Since Donald Trump’s election as President, the Internet has had a field day with the running joke that Melania Trump is completely and utterly miserable.
There’s been a ‘Save Melania’ movement, encouraging the 46-year-old former model to divorce the President. Online, people genuinely appear to think their relationship is abusive.
Either way, people are convinced Melania doesn’t want to be First Lady, and is currently living out her worst nightmare.
Now, several U.S. publications claim there is truth behind the memes, with a report in Us Weekly quoting family and friends as saying the First Lady is "miserable," "struggling," and "unhappy with how her life ended up."
A friend of the family, stylist Phillip Bloch told the publication, "this life wasn't her dream. It was Donald's."
"Truthfully, it’s a lot to cope with," he said.
It's been widely reported that Melania has spent most of her time inside her New York City apartment since inauguration day, and Bloch says, "she is staying hidden more" since her husband's Presidency.
A family source has said Melania doesn't drive her 10-year-old son Barron to school anymore, and instead "has the Secret Service take Barron to school and retrieve him."
Listen to the Mamamia Out Loud team discuss the ethics of mocking Melania. Post continues after audio.
On February 11, the First Lady showed the wife of the Japanese Prime Minister, Akie Abe, around Palm Beach, Florida, during a visit. While she appeared to enjoy hosting the family, a source reportedly told Us Weekly "Don’t let her smile in those photos fool you, she hates this."
Sources also said the White House team recently requested Melania come to Washington to pose for press photos as First Lady. One family source said, "She was told, ‘All you need to do is show up on one day and take photos," but she declined to attend.
Another source is quoted as saying, "Melania is unhappy with how her life ended up. She is miserable."
A number of stories in recent weeks have led people to believe Melania won't be playing a major role as First Lady. Indeed, she did seem to vanish from public view after her husband's inauguration, and two weeks ago, she didn't accompany the President to Delaware to pay respects to a fallen member of the Navy SEALs.
It also came as a shock when she decided she wouldn't be moving into the White House with her husband once he was sworn in, instead choosing to stay with her son Barron in the family's Manhattan penthouse.
While it's inherently difficult to assess the credibility of the sources published in the latest edition of Us Weekly, the story points to the very real possibility that our jokes about Melania Trump might be eerily close to the truth.