Melania Trump has double standards

Melania Trump distances herself from Slovenia in her speech

Melania Trump, possibly the next US First Lady, can only expect mild enthusiasm in her former homeland, Slovenia. One reason for this is likely to be the attitude of the 46-year-old billionaire's wife towards Slovenia, which she recently affirmed in a quarter-hour speech at a Republican election rally near Philadelphia.

"I was born in a small town in what was then communist Slovenia. I am an immigrant," she said. "And believe me - no one values ​​the freedom and opportunity in America more than I do. It would be an honor and a privilege for me to serve this country," she said.

In their old homeland one reacts sniffly to such forgetting of history. "The typical Slovenian double standard can be seen precisely in the example of Melania Trump. On the one hand, we admire it as we admire everyone who has achieved something in pop culture," says Melita Forstnerič-Hajnšek, culture editor of the daily newspaper "Večer", during a conversation in Maribor opposite the STANDARD. "On the other hand, we have a lot of negativity and envy. As far as Melania is concerned, there is simply no national pride. There is no identification."

Because even if she occasionally refers to her Slovenian origins, she never speaks in her mother tongue in front of cameras. Even with her old acquaintances, Melania no longer wants to speak in Slovenian.

Melania's Facebook profile full of luxury and fashion photos

Her Facebook profile does not indicate her European background with any post; According to Facebook, she only celebrates American holidays and publishes photos of the luxury apartment in Trump Tower and the view of Central Park, fashion selfies and photographs of her ten-year-old son Barron. She also congratulated herself on her birthday on April 26th. Everything in English.

Only the second non-US native first lady

Even with statements like "Being an American is the greatest privilege on earth", as she said in her speech at the Republican party congress in July, she may not be doing well in Slovenia. However, she would only be the second first lady in US history not born in the United States. The first First Lady with roots outside the United States was the British Louisa Adams, the wife of the sixth US President John Quincy Adams (1825-1829). Almost 200 years later, next to the Republican presidential candidate, who is known for his racist statements, is a woman with Slavic roots and a Russian accent.

Melanija Knavs became Melania Trump

Melanija Knavs, who changed her name to Knauss after immigrating to the USA, comes from a small town called Sevnica in southeastern Slovenia. Coming from a simple family in the country, she was already gripped by wanderlust in her childhood. At 22, Melania had her first breakthrough as a model in Milan. Her photographs first appeared in Slovenian fashion magazines, soon afterwards she worked with photographers in Paris and Milan and appeared on the magazine covers of "Vogue", "Harper's Bazar", "Glamor", "Vanity Fair" and "Elle". She continued her modeling career after moving to the USA in 1995, but she never had a really big breakthrough.

She wanted to get away from her "boring home" - her dreams have always been big. Or as Bojan Požar sums up a bit sensationally in his unauthorized Melania Trump biography: "Melanija Knavs has many typical Slovenian characteristics on her way to success: from being a reserved couch potato, she becomes an adaptable partner for Donald Trump. in contrast to his first two wives Ivana Trump and Marla Maples - also could keep. "

"From a Slovenian communist village to the White House"

Bojan Požar, a prominent Slovenian journalist, says in his work that Melania is ashamed because she comes from Sevnica, but that she also wants to be important in Slovenia. In the book "Melania Trump: The Inside Story. From a Slovenian communist village to the White House", which was first published in English, Požar also criticizes what he considers to be inadequate reporting by the Slovenian media about the Trump couple. The left-wing journalistic circles in Slovenia are said to have a tendency to ignore it or only to summarize reports from foreign media. "If 'our' Melania were to stand alongside a young democrat in the running for the presidency, they would idolize the Slovenian media," he writes.

The publication of the biography in Slovenia in June changed the previously lukewarm reporting - since the summer the Slovenian media have been full of reports on the republican candidate couple. It is difficult to judge whether some of these are just summaries of the foreign media. After the publication of the detailed biography in which Bojan Požar and his co-author Igor Omerza revealed Melania's story, major media houses such as CNN and BBC rushed to Sevnica to make reports.

Much more than a few old acquaintances, the delighted mayor and one of Melania's five ex-friends (most of whom had very popular Vespas at the time) could not find her. Melania's parents and sister have all lived in New York for a long time and always avoid media attention. People who know or knew Melania personally say that she is a very restrained and calm woman, smart and kind-hearted. The reports and, above all, the user comments in the Slovenian online media seem to be a bit more colorful.

Slovenian media are looking for points of criticism

The daily Delo published an article at the end of July with the title: "The world is on fire, Melania is on the screens" as a criticism of Slovenian radio for too many light topics about celebrities instead of in-depth background coverage. One of the most popular news portals in Slovenia, "24ur.com", even wrote: "The claim that Melania Trump has a diploma is as credible as her speech yesterday" - in relation to Melania's plagiarism speech at the US Republican Congress. The tabloid "Slovenske Novice" (Slovenian News) goes a little further: "Because of Melania, the USA also make fun of Slovenia, she is a hot commodity among comedians" or "First lady with bad taste".

Melania Trump recently sued the Slovenian journalist Tomaž Mihelič, who claimed in an article in the Slovenian magazine "Suzy" that she worked as an escort lady during her time as a model. Mihelič is not allowed to comment on this.

From a man catcher to a woman who lives her dream

Some of the user comments go well below the belt. Melania was lying, a man-catcher from Sevnica and a poor woman, caught in her own avarice. It is a bad campaign for Slovenia because it glorifies Americanism and denies its roots. Trump's wallet opens many "doors and legs". Melania still speaks pidgin English after so many years in the US and that is not a sign of intelligence, wrote someone else. One commentator even went so far as to rephrase the Latin proverb in connection with Melania: per vagina ad astra.

A slightly smaller number of comments, on the other hand, are extremely positive: hats off, she made it in the world; unlike many Slovenes, she is living her dream; there are millions of women who would like to be in their place; in the world she does more for Slovenia than any athlete or artist; she is an intelligent and capable woman, and her husband is a business genius who represents the rebirth of US society. Many users are also discussing how Trump's victory would affect Slovenia and what Melania could do for Slovenia. Tourism promotion through the Trump brand, for example.

Public opinion about Melania Trump is very divided in Slovenia. The negative attitude predominates, although Melania certainly also has larger fan groups, says Forstnerič-Hajnšek. A user comment on "24ur.com" sums up the discussion: "Let Melania be, because if she is to become First Lady, you will suddenly boast that she is from Slovenia." (Anja Malenšek, November 4, 2016)