published 29 January 2017
THE Internet is abuzz with comparisons of how Barack and Michelle
Obama behave differently from their successors Donald and Melania Trump.
Whereas the Obamas appear to genuinely enjoy each other’s company and
treat each other with respect and trust—that, or they are such great
actors—the first images of the current US President and First Lady point
to anything but a loving, respectful relationship between husband and
Social media point to body language, using clips and GIFs to show the not-so-subtle clues.
For example, when the Trumps came to the White House to meet the
Obamas, Mr. Trump got out of the car and proceeded to the shake hands
with them, leaving his wife to get out on her side of the car, walk
around the back of it and then ascend the steps on her own.
By the time she got to the top of the step, her husband was already
on his way into the building. Both Obamas then welcomed her and put
their hands on her back as if to prop her up.
Mrs. Trump handed Mrs. Obama a box, a present, and the latter did not
seem to know what to do with it. She was frowning, but now it is being
interpreted as a frown upon seeing another woman treated the way the
former was treated.
When Mrs. Trump walked to the platform of the Capitol just before the
swearing in and took her place next to her husband, he merely looked at
her. They did not speak to each other. In contrast, Barack Obama took
Michelle’s hand and kissed it.
During the inaugural dance, it was as if Melania was pulling her body
away from her husband’s. She smiled when he looked her way but
descended into a frown when he was not facing her.
All this is speculation, of course, but if we go by the context
offered by these images, it would appear that the woman is repulsed and
disgusted by her husband.
There is a rather patronizing article at The Huffington Post called
‘Melania, Are You Okay?’ It was written in the second person, directly
addressing the first lady, asking her questions about how she must be
feeling and what thoughts she might be having as the spectacle of her
husband’s presidency has begun.
During the campaign, Americans and the rest of the world saw the way
Mr. Trump regarded women. He was quite the character, really. He was
given to calling women names like “fatty,” or saying they were “nasty.”
He reportedly groped or assaulted women—and then bragged about how they
just allowed him to do that given his stature. Mrs.
Trump later on came
to her husband’s defense, saying this was no longer the man she knew
now, and that what he uttered was simply locker-room talk. You know how
boys can be, she seemed to say in an interview.
She was not convincing.
A trophy is something you’d like to be seen with to increase people’s
regard of you. Believe it or not, it’s 2017 and there remain societies,
families and individuals who believe they must get themselves “trophy
wives” to boost their stock and to prove they have really come a long
A “trophy wife” is beautiful, fairly educated, docile, beautiful,
devoted, always smiling, and beautiful. She is always ready to stand by
her man however much of a fool he shows himself to be. She makes
allowances for his shortcomings, even boorish behavior, because he is so
important, and busy, and in need of her understanding. If they have
kids, she is most likely an “ideal mom” as well—aware of and involved in
her children’s activities in school and outside it. Her family is her
But she has time to pamper herself, too. She can shop for whatever
she wants. She goes to the gym and sees her friends for brunch or coffee
regularly. She goes on date nights with the husband and sometimes hosts
gatherings for their friends or his colleagues.
Isn’t her man just enviable?
For instance, some people imagine Mr. Trump must be in heaven—because he is a billionaire and his wife is so beautiful.
Truth is, there is neither genuine pride nor happiness to be derived from trophies.
The trophy possessor will be revealed as unhappy and superficial.
don’t really need to bother how people regard you—and happiness is not
found in what you acquire, anyway. It is what you already have within.
You can work hard and achieve esteem from your colleagues, provide
material comforts to your family and get yourself a beautiful, agreeable
life partner so you can be the talk and envy of all your friends. But
these are just appearances.
As for the “trophy”—well there must be no trophy to begin with. One
person does not and should not own or be under another. Partnership is
being able to be yourself and freely express your thoughts. It is being
respected as an equal, not somebody to be possessed or controlled or
dictated upon. It is to be genuinely cared for—not just when you suit
their purposes. And, of course, you do the same.
We started with Melania Trump but this is about the millions of women
and girls who may be seen for less than who they actually are by a
society that still says the “essence of a woman” (since it’s pageant
season) is to serve their men, make them happy and affirm their success.
Nobody needs trophies. Refuse to be one, and vehemently.