The Presidential term of Donald Trump in the United States has given rise to myriad conspiracy theories, from Deep State to QAnon. But most recently, the theory of fake Melania Trump has resurfaced on the internet.
What revived the speculations of the First Lady using a body double was a picture from President Donald Trump’s recent appearance. The picture shows the couple boarding a Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House where Trump was seen waving from the stairs of the aircraft, while Melania stood beside him with a large grin on her face. However, her face looked a bit different and was largely covered with a pair of black sunglasses.
The picture prompted netizens to speculate that it was not the real Melania Trump but rather her body double since the features of the lady in the picture did not match with the real one.
Writer and Director Zack Bornstein tweeted, “The only thing I'll miss from this administration is them swapping in new Melanias and just pretending we won't notice like a 4-year-old with a guppy.”
The only thing I'll miss from this administration is them swapping in new Melanias and just pretending we won't notice like a 4-year-old with a guppy pic.twitter.com/8J0A4E9z5H— Zack Bornstein (@ZackBornstein) October 25, 2020
Many users agreed with Zack’s statement and one follower said, “Now I do believe that ALL top officials use body doubles from time to time when warranted but you must be a 4 yr old to think this is not the real FLOTUS!! Try zooming, look at the teeth, the nose, the shape of the jaw. The only difference is she's not smiling as wide!”
Now I do believe that ALL top officials use body doubles from time to time when warranted but you must be a 4 yr old to think this is not the real FLOTUS!! Try zooming, look at the teeth, the nose, the shape of the jaw. The only difference is she's not smiling as wide!— BubblzMay (@jlmaynard2008) October 28, 2020
Many netizens posted a collection of Melania’s pictures from her public appearance where she looked a bit different, fuelling the Fake Melania conspiracy theories.
Netizens also observed how in one of the pictures Melania is holding Donald’s hands, which was quite unusual of her. As one user commented, “Lol! She would never hold his hand. Fake, fake, fake Face with tears of joy.” Videos of Melania Trump subtly refusing to hold her husband’s hands on public appearances have been widely shared.
Lol! She would never hold his hand. Fake, fake, fake 😂— Marla (@MarsWarren) October 27, 2020
The meme artists also utilised this opportunity to unleash their talent. Many morphed Donald Trump’s Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin’s face on Melania since they seem pretty close.
With the rising popularity of this theory, a Twitter account by the name of Fake Melania Trump has also been created. The creator tweets from the Fake Melania's point of view as perceived by the majority netizens.
US Today, however, debunked the claims with a fact check. According to the report, the oft-cited conspiracy theories are fake and Melania Trump does't use a body double. In 2017, CNN had published a detailed report on this where the White House had clarified that the First Lady did not use a body double. Instead, distorted videos, unusual photos and also, no one really looks exactly same in all the photos that are taken of them.