Nina Khrushcheva, the granddaughter of Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev, wrote about how Melania Trump’s role as First Lady is so different from those who came before her. Written in Quartz, Khrushcheva discussed the hidden nature of Melania’s role as First Lady. For one, Melania seldom speaks at public events and dresses in monochromatic outfits which “betray that overdressed Barbie nature.”
She also wrote that institutions like that of First Lady are described as “not fully formal, yet relevant” and are the first to fall into the backdrop under autocratic regimes. In regimes of Soviet Russia and other communist institutions, the idea of something such as a First Lady can take away the perception of power from a dictator.
Melania’s strikingly nonexistent White House life marks a dramatic departure from the institutional rules of American democracy—one of many such departures that have increasingly become the unfortunate hallmarks of this new administration.