive types will always be with us. They are very protective of Trump and Melania and guard their tattered reputations jealously.

    That said, this was funny and on the mark, not to mention actually handled Melania with some care and interest. At least it shows some research was done into her background. The care comes in this, and in imagining her creatively — as one would do with a fictional character one was interested in.

    This would be contrasted with treating her as the holy sex object Trump fans cravenly do, mistaking this for something positive. But then, they have such a limited palette.

    There are two fascinating details about Melania’s portrait that were not addressed in this send up, but I won’t share them in this comment section because such things are wasted on the toy Kommandants that make up the ranks of Trump supporters and swarm the internet giving orders to people to fall into line. (But Melania, if you ever get tired of what you’re doing — which you may already be by the expression on your face in this portrait — blink twice and come on over to the other side. That diamond would set you up nicely for years and years and years.)

  4. Hyperallergic is going in circles trying to make sense out of a world that just does not feel quite right. This critic has no clue about how to deal with her discomfort and fear, so she strikes out in this childish, poorly written and trite “critique”. What is the value of using energy to humiliate ANY first lady? Shallow thoughts are just reflections on a drying pool – soon to disappear.

    Dear Editors: please take responsibility for the silliness and find skilled, informative writers to share worthy, well written articles..

  5. I am vehemently anti Trump. But this made me nauseous. Pick on him all you like. But to attack her- someone who wields very little power-is degrading, bullying and mean.

    Michelle Obama was infinitely more powerful than Milania. But none of the hate and racism she received from the right justifies a tit for tat.

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