Most political spouses have a “thing” whether they like it or not. Laura Bush’s thing was “library.” Tipper Gore’s thing was “roiling hatred of naughty music.” Michelle Obama’s thing is “exercise arms.” Melania Trump’s thing so far has been “plagiarism” and that’s a damn shame, because her thing should be “low-key weirdo.” Her Twitter presence proves it.
Before the campaign kicked off, Melania Trump’s Twitter behavior was pleasantly confounding. It was like watching a bot who learned to play human solely by studying Bethenny Frankel, except the bot wasn’t quite there yet and kept glitching. Melania sandwiched creepy, poorly lit paparazzi photos between innocuous selfies, snapshots of snowy NYC, and photos of flowers. One time she claimed to make an organic pepperoni pizza even though it was clearly not a homemade pizza. And the only time she ‘liked’ a tweet, it was her own tweet. That’s fucked up. That’s deviant. That’s my gal. This was a “normal” Melania dispatch, pre-Trump candidacy:
Yes, Melania wanted to remind the world she was in Zoolander and she thought the best way to do that was to take this screenshot of a result from a Google alert set for herself. A madwoman. Nowadays, Mel T. limits herself to sending out stiff statements about gaffes and accusations. Her feeds have been leeched of their delightful kookiness. But there’s one part of Twitter where Weird Melania still reigns: her follow list, consisting of 89 people and brands — a fascinating peephole into the Twisted Domain of Melania.
Twitter doesn’t tell you the exact date that a user started following someone, but it arranges followers from first followed to last followed. For Melania Trump, the chronological order of her Twitter follows provides a haunting narrative of a demented genius being tamped down by the Man. Here are the important ones:
Lady Gaga: The very first person Melania Trump followed on Twitter was Lady Gaga. This was a “pure” follow — not for political purposes, just for Melania purposes. This might seem unusual on the surface, since Lady Gaga is an outspoken liberal and Melania Trump is an outspoken nothing. Also, Melania doesn’t seem like she particularly likes music. Her few music-related tweets are mostly about how “fabulous” Aerosmith is. Highly suspicious. But that doesn’t matter — Melania didn’t follow Gaga because of music. Melania thinks Lady Gaga is a hilarious comedian. “Lady Gaga — she’s hilarious!” Melania Trump has said at some recent point.
Melania thinks the “meat dress” was a witty gas for the ages, and still references it to this day.
“Did you see the Meat Dress ,” Melania texted Ivanka just last week.
“Yes,” Ivanka texted back.
Melania was a little disappointed because she had hoped Ivanka would keep the conversation going.
Elton John: This one seems odd too, but guess who played at Melania’s wedding? Sir Elton John played! This follow doesn’t change my theory that Melania doesn’t listen to music. Tony Bennett, Billy Joel, and Paul Anka also played at the Trump-Knauss nuptials, and Melania doesn’t follow any of them. I believe that Melania thinks of Elton John as the most polite member of her wedding band, and she followed him as a courtesy.
“Do you like ‘Daniel’?” Melania texted Ivanka, but Ivanka never responded.
Pretty much every Vogue-adjacent Twitter account: Melania follows @voguemagazine, @VogueRunway, @BritishVogue, @VogueParis, @vogue_italia, @VogueTVvideo and the personal Twitter accounts for Vogue stalwarts Andre Leon Talley and Hamish Bowles. Melania also follows other magazine and designer accounts. I counted, and 48 of the accounts Melania follows are explicitly about fashion. That’s well over half of all the accounts she follows! I’m not going to talk about any more of her fashion follows though, because that’s Melania’s boring side. Carrying on…
Eric Trump: Eric is the first Trump child Melania followed. Is he, perhaps, her favorite stepkid?? I’m going to go with yes. Melania does follow Ivanka as well, but she followed her long after Eric, because Melania was hoping Ivanka would follow her first but then she finally gave in.
In a sign of marvelous savagery, Melania doesn’t follow Donald Trump Jr. or Tiffany Trump.
A Twitter egg named “@BARRONTRUMP”: No photo, no tweets, not many followers — it’s not clear that this Twitter account has anything to do with the actual 10-year-old human child Barron Trump, except that Melania used to regularly tweet about @BARRONTRUMP as though it was the active account of her child. Perhaps Melania signed this account up so she could save the name for her son once he came of tweetin’ age. If so, though, why is he still a Twitter egg? Going through the effort of securing a Twitter account in advance for someone, and going through the effort of making sure it follows you and only you (@MELANIATRUMP is the only account @BARRONTRUMP follows), but not bothering to change its avatar from an egg is a baffling move and thus it is a Totally Melania Move.
Jane Fonda: You’d think that this follow tells us that Melania is hinting at a secret insurgent progressiveness, but it doesn’t. It tells us that her absolute favorite movie of all time is Georgia Rule.
Rachel Roy and Jay Z: Melania follows Rachel Roy and Jay Z but NOT BEYONCÉ. Melania is the world’s only Roy-Carter shipper.
Wendy Williams: The Wendy Williams Show is Melania’s favorite TV show.
Donald Trump: Her husband is the last and most recent person Melania Trump followed on Twitter, just after she followed Mike Bloomberg. This is an impressively ruthless burn and I can only imagine it stems from Melania’s frustration that her one true creative outlet, Twitter.com, was taken away from her because of her husband’s ambitions. Donald Trump has been accused of many shenanigans and chicaneries since his presidential campaign began, but nobody talks about how he stole Weird Melania from us. This late-in-the-game pity follow is our Melania’s way of saying that she noticed.