Today is First Lady Melania Trump’s 49th birthday, and the White House commemorated the day by posting a photograph of her sitting by herself in the Oval Office during a bilateral meeting between President Donald Trump and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis.
The photograph, taken in early March, shows the press ignoring the First Lady in favor of her husband.
The picture also appears to be a rather accurate representation of Mrs. Trump’s time in the White House, as many observed.
Someone at the White House picked a “Happy Birthday @FLOTUS” photo that perfectly sums up her marriage: She's all alone on a sofa while everyone in the room ignores her, while she side-eyes them. pic.twitter.com/iQMLAxuHQi
— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) April 26, 2019
What a lovely image of Melania with her faithful companion, an empty couch cushion.
— Lucas Barton (@OldSchoolGamer) April 26, 2019
The abject lack of joy and humanity is right on brand for the @GOP
Where are her child and husband?
— Greg Proops (@GregProops) April 26, 2019
Ah, there she is. Surrounded by her loving family on her birthday. Oh, wait…
— Yvonne Left (@LeftYvonne) April 26, 2019
The photographers are not aiming at her, they're aiming at someone just in front and to her right. See all the microphones? Probably trump. They're wishing FLOTUS a happy birthday by showing how much attention her husband gets. Narcisism, anybody?
— MakeAWish (@WishingWontWork) April 26, 2019
Of all the photos of Melania you could've chosen, it's the one where a gang of press is focusing on someone else while she depressingly looks at them pissed off.
— Patricia Lomden (@neverdisparage) April 26, 2019
The photograph even sparked a few new memes, of which one of Melania flanked on one side by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, is the most pointed.
Well, the right side has been tarnished pic.twitter.com/IEUNJWd7cr
— View from my Office (@viewfrommyoffic) April 26, 2019
The day the photograph was taken––March 7––was also the day Mrs. Trump and Monika Babisova, the wife of Prime Minister Babis, shared an awkward moment after their husbands left them hanging outside the White House.
A video of the guests’ arrival shows President Trump greeting Babis and Babisova after they step out of a black car.
Trump then leads Babis inside as the First Lady steps aside, seemingly waiting for the traditional photo opportunity before heading into the White House. Babisova stands back as well and the two women look at their husbands leaving together before they both shrug and follow.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania welcomed Prime Minister Andrej Babis and Mrs. Monika Babisova of the Czech Republic for their first official visit to the White House pic.twitter.com/Gq6RL8n47t
— POLITICO (@politico) March 7, 2019
The moment, for many critics, demonstrated the two world leaders’ lack of basic chivalry.
The First Lady, for her part, says she and Babisova spent that day discussing “the many important issues children are facing around the world today,” in accordance with her #BeBest campaign.
It was wonderful to welcome the Prime Minister & his wife Monika Babišová of the Czech Republic to the @WhiteHouse today. I enjoyed speaking with Mrs. Babišová about the many important issues children are facing around the world today. #BeBest pic.twitter.com/4QZsF7Wb32
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) March 7, 2019
It’s odd that the White House would choose that photograph of Mrs. Trump when they have thousands of others––including many of her meeting with children––at their disposal, but the Trumpian years have been strange indeed.