Jill Biden gets Vogue cover after Trump famously complained Melania was snubbed by magazine

·4-min read
First Lady Jill Biden graced the cover of Vogue wearing a navy Oscar de la Renta dress after Melania Trump was not invited to do so during her husband’s presidency (Vogue)
First Lady Jill Biden graced the cover of Vogue wearing a navy Oscar de la Renta dress after Melania Trump was not invited to do so during her husband’s presidency (Vogue)

America’s first lady is once again gracing the cover of Vogue, following a four-year break during the Trump era, with Dr Jill Biden revealed as the magazine’s August cover star.

Dr Biden, 69, was shot by photographer Annie Leibovitz and profiled for the accompanying feature by journalist Jonathan Van Meter for the issue on sale on 20 July. On the cover, Dr Biden is seen standing over the South Lawn wearing a navy Oscar de la Renta dress.

Her appearance in the fashion magazine comes after former President Donald Trump complained that his wife, Melania, had not been in Vogue – breaking the unofficial convention that the US first lady should feature on the magazine’s cover.

It is unconfirmed why Ms Trump did not assume the tradition, however, in a previous editor’s letter, long-serving editor-in-chief Anna Wintour endorsed Joe Biden during the 2020 election. She highlighted Mr Trump’s “dishonesty” and “shocking lack of empathy”.

The snub did not go unnoticed by Donald and Melania Trump. In December 2020, Mr Trump complained about the perceived slight when he retweeted a post from Breitbart about how no American fashion magazines had extended an invitation to Melania – whereas former first lady Michelle Obama had featured in several. Additionally. according to a leaked conversation, heard by NBC News, Ms Trump expressed confusion that Beyonce was selected for cover of the September issue in 2018.

Ms Obama was the last first lady to be on the legendary American fashion magazine when she was profiled by Van Meter in 2016 and appeared on the cover two other times; in 2009 and in 2012. Ms Wintour once called her “the best ambassador that this country could possibly have in many ways”.

In the upcoming issue, Dr Biden spoke about what she wants to do with her platform, and how she finds it hard to stop herself doing more.

“If anything, I feel like adding more things, but I know it’s not possible, because you want to stay centred, because you want to do things well. And there’s so much to do. There is ... So. Much. To. Do,” she told the magazine.

Some of the many things she has done include visiting the Navajo Nation, working with military veterans and touring states with low levels of vaccine hesitancy, such as Tennessee, where she was booed by the crowd when she brought up the fact that only three in 10 people in the state had been inoculated against Covid-19.

In the piece, it is clear that Dr Biden often finds the formality of the presidency uneasy, but is effective at communicating this.

“’Oh, please, call me Jill’,” she reportedly tells people in formal settings when they stumble over how to address her. “Sit down,”she says, laughing, when people stand for a second too long in her presence,” writes Mr Van Meter.

The magazine also published photos of the less glamorous side of public service, showing her working in the Executive Residence, complete with a pencil in her mouth and eyes glued to her laptop.

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Another revelation finds that she thinks her husband taking up residence in the Oval Office has made the national mood significantly calmer.

Dr Biden recalled, “During the campaign, I felt so much anxiety from people, they were scared. When I travel around the country now, I feel as if people can breathe again.”

Mr Van Meter also spoke to her husband, President Joe Biden, to whom she has been married for just over 44 years, about how the White House has affected their relationship, saying they find it harder to go on romantic trips, like they used to.

“I miss her, I’m really proud of her. But it’s not like we can just off like we used to. When we were living in Delaware and married, once a month, we’d just go up to a local bed-and-breakfast by ourselves.” he said. However, he went on to say they were working on finding a work-life balance.

This is Dr Biden’s second time in the magazine, but her first time on the cover. In March 2020, she appeared during a feature on the women on the campaign trail. In February, Kamala Harris, the vice-president was featured on the magazine’s cover.

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