Melania Trump, Much More Than Just A Pretty Face

Melania Trump, Much More Than Just A Pretty Face

Love him or hate him, it is pretty much assured that it would take a certain kind of woman to be the wife of Donald Trump.  The couple’s ten year marriage has seen the birth of one son, the entry into fashion design, and –most recently—a great deal of stigma and ridicule attached to this former model from Slovenia. 

Melania Trump Celebrates Her Husband’s Victory By Speaking Out Loud

Gawker’s latest side-swipe is only the latest in a long line of undercover hit pieces aimed at Melania to present her as the stereotypical “dumb model”.  I wonder if she had been the wife of a less controversial candidate if these outlets would have resorted to such stereotypes.  But it begs the question: is it true, is she nothing more than a pretty face?  Let’s discover exactly who Melania Trump is and what type of First Lady she might make.

NEW YORK-MAY 20: Donald Trump and wife Melania
NEW YORK-MAY 20: Donald Trump and wife Melania

Her Beginnings

Melania Trump was born “Melanija Knavs” on April 26, 1970 in Slovenia’s lower valley to parents, Viktor and Amalija.  Her father managed a string of motorcycle and car dealerships, and her mother worked in fashion providing her and her sister Ines with what would be considered a “middle class” lifestyle under the communist system.  She attended the University of Ljublijana pursuing degrees in design and architecture, while modeling part time in Italy.  As her modeling career took off, Melania left her studies behind to pursue it more aggressively. 

Modeling and America

Melania worked for several years on the runways of Milan and Paris before making a leap to New York.  It was there under the tutelage of Helmut Newton that her career in print ads expanded, and she eventually began to find work with Conde Nast periodicals and other well-known photographers like Patrick Demarchelier, and Mario Testino.  In addition to being one of the featured models of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, Melania made the covers of Vogue, In Style, Vanity Fair, Allure, Harper’s Bazaare, Elle and other high end magazines.

Despite the naysayers who have made her nothing more than a trophy wife in the eyes of the public, this former girl from a Soviet block nation had managed to parlay her own assets into an established modeling career before even meeting Donald Trump. To go from Slovenia to New York, requires more than a pretty face.  It takes work ethic, determination, and good networking.  Most models never make it past catalog ads.  Melania made it to New York and the cover of Vogue.

However, it was her modeling work and her transition to working at Trump Model Management which put Melania on the path of her future husband, and it can be said that meeting him certainly changed the trajectory of where she was heading.

Melania Trump at the QVC Red Carpet Style Party, Four Seasons Hotel, Los Angeles, CA. 02-25-11
Melania Trump at the QVC Red Carpet Style Party, Four Seasons Hotel, Los Angeles, CA. 02-25-11

Continue reading “Melania Trump, Much More Than Just A Pretty Face”

The Year of the (Social) Monkey

Have you fallen off your New Year’s resolution bandwagon? Don’t worry, because for China and me (and let’s face it, they have the large chunk of the world’s population), the new year started this week!

Did you know that it is the Year of the Monkey? I don’t have any Chinese ancestry nor do any real knowledge of the Chinese astrological calendar but here is how I know that THIS year is going to be a life changing year. You see, a few months ago a monkey helped me change careers (which actually is fitting because I describe my life as a zoo).

 

My hot date for New Years
My hot date for New Years

 

2014 and half of 2015 were overwhelming for me. I was so busy and stressed that I felt paralyzed. But I finally got to the point where I was extremely motivated to make changes. The first goal I set was to start this blog by the end of the summer in 2015.

Little did I know that starting this blog would change the course of my professional life.

Because of a rough pregnancy with AG I ended up taking more time away from my professional life than I had anticipated. Although I loved what I did, it involved a lot of travel and returning to it wouldn’t allow me to have the life I wanted after having a baby.

When I started this blog, I didn’t know anything about creating websites. But with help from the good people from Go Daddy, youtube videos, and some advice from friends, I slowly figured out blogging basics. The skills I learned from setting up this blog gave me the confidence to start my own business.

After starting Political Wife Life, I saw a “Become A Social Media Managerad in a blogging Facebook group. It was a free webinar so I thought, “what the heck—I love social media and community building.” If I wanted to re-enter the paid workforce I knew I was going to need to be my own boss and find a career that would allow me to embrace my nomadic lifestyle and work from anywhere.

Cue Liz Benny and Social Monkey Business (see, I told you a monkey would show up). Liz really resonated with me and I loved her program and signed up for Social Monkey Business which is essentially a “how to start a social media management business” in a box.

It sounds so cheesy to say “finding Liz Benny’s course changed my life” but it is so true. If you want a really fun job where you can be your own boss, make your own hours and work from wherever there is an internet connection, click here to learn more and to read my full review of the Social Monkey business course.

