Vanessa Trump Looks Much Different Than She Did During Her Modeling Days

Vanessa Trump is best known for being the ex-wife of former president Donald Trump's son, Don Jr. The couple met in 2003 at a fashion show when the 45th POTUS inexplicably introduced the future spouses not once, but twice (via Vanity Fair). 

The one-day bride of the former first son, who went by Vanessa Haydon at the time, used to work as a model and actress. The pinnacle of her on-screen career seems to have been a bit part in "Something's Gotta Give" starring Jack Nicholson, when she appeared in the intro to the movie (via Us Weekly). In the brief cameo in the film, which came out in 2003 and also starred Diane Keaton, Haydon had much darker hair than she does currently, and as The Cut points out, made a very early-2000s fashion statement, wearing bootcut jeans and sporting barely-there eyebrows.

It's worth noting that when her star was on the rise, Vanessa, who was also reportedly quite the party girl in New York City, was linked to A-list actor Leonardo DiCaprio. She wouldn't marry Trump until 2005 — after he proposed to her at a mall in New Jersey with a free promotional ring. By that time, Mrs. Trump had lightened her hair considerably and looked totally different (via Page Six).

Vanessa Trump favored jeans in her modeling days

Vanessa Trump started modeling when she was just a child, and kept up her career for a while after marrying Don Jr. Indeed, in 2006, a year after the couple said "I do" at, where else, Mar-a-Lago, and when she was pregnant with the couple's first of five children, Vanessa appeared on the cover of Hamptons magazine. At the time, the now Trump ex was signed with Wilhelmina Models.

Her mother Bonnie Haydon had owned Kay Models while she was growing up. The New York Times described Vanessa as having had "an athletic build, buttery tan, blond hair and sunny smile" back at a tony high school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Her lifelong friend Shawn Modell told the outlet the future political wife enjoyed keeping things casual at that time, and often could be found wearing jeans.

Flash forward to when Vanessa was thrust into the spotlight as the wife of Donald Trump Jr. and we were more likely to see her dressed up in stunning gowns — but only in public.

Vanessa Trump eschewed the spotlight post-marriage

Vanessa Trump may have been in the spotlight at times given her connection to the high-profile political family, and she stepped out to support her husband and father-in-law in public when needed, such as at the 2016 Republican National Convention

But overall, Vanessa seemed to prefer staying behind the scenes. According to The New York Times, she could often be seen picking her kids up from school rather than vying for media attention. Her sister-in-law Ivanka Trump previously called her inspiring and "Wonder Woman," telling People that year about the mom of five, "She can be taking care of them all simultaneously, each pulling on her and have direct meaningful connections with each of them at one time. It's remarkable."

Indeed, according to her Twitter feed, Vanessa is a devoted mom who you'll find sporting yoga pants and sneakers in her posts. Even the family's 2020 Christmas card featured the dressed-down mom of five donning a sweater and jeans.

So, has Vanessa gone back to her roots as her high school friend described her following the dissolution of her marriage? Well, her ex-husband thinks she really never changed that much at all.

Donald Trump Jr. thinks his ex-wife never changed

Although a lot is different about her life — and with her hair color — according to her ex, Vanessa Trump looks almost the same as she did when she was modeling. Donald Trump Jr. posted an old image of his then-wife to his Instagram in 2017, the year before the couple filed for divorce, captioning the shot, "Throwback Thursday pic of Vanessa from her runway days. Even after 5 kids nothing has changed... well except for the addition of a permanent diaper bag."

Don Jr. also previously shared a photo of Vanessa on the night they met back in 2003. The photo shows that the model was wearing a short denim skirt and oozed natural beauty, seemingly wearing very little makeup (via Cosmopolitan).

In more recent images of Vanessa, she still seems to favor a less-is-more approach to beauty. The biggest change is that the former model's hair is a bright blonde hue. 

The mom of five reportedly stays in shape via regular Soulcycle sessions, cementing the reality that she could still step out onto any runway — if she ever wanted to.