First lady Melania Trump marks first year with grace and dignity

Melania Trump, who on Saturday marks the end of her first year as first lady, has conducted herself with grace and dignity. She’s had to navigate an onslaught of detractors and a hostile media that follow her every move, looking for any opportunity to undermine her efforts and diminish her position.  

The first lady carries herself with an understated elegance and, known for her privacy, she’s measured in her words and actions. Since she chooses to stay below the radar most of the time she doesn’t give her critics much material to work with.

But have no fear, they’ll resort to schoolyard antics. We saw a lot of that this year.

It didn’t take long after the election results were in for a barrage of designers to begin announcing they would refuse to dress the first lady. Among them, Sophie Theallet, who said: “As one who celebrates and strives for diversity, individual freedom, and respect for all lifestyles, I will not participate in dressing or associating in any way with the next First Lady.”

Liberals never seem to get the irony of demanding diversity, freedom and respect while refusing to give the same things in return. The street has two lanes, but they think they own both.

Liberals never seem to get the irony of demanding diversity, freedom and respect while refusing to give the same things in return. The street has two lanes, but they think they own both.

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FILE -- President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at the Inauguration Freedom Ball in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.  (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

Then there was stiletto-gate, an absurd debate about the first lady’s choice of shoes. Otherwise known as much ado about nothing.

Mrs. Trump became front-page news and lit up Twitter when she left the White House wearing high heels to get on Air Force One to go to Texas with President Trump to assess damage from Hurricane Harvey. Never mind that when the plane landed she walked off wearing sneakers.

The vultures saw their window of opportunity to attack and went for it. In a world where major newsworthy events are happening every day, news outlets picked the first lady’s shoes as the big event worth highlighting.

Mrs. Trump has also been criticized for her anti-cyberbullying campaign because her critics think it’s at odds with the president’s Twitter habits. The first lady has said of her initiative: “It is never OK when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked, bullied or attacked. It is terrible when that happens on the playground and it is absolutely unacceptable when it’s done by someone with no name hiding on the internet.”

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FILE -- First lady Melania Trump arrive for a group picture at the Royal Castle of Laeken in Brussels, May 25, 2017.  (REUTERS/Hannah Mckay)

The first lady is her own person, and no matter your opinion of the president’s tweets, those on the other end of them are not children.

Entertainer Chelsea Handler, always good for a hysterical tirade, also went after the first lady, accusing her of not being able to speak English. Newsflash to Handler: Mrs. Trump speaks five languages.

U.S. First Lady Melania Trump greets school children as she tours the holiday decorations with reporters at the White House in Washington, U.S. November 27, 2017.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RC1A66CC6040

FILE -- First Lady Melania Trump greets school children as she tours the holiday decorations with reporters at the White House in Washington, U.S. November 27, 2017.  (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

The only language Handler speaks is the feminist fiction that she and her liberal Hollywood friends unleash on anyone who disagrees with them. Her attempt at trying to make Mrs. Trump sound unintelligent missed its target, but ricocheted back and found a new one. Perhaps Handler could learn a few things about grace from the first lady.

Melania Trump’s critics also took the opportunity to use this year’s White House Christmas decorations to bash her, something somewhat unprecedented. Phrases like “house of horrors” were used to describe the decor. The New Yorker referred to Mrs. Trump as a “wicked queen,” and she was repeatedly criticized for wearing a coat while decorating the Christmas tree.

One hallway in the White House was decorated in all white and lined with trees. The first lady’s detractors compared it to “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “The Blair Witch Project,” and “The Shining.” She was even criticized at one point during the White House Christmas festivities because she was caught interacting with predominantly African-American children.

The Trump administration is supposed to be racist, so Mrs. Trump’s haters needed to change that narrative. Their answer: accuse her of staging the encounter.

First lady Melania Trump chat with children as she visits American International School of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 21, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC18D1ABCC70

FILE -- First lady Melania Trump chat with children as she visits American International School of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 21, 2017.  (REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed)

Mrs. Trump’s first year as our country’s first lady has been a success. She’s kept her composure despite unprecedented attacks against her husband, her son, and herself by a media intent on making news instead of reporting it.

Through it all she’s kept a low profile while holding her head high. All the intolerant women on the left could learn a lot from Melania about dignity and respect if they stopped talking long enough to listen.

Lauren DeBellis Appell was deputy press secretary for then-Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., in his successful 2000 re-election campaign, as well as assistant communications director for the Senate Republican Policy Committee (2001-2003).