First lady Melania Trump arrives for her “Be Best” initiative event in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, May 7, 2018, in Washington.
First lady Melania Trump finally stepped into the limelight this week to debut her anti-cyberbullying initiative, “Be Best.”
Her campaign has been puzzling to some, given her husband’s affinity for insulting his opponents on Twitter, and others ridiculed her for releasing an educational booklet that was virtually identical to one the Obama administration published.
But despite the criticisms, the first lady is generally well-liked among the public and is far more popular than her husband, polls show.
Though Trump is much more private than her predecessors, and spends much of her time away from the spotlight, 57% of Americans have said they have a favorable impression of her, according to a CNN poll released Monday.
Here are incredible facts about Trump that set her apart from other first ladies:
She is only the second first lady in American history born outside of the United States, in Slovenia. The only other foreign-born first lady was Louisa Catherine Johnson, the wife of John Quincy Adams, who was born in England.
Trump is also the only FLOTUS who grew up in a Communist country, back when Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia. Though money was tight for many people in the small town of Sevnica, people who knew Melanija Knavs back then said she was “always very fancy” and “never wore anything from the store.”
Trump is the only first lady to be her husband’s third spouse. Donald Trump was previously married to Marla Maples until 1999, and before that, Ivana Trump until 1992.
She’s also the only first lady whose first language wasn’t English.
Trump is a noted polyglot. She can speak more languages than any first lady before her: English, French, German, Italian, and Serbian, in addition to her native Slovenian.
Trump was a successful model, known for her appearances in Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and GQ. She’s also the only first lady to have posed nude for magazines, including a British GQ photo spread in 2000.
You might also recognize Trump from her appearance alongside the Aflac duck in a 2005 mad-scientist-themed insurance commercial.
While she towers over many people she meets, Trump is actually tied for tallest first lady with Michelle Obama and Eleanor Roosevelt, who were also 5-foot-11.
In addition to her modeling career, Trump was also a successful businesswoman, who launched her own jewelry and caviar-based skincare lines in 2010 and 2013, respectively.
Trump is only the second first lady who is a practicing Catholic — the first was Jaqueline Kennedy. That fact made Trump’s visit to the Vatican last May particularly meaningful; when she met Pope Francis she held out rosary beads for him to bless.
Unlike other first ladies, Trump also delayed her move into the White House until five months into her husband’s presidency.
Though some critics speculated that Trump was trying to shun her role as first lady, the Trumps have said the delay was because they wanted their son, Barron Trump, to finish out his 5th-grade school year in New York City.
But when she did finally move to Washington, the members of the permanent White House staff instantly adored her. It was her thoughtful, everyday interactions with the staff members that made Trump stand out among other first families, former staffers have said.
The Trumps reportedly “spend very little to no time together,” sleep in different bedrooms, and operate on completely separate schedules, according to some White House aides and friends.
There’s even a conspiracy theory going around Washington that Trump doesn’t live in the White House at all, and instead lives in a house with her parents near her son’s school.