History, traditions
Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

First ladies and their husbands: Smile, smile, smile

42274.jpegTheir husbands hold the highest public positions. Do these women sit quietly in the shadows of their husbands honoring their title of first lady? History knows many examples when the president's wife has become almost more popular than her husband, attracting all national love. Among them are Jacqueline Kennedy, Evita Peron, Lala Salma, and Michelle Obama.

In Russia it is not customary for the Head of State to make his wife public. Of course, first ladies travel abroad with them, but do not really appear in public. In other countries everything is different, and the president's wife is another argument in his favor. She should look nice, be active and well-dressed.

Nobody knows what these women feel, what troubles they hide behind their never failing smiles, because their position requires them to be always smiling and witty. Looking at them, you realize that perhaps the hardest job in the world is to be the beloved woman of the president.

After Barack Obama was elected the U.S. president, his wife Michelle became the most discussed woman in the world. She is undoubtedly a charismatic figure who brought extra votes for her husband during the campaign. Many celebrities have openly admitted that they had publicly supported Barack solely because of sympathy for Michelle.

Today, Mrs. Obama does not sit idly and appears on TV almost as much as her husband. TV channels broadcast her various activities that include digging potatoes, or playing with the children. The Forbes magazine has recently named this 46-year-old woman the most powerful woman in the world. She was awarded the title for active participation in political life, as well as the active struggle for the nation's health.

Michelle Obama's outfits also do not go unnoticed. Fashion magazines have great pleasure in discussing each appearance of the first lady in a new dress, and her choice is almost always considered a success.

It is worth noting that the style of the spouse of the current U.S. president is often compared with the style of Jacqueline Kennedy, the wife of the thirty-fifth U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The life of this woman can hardly be called cloudless. Jacqueline, or, as they called her, Jackie, was married twice and both times buried her husbands (her second husband was a millionaire Aristotle Onassis).

John shamelessly cheated on Jacqueline. His affair with Marilyn Monroe still attracts attention. Yet, he had plenty of girls besides Monroe with whom first senator and then president liked to spend his nights. In addition, Jackie could not get pregnant: before Carolina and John were born, the first lady had two miscarriages, and the couple's third child, Patrick, lived only two days.

However, for the voters they were a perfect couple: the handsome prince and his princess. Few people knew that Kennedy's romance began in the backseat of the car, and the representative of a wealthy and influential family cursed like a sailor. The spouses maintained an ideal image to the best of their ability. Despite the fact that the life of Jacqueline was far from ideal, in public she was always impeccable, beautiful and stylish. Many fashionistas and aristocrats try to look like her today.

On November 22, 1963, U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot in the head. When the priest began a funeral rite right in the operating room, Jacqueline knelt in a puddle of blood that flowed from the hole in the head of her husband and went into prayer.

However, not only the spouses of American presidents can boast the popularity among the masses. Argentinean Cristina Kirchner literally walked in the footsteps of her husband, taking after his presidency in 2007. During her husband's presidential term, Christina has been involved in political life. She made speeches at political meetings, and had a strong resemblance to Evita Peron. Although she later rejected such comparisons, once Kirchner acknowledged in an interview that she identified herself with the image of Evita as a social activist.

In fact, Christine repeated the path of another famous Argentinian by the name of Perón - Juan Perón's third wife, Isabel, who also replaced her husband in office, becoming the world's first female president. Although in reality no one elected her for this position: Isabel was her husband's vice-president, and after his death, she automatically took this position. (Her presidency lasted only one and a half years. )

Isabel's predecessor, the second wife of Juan Peron, Evita, lived only thirty-three years, but was remembered for much longer. In her lifetime she was called a symbol of social justice - Peronism - and had numerous titles such as "banner-carrier of the oppressed masses," "hope, and the Revolutionary Guard," "Shield of Peron," "authorized representative," but preferred the epithet of "a bridge of love between Peron and the people." Of course, such a woman could not be a simpleton. Caring about others, she did not forget about herself. When Juan Perón came to power, Eva quit her acting career and took up a political one, fighting for equal voting rights for women, organizing labor unions and pumping millions of dollars from the budget of Argentina into outreach programs for the poor through the Foundation of Eva Peron (not forgetting her bank accounts in Switzerland). Evita died in 1952, and in 1955 her husband was deposed during the coup. Until now, many pilgrims visit her grave.

As odd as it may seem, in Muslim countries, spouses of Heads of State, whether king or president, often engage in noticeble social activity. A striking example is the wife of King Mohammed VI of Morocco, Lala Salma. In the country where women still follow a strict code of family life, she embodies the dream of emancipation. Rumor has it that that she was the reason why the reforms to equalize the rights of men and women have taken place.

Another favorite of the audience is the Queen of Jordan, wife of King Abdullah II of Rania. Despite the fact that Rania is recognized as the most beautiful queen in the world and that she appears in public wearing light blue jeans, a shirt and stilettos, she still calls herself a "real Arab woman." The first lady of Jordan loves making public appearances. She was a guest of the Oprah Winfrey show, often talks about her love for chocolate and Coldplay band. Such sociability coupled with beauty attracts people, and this may be the reason why her people simply adore their queen.

However, Rania wins the hearts of the people not with sweet talk alone. The Queen helps women participate in economic life and create new companies. Rania advocates for women's rights, has initiated a large-scale campaign to combat child abuse, has created the first center for victims of such treatment and enhances the interaction of the state bodies and local organizations working on the protection of the family.

In short, it is not easy to be the first lady, and if you are the one, you have to enjoy the public attention and smile, smile, smile ...

Ksenia Obraztsova
Pravda.Ru

Read the original in Russian

 

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