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Melania Trump Maintaining Michelle Obama's Legacy

Melania Trump Maintaining Michelle Obama's Legacy Promo Image

Once again, first lady Melania Trump is making headlines for "borrowing" from former first lady Michelle Obama.

Media outlets report the current first lady is lifting a lot of her predecessor's ideas about everything from fashion to policy. Her continuation of Michelle Obama's legacy stands in stark contrast to President Donald Trump, who is doing everything in his power to undo anything put in place by former President Barack Obama.

Michelle Obama, for example, was the first to break tradition and wear more fashionable and trendy clothing instead of conventional jewel-toned suits. Michelle Obama was often praised for appearing more relatable to the rest of the country by dressing in J. Crew and other fashion brands that were less expensive and more accessible.

Melania Trump, as a former model, has taken a lot of criticism for her towering heels and designer style that some have called elitist and out of touch. Recently, the current first lady seems to have taken some cues from her predecessor and started dressing more like the rest of the country.

On Aug. 26, Melania Trump was seen wearing a discontinued J. Crew gingham shirt that sold for around $75, according to Vanity Fair. First son Barron Trump has been spotted in graphic tees and khaki shorts, also from J. Crew.

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Melania Trump isn't just imitating Michelle Obama's style -- she also seems to be continuing a lot of the former first lady's policy initiatives, according to The Associated Press. Trump has kept the White House vegetable garden and is interested in the same issues that Michelle Obama championed during her time as first lady, including women's empowerment, military families and children's rights.

In September, Melania will lead the U.S. delegation to the Invictus Games, a competition for wounded military veterans. Since the games were created in 2014 by Britain's Prince Harry, Michelle Obama was a partner and has helped promote them throughout the years. 

"[Melania] really did admire Michelle Obama very much," said Myra Gutin, author of "The President’s Partner: The First Lady in the Twentieth Century." "Maybe she’s following in those footsteps and is expressing her admiration by doing things that, if they aren’t the same, are similar."

But the president doesn't seem to have the same admiration for the former first lady. As one of his first acts in office, he partially rolled back federal regulations that Michelle Obama championed as part of her healthy lifestyle initiative. Schools will now have more time to cut back the amount of sodium in their lunches and the Food and Drug Administration will postpone its introduction of nationwide food labels that help consumers easily see how many calories and added sugars are in products.

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Jean Harris, professor of political science and women's studies at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, said it's easier for Melania Trump to pay homage to Michelle Obama because the former first lady was incredibly popular.

"[Melania's] not going to get criticized for that kind of stuff because it worked for Michelle, even though her husband’s administration is backtracking on some things," she said.

Sources: Vanity Fair, AP via Detroit News / Featured Image: The White House/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Melania Trump/Twitter, DoD News/Flickr

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