First Lady Melania Trump’s official portrait was released by the White House Monday, and it is jaw-dropping.
In stark contrast with previous first lady portraits, Melania swaps out a gleaming smile for a softer smirk and intense gaze at the camera. She is shown only from the waste up, in a powerful stance, with little of the White House visible other than the window blurred in the background behind her.
The image differs greatly from her predecessor Michelle Obama’s first official portrait released in 2009, which shows her standing at a table clearly in the White House in a simple, sleeveless black dress, pearls and a big smile. The image generated controversy at the time, with some criticizing her sleeveless dress as too casual and inappropriate.
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Melania’s portrait, on the other hand, is being almost universally praised as beautiful and elegant.
Fashion critics say Melania stuns in a Dolce & Gabbana black blazer — which is quickly becoming a staple in her wardrobe — and a scarf with sequined detail.
An incredible 25-carat diamond ring is easily visible on her hand and was reportedly a gift from the president for their 10th wedding anniversary.
The photo was taken at the White House, which is soon to be Melania’s residence after Barron finishes the school year and they move from Trump Tower in New York to Washington D.C.
“I am honored to serve in the role of First Lady, and look forward to working on behalf of the American people in the coming years,” she said in a statement.
The image now appears with Melania’s biography on the White House Website, which notes her modeling career and her unique position as only the second First Lady to be born in another country- the first being Louisa Adams, the wife of sixth President John Quincy Adams.
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Black has been a popular choice for recent first ladies, with Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, and the Barbara Bush all opting for the sleek tone.
A gallery of all first lady portraits is available on the White House Historical Association website.
-The Horn News editorial team