Melania Trump finally announced her official platform as first lady. Learn more about the ‘Be Best’ campaign and what it means for American kids.
1. “Be Best” focuses on the well-being of children. First Lady Melania Trump held a press conference to announce her formal platform on May 7, telling reporters that she’s dedicating her time in the White House to helping the nation’s children. Her official platform, which comes 16 months after her husband took office, is called “Be Best.”
“As a mother and as first lady, it concerns me that in today’s fast-paced and ever-connected world, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and oftentimes turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction or even suicide,” she said during the conference. “I feel strongly that as adults we can and should be best at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life.”
2. There are three pillars to the platform: well-being, social media use, and opioid abuse. Sounds like a weird hodgepodge, right? FLOTUS believes that all three pillars are connected through uplifting the nation’s youth, protecting them throughout childhood and giving them the tool to succeed in adulthood. In addition to supporting programs throughout the United States that help the youth, Melania said she’s also personally travel and speak with kids directly.
3. She’s already being criticized for the cyber bullying pillar. Awkward, right? Melania’s husband, President Donald Trump, is essentially the biggest (and most powerful) cyber bully in the world. But his wife is tackling that issue as her personal campaign. The president was sitting in the front row of the conference, feet away, as she announced, “As we all know, social media can both positively and negatively affect our children. But too often, it is used in negative ways. When children learn positive online behaviors early on, social media can be used in productive ways and can affect positive change.”
"There are too many critical issues facing children today. So the three main pillars of 'Be Best' will be include well being, social media use and opioid abuse," first lady Melania Trump says https://t.co/Lwp5o96Kh2 pic.twitter.com/UTloHgTXiQ
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 7, 2018
4. She may face some challenges in achieving her goals considering her husband’s administration’s problems. “Melania’s dealing with a White House that is not exactly good at delivering a consistent message,” said Peter Slevin of Northwestern University to NPR, also the author of Michelle Obama: A Life. ” “And in her own case, she comes with no experience at all in politics; even as her husband was running for office, she was in the background.” That’s not to say she won’t thrive in the face of adversity. Myra Gutin, a historian of American first ladies at Rider University, told NPR that actually, what Melania has to deal with might actually work to her advantage. “She seems to sort of roll with whatever occurs, and the fact that she’s going to get this initiative rolled out and finally moving seems to say to me that she’s going to be focused on the good that she can accomplish while she’s in the White House,” she said.
5. All First Ladies have their own initiatives. The wives of presidents are always under intense scrutiny no matter what they decide to publicly back as their official cause. Melania Trump is just another in a long line of FLOTUSes who’ve gone through this since the very beginning. Abigail Adams, wife to President John Adams, advocated for women’s rights. Lucy Hayes, wife of President Rutherford B. Hayes, focused on anti-alcohol temperance policies. Hillary Clinton focused on healthcare, while Laura Bush advocated for literacy. Most recently, of course, Michelle Obama tried to tackle childhood obesity with her “Let’s Move” campaign, which advocated for healthy diet and exercise education, especially in schools.