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Is Melania Trump the modern-day Marie Antoinette?


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Melania Trump is featured on the cover of February’s Vanity Fair Mexico in diamonds – a must see.

The First Lady is wearing diamond rings and bracelets and posed as if she is “eating” a bowl of stringed jewels like spaghetti. Inside the issue, there is another photo of Melania drinking a jewel-laced cocktail through a straw.

Her cover photo is being criticized as insensitive and out of touch, coming at a tense time between Mexico and the U.S.

This is a time when Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is refusing to pay for the border wall Trump intends to build. As nearly half the Mexican people live in poverty, Melania is seen literally playing with her jewelry.

Yet the cover photo is less known in the U.S. and nobody I have talked to about it has heard of or seen it themselves.

Looking at these images, a certain phrase came to mind: “Let them eat cake.”

Historians argue whether or not this is something that the infamous French Queen Marie Antoinette actually said but nevertheless, Antoinette is bound to it forever.

After having this first revelation, I began to realize our First Lady and the former Queen of France have more in common than meets the eye.

For those of you who aren’t as familiar with past French monarchs (or who haven’t seen the film “Marie Antoinette” with Kirsten Dunst), here is a quick history lesson.

Marie Antoinette was born in Austria as Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna – not very French. She married the crown prince of France, Louis XVI at the age of fifteen.

The French people thought Marie Antoinette did not know her people at all and rumors spread the Antoinette was a foreign spy.

Antoinette also became known as a spendthrift or, in simpler terms, the girl had a shopping problem.

She frequently wore the most high-end fashion, gambled all night in Versailles and lived in luxury as her people starved. The French blamed their economic depression in part on her spending habits.

The two also married powerful men from other countries.

Antoinette was born in Austria and moved to France upon her engagement to the Dauphin whereas Melania is from Slovenia and married Donald Trump. She did not know it at the time but she married the future president of the United States.

Currently, the First Lady is residing in Trump Tower with her and Trump’s son Barron. This is occurring at the same time as New York City foots the bill for her stay.

Many people are outraged that our country can afford to support her lifestyle as the people in Flint, Michigan still have lead-poisoned water. This does not even include the cost to cart President Trump back and forth to Mar-a-Lago every weekend to work on his golf game.

Melania Trump is miserable and this is not the life she wanted, according to a recent article published in the New York Post.

She feels trapped by Trump’s decision and rarely leaves their $100 million penthouse in Trump Tower.

One positive attribute the two women seem to share, however, is a love for their children. The reason the First Lady is staying in Trump Tower alongside Barron is so he can finish the school year uninterrupted.

On the campaign trail, Melania’s appearances were rare due to her primary devotion to raising her child. Marie Antoinette is described as also being very focused on her children and their education.

But was Marie Antoinette really the reason France went bankrupt followed by a subsequent revolution and fall of the French monarchy? Or was she a scapegoat, a woman to put the blame on during difficult times?

Sure, Melania Trump gracing the cover of a magazine appearing to eat a string of jewels as if they were spaghetti isn’t the best thing to do given the current state of the world.

It does, nonetheless, beg the question if she is really the person we want to be aiming our anger and frustration at.

Will she prove to be careless with the American people’s money? And most importantly, could this presidency in any way lead to another American Revolution?

Molly Dietz is an arts staff writer and can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com


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