With the Bidens running Washington D.C. and the Trumps keeping a low profile in Florida, it’s certainly been an interesting year of changes at the White House. And much like Joe Biden and Donald Trump, their first ladies couldn’t be any more different.
Here’s how current first lady Jill Biden is low-key outdoing her predecessor.
That Vogue cover
It’s every fashion model’s dream to grace the cover of Vogue – and Melania in fact did back in 2005 when she got married to Donald. However, once ensconced in the White House, the former first lady reportedly told her (now former) close friend and aide Stephanie Winston Wolkoff that she didn’t much care to be on the front of the influential publication.
“I don’t give a f*** about Vogue or any other magazine. They would never put me on the cover,” Melania was recorded as saying – perhaps rather unconvincingly, after a quick check reveals her predecessor Michelle Obama appeared on three covers during her time in the White House. Ouch.
The former first lady might have been even more envious when it was revealed in June this year that Jill was to be the next cover star. To make matters worse, Jill suggested in the August issue that her husband was more likeable that Melania’s. Although she didn’t mention their predecessors by name, Jill said in her interview with Vogue: “When I travel around the country now, I feel as though people can breathe again. I think that’s part of the reason Joe was elected … he’s just a calmer president.”
Battle of the jackets
Few of us can forget the time Melania wore that Zara jacket plastered with the slogan, “I really don’t care, do u?” on a trip to the US border. Then, lo and behold, on a visit to Cornwall in England for the G7 Summit, Jill decided to make a bold contrasting statement with the word “Love” emblazoned on the back of her blazer instead. When asked to explain the message on the back of her jacket, Jill replied: “Oh, the ‘Love’? I think that we’re bringing love from America.”
Q: "Can you explain the message on the back of your jacket?"
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 10, 2021
Jill has often been praised for her warmth when out meeting the public – something many on social media felt Melania was lacking.
But was Jill’s blazer – and comments – a shrewd attempt to throw shade at Melania? It sure does look like it to us, at least.
While Melania was criticised for her apparent lack of work while in the White House, Dr. Biden – who has also retained her teaching job – has been forthcoming about how seriously she takes her role as first lady.
While she isn’t required to work at events such as the G7 Summit, the current first lady nevertheless tweeted a shot of herself in the White House preparing for the 2021 gathering, and received plenty of praise for it.
In stark contrast, Melania’s appearance at the G7 in 2019 set the internet ablaze for all the wrong reasons, when she seemed to gaze adoringly at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after greeting him with a kiss.
A royal favourite
During Donald and Melania’s trip to the UK in 2019, Melania appeared to spend very little time with Kate Middleton, and what images we do have of the two women appear to show them looking rather stiff at a state dinner. However, the queen-in-training seemed to bond brilliantly with Jill during her visit to the UK for the G7 Summit during a one-on-one outing.
The pair looked cosy as they discussed children and education – something Melania apparently didn’t get the pleasure of doing, despite her championing those topics as part of her Be Best campaign.
Donald and Melania dealt with rumours that they were on the verge of a split throughout their time in the White House, thanks in part to their reluctance to show affection in public and the pair reportedly sleeping in separate beds.
From the get-go, Jill hasn’t shied away from hugging and kissing husband Joe, who she has frequently appears alongside in public. It’s a stark contrast to Melania, who was often caught swatting away her husband’s attempts to hold hands during public appearances.
Note: This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.