A profile of First Lady Melania Trump in Vanity Fair magazine paints the former model as bored and disinterested with the duties of First Lady and sources close to Mrs. Trump say that she has been dragged along behind her husband's political ambitions against her will.
“She never wanted this, and never had any interest," said one source to Vanity Fair's Evgenia Peretz. In fact, parents at her son Barron's school Columbia Prep in New York City say that in the days before the election, Melania Trump looked "thin, tired, and sad" and others reported her as being "terrified" of Trump's quest for office because "he might win."
"Melania seemed to do her best to ignore the new reality, on the grounds that she wanted to be home for Barron," Peretz wrote. "Over the course of Trump’s 17-month campaign, she rarely joined her husband at rallies, and the speeches she gave could be counted on one hand."
Since his election, she has remained in Manhattan, ostensibly so Barron, Trump's youngest child, could finish the school year, but sources close to the First Lady said that she has shown little eagerness to relocate to Washington, D.C. and join her husband in the White House.
"(T)here have been indications that she is in no particular rush," Peretz said.
While many presidential wives have taken advantage of their platform to promote an agenda close to their heart, friends of Melania's say the First Lady isn't particularly devoted to any charity or cause as is typically expected among the women of Manhattan's wealthy elite.
“She was passionate about... Well, I can’t think what she was passionate about,” said old friend Lisa Bytner when Vanity Fair asked where Mrs. Trump's deepest interests lie.
She is by all accounts a doting and attentive mother to Barron and mostly what she reportedly wants is "a luxurious home where she could indulge her hobbies -- Pilates and reading fashion magazines, according to People -- in peace, and a promise that she would never have to return to drab Eastern-European prospects," said Peretz.
Mrs. Trump said in November that her pet cause as First Lady would be the prevention of cyber bullying, which critics found particularly rich given her husband's lack of restraint on Twitter.
“(I)t was the height of spoiled self-centeredness," said Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus. "Of a very privileged, wealthy woman looking only at herself, who clearly has no thoughts or care for the people her husband has damaged, ruined, and traumatized by his cyberbullying.”
Unlike the president's elder daughter Ivanka, who has "an intense personal will to power" -- and a new West Wing office -- Melania appears wholly disinterested in everything to do with Washington. This might be to blame for reported tensions in the first family, said Peretz.
"Two sources in fashion and media have observed a frostiness between the two," she reported.
"What will become of Melania and Donald?" Peretz asked. Some people may hope for a "feminist fantasy" ending where Mrs. Trump dumps her boorish husband while he's in the White House.
Sex columnist and author Dan Savage told feminists and people calling for Trump to "Free Melania" not to get their hopes up.
“Pretty Melania," Savage said, is a birther who “went on TV to push the same racist conspiracy theories about Barack Obama that her husband did.”
“She’s an immigrant who doesn’t give a sh*t about the plight of other immigrants,” he said. “She’s famously a plagiarist. And she’s brought ruinous lawsuits against journalists and bloggers accusing them of among other things, potentially interfering with her ability to profit off her role as first lady.”