If video footage from Donald and Melania Trump’s recent travels are any indication, it would appear the first lady is taking a distinctively hands-off approach when it comes to her politico husband — quite literally. In the second example to surface this week, Melania Trump appears to reject the president’s attempt to hold her hand.
In this instance, the presidential pair can be seen exiting Air Force One in Rome on Tuesday. Just before they begin their descent down the stairs, Donald Trump reaches for his wife’s hand. Only it isn’t there anymore because she had moved it away mere seconds before contact was made in order to brush the hair out of her face.
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) May 23, 2017
Normally, such a subtle move on Melania Trump’s part may not even have garnered attention. However, it happened right on the heels of a video circulating one day prior that seems to show the first lady actually swatting her husband’s hand away.
POTUS and FLOTUS were later photographed holding hands, but the brief conciliatory moment did little to distract the internet from what appeared to be two rejections in as many days for the president.
Ahead of this overseas trip — which is the first for the couple since Donald Trump became president — Melania Trump seemed excited enough, saying, “I am very excited for the upcoming trip. This will not just be an opportunity to support my husband as he works on important matters of national security and foreign relations, it will also be my honor to visit and speak with women and children from different countries, with different perspectives.”
So although there’s no way to know for sure what was going through her mind in those moments, we can certainly speculate — the most popular theory is that Melania Trump is trapped in a loveless and stifling marriage, and these are her little rebellions.
However, there are plenty of far less depressing possibilities.
In the video that surfaced on May 22, Melania and Donald Trump were in the Middle East. It’s possible that Melania Trump is more aware of the cultural expectations of the region than her husband is, and therefore she knew that in some parts of the Middle East, women often walk behind men and don’t hold hands with them.
In the video that surfaced on May 23, the first lady could seriously have just been trying to get the hair out of her eyes. It was a windy day, she knew the paparazzi would be out in full force taking photos and she wanted to put her best face forward, so to speak.
And lastly, maybe she’s just annoyed with her husband over an argument they had in private. I know I’ve been known to ice my husband out on occasion, and I find him far less offensive than I find 45. Point being, no matter what Melania Trump does, it’s going to be met with the highest level of scrutiny.
Sometimes that scrutiny will yield truly interesting perspectives (like when Melania Trump’s Twitter account liked a negative tweet about her relationship), and other times it will leave us all wondering whether the first lady hates her husband or just needed to straighten her gosh-damn hair.