I was so fortunate to find a client as soon as I completed the course. October-December were spent learning the basics of starting a business and client work. I love to do 90 day sprints of work and then schedule some down time and slower paced work. January was a scheduled downtime.

I am now one of those crazy people who loves their job and likes to tell everyone I meet how much I LOVE MY JOB.

The only downside is that I was having so much fun doing work for a client and learning how to run my own business that I didn’t make blog writing a priority. But I am back!

Embrace the Chinese new year and take advantage of fresh beginnings and a second chance at resolutions. Set a goal and work towards it. You never know where it will take you.

If omens mean anything, the year of the monkey is going to be the best one yet.

What goals are you setting for yourself? A little accountability is a good thing, so comment below and share the accomplishments your sights are set on!

How NOT To Be A Sexist Jerk: 3 Things Political Wives Wish You Knew

Breaking News- Political Wives are not extensions of their husbands!

In our political culture, there is a longstanding tradition of treating political wives as an extension of their politician husbands. This tradition does not exist when a man is married to a female politician. Case in point, the Clintons. How many times has Hillary been targeted, named and shamed for the actions of her husband? Too many times to count. Whereas Bill is never targeted for things his wife does as a politician.

US President Bill Clinton (R) gives a thumbs up sign with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) as they took to the stage prior to addressing the people of Buffalo, New York at the Marine Midland Arena 20 January. This is the first official trip of Clinton to Buffalo and comes after his State of the Union speech to Congress. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/Stephen JAFFE ORG XMIT: BUF99
US President Bill Clinton (R) gives a thumbs up sign with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (L)

I studied women’s studies and could give you a long feminist analysis of why this tradition exists, but the simple short answer is sexism.

All too often, political wives are treated as nothing more than extensions of their husbands.

As a political wife, I have experienced this on a number of occasions. Here is a particularly cringe-worthy experience from today. I reached out to offer my services for a cause I support and was told that I wasn’t welcome to assist this group because the person heading it doesn’t like my husband.

Their reasoning was that if I helped collect donations for people in need, I would try to give all of the credit to my husband, which would inevitably result in him getting positive press and making him look good.

Apparently this chain of events would devalue the contribution that the group was trying to make to society. 

At first I thought this seemingly progressive person from the group must have misunderstood me. This individual who prides themselves on equality and social justice wouldn’t simply view me as a mere extension of my husband—would they?! Continue reading “How NOT To Be A Sexist Jerk: 3 Things Political Wives Wish You Knew”

Who Else Sacrificed For Your Freedom?

Who else sacrificed for your freedom?

This week we will pause and remember the sacrifices that so many have made so that we could be free.

We live in a country where we are free to criticize the government. We live in a country where all people have access to important services regardless of gender or ethnicity. I am incredibly grateful to members of the Armed Forces and our veterans for everything they have sacrificed for my freedom and safety.

For those who have gone to fight and never come home, we remember.

For those of you who have gone to fight, and come home forever changed in body and spirit, we are grateful in ways that words can’t express.

Though, we can express our gratefulness and remembrance by stopping what we are doing on the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month and walking to a cenotaph.

I am proud to live in a country where the message of remembering the cost of the freedom we enjoy is taught in our schools and spoken about in our communities.

However, our gratefulness and acknowledgement of the sacrifices that people have made should not stop at the members of our Armed Forces and our Veterans.

To the wives, spouses, and significant others of our past and present Armed Forces, I am incredibly grateful and aware of the sacrifices YOU make for MY freedom.

Thank You to our veterans and their families
Thank You to our veterans and their families


You have lived in fear for the safety of someone you love. Our society is finally acknowledging  the effect that war has on our returning veterans. You are the person they come home to and I know that your sacrifices don’t stop when your hero returns home. For everything you have been through and everything you continue to go through, thank you.

Parenting is all consuming and very exhausting. Doing it alone because your partner is off fighting for my freedom is a sacrifice you make and I want you to know that it does not go unnoticed.
Continue reading “Who Else Sacrificed For Your Freedom?”

6 Tips For Surviving Solo Parenting

There are so many themes in Political Wife Life that non political spouses can identify with!

The 1950’s style family where one parent goes to the office and comes home at 5 p.m. while one parent stays home and runs the house is no longer the norm.

Solo parenting (where the parents are still in a relationship, but one person tends to do a majority of the parenting because the other parent works extremely long hours or is away for an extended period of time) is becoming more common. This has always been a reality for military families and political families.

Rocking Solo Parenting with the help of BABY WEARING
Rocking Solo Parenting with the help of BABY WEARING

Continue reading “6 Tips For Surviving Solo Parenting”