Donald Trump, as both celebrity and president, has often been a controversial figure. However, his wife Melania has been mostly shrouded in mystery.
Once you peek beneath that shroud, though, you’ll find a life full of amazing transformations. Here are the top 10 events that completely transformed Melania Trump!
Melania came from a very humble background, born and raised in Communist-era Yugoslavia. However, she fantasized about moving, and her parents helped stoke that fantasy.
They helped Melania take regular winter trips to exotic locales such as Paris and Italy. This created a taste for world travel that would eventually bring Melania to America. However, her journey towards the United States was not one that she could ever have anticipated!
From the Classroom to the Runway
Believe it or not, Melania did not always have the ambition to be a model. She was highly focused on studying at the Secondary School of Design and Photography. But at the tender age of 16, fate dealt her a very different hand.
As she waited for a friend outside of a fashion show, Melania was discovered by a photographer named Stane Jerko. He taught her the ways of modeling and conducted her very first photoshoots. By 18, she signed to a Milan modeling agency and dropped out of school. However, she wouldn’t truly be a successful model until she did things her own way.
Modeling: She Did It Her Way
Melania landed in New York in 1996, but didn’t find the regular work she sought. She felt that time was running out because her work visa would soon expire and, at 26 years old, she was older than a typical model.
She turned her “age” into an asset, though. Melania took on cigarette ads, lingerie shoots, and even a nude photo spread in the British edition of GQ. It helped her career… though pretty soon, she would never need to work again.
Enter The Donald
In 1998, Melania met her future husband Donald Trump. And though Donald was clearly interested, she managed to establish some ground rules right away.
For example, she didn’t give him her number. Instead, she got all of his phone numbers instead. This helped set her apart from the other girls and eventually led to a whirlwind romance.
While dating Trump, Melania received an “Einstein visa” to stay in the U.S. in 2001. The visa is so nicknamed because it is awarded to immigrants with “extraordinary ability” and “sustained national and international acclaim.”
Fairy Tale Marriage
By all accounts, Melania wanted a wedding that wasn’t overly extravagant. However, everyone knows that “extravagant” is what Donald Trump does best!
Her engagement ring, for instance, was a whopping 12-carat ring. And her dress (including a 13 foot train) was so stunning that she ended up on the cover of Vogue. And her wild 2005 wedding reception reportedly cost over $34 million!
A New Career: Motherhood
In 2006, Melania became a U.S. citizen. But it was an important year for Melania for another reason. That year, Melania became a mother, giving birth to Barron Trump. At this point, motherhood became her new career. And it was a career that she took very seriously!
Despite having a bevy of workers to help with everything from cleaning to cooking, Melania refused to hire a nanny for Barron. This helped foster a close relationship between the two that lasts to this day.
The Open-Minded Relationship
In many ways, Donald and Melania Trump have an unconventional relationship. It’s not uncommon for the two to be far away from each other due to either professional or family obligations.
However, Melania quickly developed a life and relationship philosophy. She believes two independent people are happiest when they respect that independence. For her, this makes their time together that much more special. And this philosophy became especially important when Donald Trump became president.
Melania made waves when she did not immediately move into the White House with her husband. Instead, she stayed with Barron in New York so that he could finish the rest of the school year.
This is an extension of that close bond she developed with Barron early on. Melania is never afraid to put family first, and she has shown she will do anything to support her son.
New Runway, New Fashion
She ended up making a worldwide splash when she hit the runways as a model. However, Melania would eventually make some waves on a different kind of runway!
In June 2018, Melania shocked the world with a green jacket on an airplane runway. The jacket bore the writing “I really don’t care, do u?” in white letters. Controversy brewed over what sort of statement the first lady was trying to make. She later told ABC News she wore the jacket for the people “who are criticizing me. And I want to show them that I don’t care.”
On Being the “Best”
Despite the controversy with the green jacket, Melania has cultivated a reputation for tolerance and optimism. And the biggest example of this is her “Be Best” campaign, unveiled in May 2018.
Her “Be Best Initiative” focuses on helping children navigate life’s challenges. It also helps kids maintain their physical, mental, and emotional health. And this initiative shows that Melania is ready to show children all around the world the same love and devotion she has always shown to Barron.