In the event of a competitive presidential election, it is wise to throw caution to the wind and go all out, and Emmanuel Macron has decided to rely on a proven strategy for attracting attention in his quest to defeat the extreme. right. candidate Marine Le Pen: thirsty. On Sunday, Macron’s official photographer, Soazig de la Moissonnière, posted an Instagram carousel of Macron’s campaign trip to Marseille that includes a photo of the president reclining indulgently on a tan Vico Magistretti sofa.
Macron has a huge smirk on his face, and the top three buttons of his crisp white shirt have been left undone, revealing a thicket of opaque, dark brown chest hair from the president. Some reviewers have alleged that chest hair has been enhanced by photoshopwhile others have speculated that Macron is trying to woo conservative voters by “signaling traditional French values:” chest hair and two cell phones.
“Honestly, I think everyone probably looks sexier sitting on a honey Maralunga couch,” said Tyler Watamanuk, a QG contributor and author of Sitting Pretty, an interiors newsletter, said. “And I wish I could seriously wear a shirt with that many undone buttons. That’s no small feat.
Eagle-eyed observers may also notice the way Macron’s chest hair is neatly shaved down to the neck, creating a pleasing contrast between the heavy male follicles and the clean, sophisticated hygienic techniques.
Does Macron embrace male grooming trends or oppose them? While the president’s body hair isn’t completely out of control, its undeniable abundance is championed in a 2021 Manscaped article that dubs the look “the complete Sasquatch.”
“After a year of quarantine and pandemic, a lot of guys let their hair down,” says Manscaped. “Do you know what they found? The world has not ended.
The intersection of politics and body hair (or lack thereof) doesn’t start with Macron, who is already established as a true sex symbol — there have even been adult coloring books created in his honor. In fact, it has a rich and sometimes sordid history. The flurry of partially nude selfies that led to the downfall and conviction of former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner as a sex offender has revealed remarkably smooth pecs, raising questions about if Weiner regularly jumped for a wax.
Richard Nixon’s shirtless beach photos reveal hairy, but not excessive, chest. While Barack Obama’s (hairless) chest has been on display countless times in vacation photographs, George HW Bush went to great lengths to ensure he would never be photographed without his shirt on.
Amid the pandemic, many male politicians have taken the chance to be photographed shirtless while getting their COVID shots. Being vaccinated against a deadly virus signals health, caution and civic responsibility, while a casual bare chest adds a pinch of sex appeal and the projection of self-confidence. Wins all around.
But perhaps the most notorious episode of political toplessness was embodied by none other than Vladimir Putin, who in photos released by the Kremlin could be seen fishing in Siberia and riding naked on horseback to ‘to the size ; images of Putin’s fluorescent white hairless chest have been given the same treatment thousands of times.
“When I’m on vacation, I don’t see the need to hide behind the bushes, and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Putin said, clearly proud of his physique.
“Removing body hair not only makes muscles look bigger and more sharply defined (or ‘cut’), it also removes traces of secondary sexual characteristics…in order to make the male body a ‘safe’ object of contemplation. ‘aesthetics’ by the eye of men or women”, writes Steven Cohan, the author of Masked Men: Masculinity and Cinema in the 1950s.
“Contrary to Putin’s paranoid propaganda, Macron creates a strong democratic leader archetype – young, manly, in his daily life to save the world order. A chief hustler.”
— Kyle Chayka
By embracing and flaunting his chest hair, Macron could then attempt to center characteristics of sexual potency; youth and vitality offer compelling (if not strictly intellectual) reasons to cast a candidate for your vote, even in high-stakes political environments where much is at stake.
“Contrary to Putin’s paranoid propaganda, Macron creates a strong democratic leader archetype – young, manly, in his day-to-day life to save the world order. A hustler in chief,” says Kyle Chaykacontributing writer for the new yorker and the author of The desire for less, an analysis of minimalism. “The laid-back couch photo looks like something out of a mid-century magazine or future history book, an iconic photograph that lends a hint of charismatic personality – whether accurate or not – and plenty of flair. ‘authority.”
Macron, a centrist, also has a deep imperative to sway the French left in his favor in order to win his election, a mission that drives him to embrace as many young signifiers as possible. He might just be on to something as he leans into Tom Selleck’s Parisian vibe.