Author of ‘FIRST WOMEN: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies’, Kate Andersen Brower explained in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk why First Ladies need a thicker skin thanks to social media. Melania took over the FLOTUS Twitter and Instagram accounts when her husband US President Donald Trump was inaugurated in 2017.
A spokeswoman for Melania at the time told Vanity Fair that once Trump is sworn in, Melania will tweet from the official FLOTUS account.
Before Melania took over, former First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted from the account.
The American author and journalist described how the modern First Lady is exposed on social media in a negative way.
She said: “I think social media has made everything more vitriolic and negative.
“And that has affected the way politicians and their spouses are perceived.
“People can say terrible things on social media and hide behind their phones and computer screens.
“First Ladies need to have thicker skins now than ever before.”
However, she also said that she did not think that Melania has received as much criticism as Michelle Obama.
She said: “Michelle Obama was a lightning rod for conservatives and people who didn’t agree with, or simply didn’t like, her husband.
“I think she incited far more negativity and she weathered the storms well.”
Ms Brower also explained how Melania could learn from Michelle and other former First Ladies like Laura Bush, wife of former US President George W Bush.
The author explained how the modern First Lady can use their public platform to harness power and influence if done in the right way.
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She said: “I think it would be helpful for her to talk to Laura Bush and Michelle Obama about how they harnessed their power and influence to make real change.
“I think Melania’s Be Best campaign is too broad to really be effective and the women who came before her could help her narrow down a topic to really focus in on.
“First Ladies have incredible power and influence because of their public platforms and I think every First Lady should aspire to make a real difference.”
Ms Brower has described Melania as being “the most private First Lady in modern times” who is less concerned about what people think of her.
She has described the modern role of the First Lady as something that can only be defined by the women in that position at the time.
Melania is currently being criticised for not mentioning the coronavirus until yesterday when she did so in a tweet from the FLOTUS Twitter account.
She said: “Our great country is fighting hard against the #Coronavirus. This nation is strong & ready & we will overcome.
“Please take action to prevent further spread. Visit http://cdc.gov for updated health info & updates.”
Ms Brower is a New York Times bestseller who lives just outside of Washington DC.
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