Melania Trump may be married to controversial leader President Donald Trump, but her style choices have caused rows over recent years too. The First Lady has been criticised for her signature oversized sunglasses, which she’ll regularly wear for state events. But experts believe the look may be a way to disguise her insecurities.
Melania was a fashion model in her youth, working in Milan and Paris before she moved to New York and fronted many glossy magazine covers.
“Quite a lot of models are shy, a bit like actors – they feel that they’re a different person on the catwalk, hiding behind the clothes, feeling that they’re invisible and the clothes are doing all the talking,” explained Lucy.
“My sense about Melania is that her big issue is around being on the world stage, though of course it might also be about who she’s married to, and maybe she’s a bit embarrassed about the things he says; obviously wearing the sunglasses means we [wouldn’t see any] horror or eye rolling!”
The First Lady often has to stand on the sidelines while her husband Donald Trump is addressing an audience.
But while it may be a helpful tool for when the cameras are rolling and she wants to keep her opinions to herself, Lucy thinks it’s also about putting up barriers.
“She can literally hide; she can be on the world stage meeting the most famous people on the planet, but the real Melania is hidden away.
“I think the sunglasses are a weapon to protect herself. It’s her little cave that she retreats into; her body is there but she is behind those dark glasses so we can’t see what she’s thinking.”
Hiding your eyes is a quick and effective way to make sure your audience can’t tell what you’re thinking.
“Your eyes can give away a lot about you and I suspect that’s why she wears them,” agreed Lucy, who thinks while it may not have been a conscious decision initially, it is now the First Lady’s go-to trick to get through her state visits.
However, while Melania might be wearing the glasses to protect herself, the people around her might also feel the effect as it puts the power in her hands.
“The very large, 70s-style sunglasses that she favours are without doubt incredibly flattering on her, and also add to her power dressing,” commented Gemma, who has worked on Channel 5’s 10 Years Younger programme.
“They can make people look more authoritative, and as Melania is inherently quite shy, perhaps they also offer her some added confidence.”
Meeting someone who won’t remove their dark shades can almost be intimidating because you’re unable to detect how they’re reacting to you, according to Lucy.
“If you’re not able to see into the windows of their soul, you can’t pick up their true emotions, can’t work out whether they like you or whether they are receptive to what you’re saying,” the agony aunt explained.
The psychotherapist said this is something that more and more people are experiencing through the use of apps such as Zoom, as human contact is lost due to the pandemic.
“Because you’re not so close, you’re not close enough to really see what’s happening in the eyes, and it’s all in the eyes! It disorientates us, it wrong-foots us,” added Lucy.