Justin Trudeau, the new Prime Minister-designate of Canada, seems to be a popular guy on the world stage at the moment, but possibly for all the wrong reasons. It appears that he has his fair share of admirers who are far more focused on his looks than his politics.
But, what role does Trudeau’s looks play in the world of politics? Well, during the election campaign, the ruling political party, the Conservatives, were pleased to use his looks as a way to demean him, painting him as a pretty boy who relied, partly, on his looks to get ahead. Well, his looks and his name. Trudeau is still a massive name on the Canadian political scene — for better or worse — thanks to his father.
Several articles that have appeared lately have tackled the subject of how Trudeau’s looks have been perceived in the media, both social and mainstream. In a comment piece in the National Post, Jen Gerson lays it out on the line in the title alone: “Dear God, Please Stop Obsessing About How Attractive Trudeau Is.”
“Media outlets from Gawker, Vice and Buzzfeed, to Britain’s Mirror, Telegraph and Independent, have offered their insightful analysis into Justin Trudeau’s yummy body and ‘long flowing locks’ of hair. … Indeed, nothing says ‘restoring our international reputation’ like the swoonings of middle-aged women who have just outgrown their Twilight Mom phase.”
Ouch, that’s scathing. But, it is fair. Trudeau is now a Prime Minister, not the newest member of a Canadian boyband. We are talking about Justin Trudeau, not Justin Bieber.
Granted, the Canadian election happened only a few days ago, on October 19. The media doesn’t have much to work with when it comes to Justin Trudeau, the leader of Canada, yet. He hasn’t made any major screw ups that can be obsessed about. Canada, and the world, is still in its honeymoon phase with Trudeau.
“Treating a human being as a sex object, regardless of their gender, is degrading and disrespectful. We feminists hate it when we are expected to love unwanted attention, so why should men be expected to love it instead?”
So, there we have the perspective of two women writers regarding the buzz around Justin’s devilishly handsome aesthetics. How about a man’s perspective? Well, here is one that counters what both Jen Gerson and Lauren Messervy are saying, but from the perspective of a man, Ali A. Rizvi, who made some interesting observations in a Facebook post.
“Everyone is going gaga over Justin Trudeau’s good looks and shirtless pictures, and rightly so. This could be a big step forward for gender equality. In the past, speaking of a female politician’s looks would always bring up the refrain, ‘Would you ever say that about a man?’ Now … the answer to that question is a clear yes. We have finally learned how to objectify men.”
Two women saying objectifying Trudeau is not a good thing. One man saying it is. That is two very different ways of looking at the situation, with both perspectives having merit. The do-unto-others approach and the what’s-good-for-the-goose method.
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images]