After weeks of speculation and wild theorizing, the people of the U.S. can finally rest easy after receiving confirmation that First Lady Melania Trump was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the smudgy figure in a blurry black dress we saw for two seconds at an event where the press wasn’t allowed.
Frankly, I’m relieved.
That’s right, as the White House said she would be, Mrs. Trump appeared alongside her husband Monday night at an event honoring Gold Star families. She even tweeted photos of herself at said event to put to rest any speculation:
- Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) June 5, 2018
Computer, enhance. Ah yes, she’s the woman with hair next to Donald Trump.
Hopefully this puts to rest some of the sillier speculation about Melania - also clearly a clone. https://t.co/J7zPrCKT8p
- andrew kaczynski🤔 (@KFILE) June 5, 2018
And while FLOTUS’ last tweeted remark on the subject, presumably written by a vaguely right-leaning algorithm, chided the media for suggesting anything untoward, her weeks without a public appearance were unprecedented. In fact, it was the longest break a First Lady has taken in modern history, since she hadn’t been seen publicly since May 10, four days before she went in for treatment of a benign kidney condition. That’s a long time! Naturally, there were a slew of theories about where she actually was, ranging from the mundane to the exotic.
Here are five of the most intriguing possibilities.
Some folks on Twitter speculated that maybe the Stormy Daniels scandal (I know it was 30 scandals ago, but try to remember) was the last straw for FLOTUS, and she left the man who is, somehow, still, the sitting President of the United States.
I like to picture Melania on a kind of Eat. Pray. Love. adventure where she gets her groove back and doesn’t have to think about how she married a man who sometimes thinks her name is actually Melanie.
What if Melania left Trump and is crashing at the Obama’s while she files for divorce?
- Red (@Redpainter1) June 3, 2018
She Got Plastic Surgery
Still others on Twitter suggested that, rather than treatment for a benign kidney condition as the White House suggested, Melania actually underwent plastic surgery and had a longer recovery time than expected.
Can everyone calm down. Melania probably just got plastic surgery. It's fine.
- lyz lenz (@lyzl) June 4, 2018
It is fine, because Melania can do whatever she likes with her own body and appearance. And it’s also not weird that the White House would cover it up, since the President famously put Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski on blast for allegedly getting a facelift, and it would be a little hypocritical.
Then again, fear of hypocrisy hasn’t really stopped a politician before so who knows.
She Has a Body Double
This one actually predates her disappearance and doesn’t really help in explaining why she was gone, but it’s so deliciously conspiratorial that it must be included. There’s long been speculation that Melania Trump doesn’t actually make some of her public appearances and instead calls in a ringer.
This is not Melania. To think they would go this far & try & make us think its her on TV is mind blowing. Makes me wonder what else is a lie pic.twitter.com/JhPVmXdGit
- Joe Vargas (@JoeVargas) October 18, 2017
Or maybe that's Melanie? This theory is pretty Twilight Zone to be convincing, but that was back in October so imagine how this same corner of the internet is reacting now.
We are through the looking glass here, people!
Her Disappearance Is an Elaborate Ruse to Make the Media Look Bad
Could hiding Melania for weeks actually be intentional, so that Trump’s hated mainstream media comes up with theories about where she went, only so the administration could parade her out and point to said theories as further proof that the press is just peddling fake news? Maybe!
What if Donald Trump is keeping Melania Trump in hiding in the hopes that the left will spin wild conspiracy theories which he can use against the #resistance to claim we are all just crazy lunatics who will say anything out of hatred for him? Be careful out there & join the #FBR
- James Kosur (@JamesKosur) June 2, 2018
This one gives some serious credit to whoever's running the show at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but falls in line with much of Trump’s ballyhooing about his unfair treatment in the press. It also lines up with what 60 Minutes legend Leslie Stahl recounted recently, about why the President says he maligns the press so much:
“I said, ‘You know, that is getting tired. Why are you doing this?’ And [Trump] said, ‘You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.'”
No one will believe you. (Shudders.)
Look, there are a million reasons Melania Trump might not be around, and we can speculate about her whereabouts 'til the First Lady comes home, but it might be missing the point: This is an administration that’s perfectly comfortable letting past presidential decorum fly out the window. Not only does this push the limits of how long the President and his ilk can get away with misdirection, but it shows who will come to their defense when they do. Yeah, bizarre conspiracy theories are fun, but they’re also a way to remember how truly not normal much of President Trump’s behavior in office has been.
Also, this is clearly the correct answer:
CONSPIRACY THEORY: Melania Trump is in the Upside Down & it's such a relaxing chance of pace, she's staying there.
- Aparna Nancherla (@aparnapkin) June 3, 2018
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